The Leadership Challenge for our Government:
Instead of declaring Education an essential service for teachers, Health an essential service for nurses and doctors, etc, how about declaring all functions of government an essential service.
Like getting all government departments functioning as they should, delivering text books on time, fixing dysfunctional schools and hospitals, getting municipalities and other government agencies to deliver the services that they are mandated to do.
Generally delivering on the government's own Batho Pele Principles, and the Promise of Freedom, A Better Life for All.
"The Batho Pele initiative aims to enhance the quality and accessibility of government services by improving efficiency and accountability to the recipients of public goods and services".
Batho Pele requires that eight service delivery principles be implemented
1. Regularly consult with customers
2. Set service standards
3. Increase access to services
4. Ensure higher levels of courtesy
5. Provide more and better information about services
6. Increase openness and transparency about services
7. Remedy failures and mistakes
8. Give the best possible value for money.
These are the essential services that our country needs from government to deliver to us, the citizens of our country.
But the biggest mistake that government does is to treat us like customers/clients. (Principle 1 above).And an even bigger mistake we make is to distort our elected representatives into service providers and suppliers. We relate to them as if we are consumers, not citizens.We want them to solve for us those issues which we can and should be solving for ourselves. The customer model, in which elected officials exist to satisfy citizen demands, is a disservice to community, even though we citizens love it.Elected officials are public representatives of citizens, not suppliers.The sooner we all realize this the better for our country.
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