Back to school for public servants

2013-08-29 13:47

All workers employed by the state are required to sign the service charter and to attend the school of government, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has said.

“No one will be employed in future without attending the school of government. The reason why we established the school is because we want a particular culture of public service,” Sisulu said.

She was speaking to reporters at the launch of the service charter at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.

“It compels state departments to set service standards,” Sisulu said.

“You have always indicated that we need a responsive state. This is our attempt to prove it to you. The charter continues towards fast-tracking service delivery.”

All levels of workers, from gardeners to engineers, would attend the school, which is set to launch on October 21, in an attempt to professionalise the service.

“It is only when everyone is professionalised that they will be able to offer good service,” Sisulu said.

The school’s curriculum was still “a work in progress” but would include teaching the values of the Constitution.

Sisulu warned that the effect of the charter would not be seen overnight.

“You’ve got to allow a progressive realisation of these things.”

Speaking at a New Age business briefing earlier, Sisulu said the charter showed the commitment by government as the employer, as well as commitment by public servants to citizens.

Government committed itself to creating an environment conducive to public servants, she said.

“We are here to commit ourselves – we would like to hear from the people that we serve what they think about this step because we would like you to support us.”

Sisulu also launched the Batho Pele call centre helpline, intended to improve public service. The call centre would allow people to call in if they wanted to report bad service or needed help or information about public services, like tender processes.

She called the centre during the briefing but was unsuccessful on her first attempt and was put on hold. The second attempt saw Sisulu speaking to an operator who explained what she could do.

Various unions – including the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA, the SA Democratic Teachers Union, and the SA Policing Union – were present at the launch and confirmed their commitment to the charter.

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