Public servants called on to work on new service delivery model

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Cyril Ramaphosa pictured at the Union Buildings.
Cyril Ramaphosa pictured at the Union Buildings.
Ludovic Marin/AFP
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to public servants to mark Public Service Month.
  • Public servants have been called on to participate in the development of a new service delivery model.
  • He said Covid-19 demonstrated that the country had capable and dedicated public servants.

Public servants have been invited to participate in the development of a new integrated model for service delivery.

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa identified the need for a new integrated model for service delivery that is responsive, adaptive and brings development to where it is needed most. This model, now known as the District Development Model, has been embodied in the Batho Pele White Paper.

"We call on public servants to be part of this process by identifying ways in which we can realise a public service focused on meeting the needs and advancing the interests of citizens," Ramaphosa said.

To mark Public Service Month, Ramaphosa paid tribute to public servants and hailed their response to the Covid-19 pandemic:

Our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that we do have capable and committed public servants who diligently serve the people of South Africa. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, civil servants have displayed courage and resilience in discharging their duties, often under the most difficult of circumstances. Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, they have kept the wheels of our country turning and have ensured that service delivery continues.

The president added that Covid-19 exposed the chasms between the planning and execution of public service delivery.

"Our commitment to building a state that is ethical, capable and above all, developmental, necessitates that civil servants see themselves not merely as state functionaries but as development workers. Though we must continue in earnest with our task of rooting out those whose conduct makes them ill-suited for public service, we must at the same time acknowledge the vast majority are exemplary civil servants. They have kept us going," he said.

The vast majority of public servants understand the weight of responsibility their positions entail, Ramaphosa added.

Cyril Ramaphosa | Civil servants have kept the wheels of SA turning during the Covid-19 pandemic

This is the case despite stories of those who are "errant and unprincipled".

"We have become too used to stories of civil servants involved in maladministration, embezzlement, corruption and other forms of conduct that betray the values of the public service," he said.

"At a time when shortcomings in the public service are amplified and bad news falls like an avalanche, we acknowledge our public servants of South Africa and their service. It may be said that they are just doing what they are paid to do. But public service is a calling – one to which they have ably responded so that the rights of all people in this country are fulfilled."

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