National Assembly: Cape Town, 26th May 2011
This department has one of the toughest mandates
in government, specifically the mandate to improve the service
delivery from government to the people of our Country. Batho Pele or
the principle of service to the people embodies the ideal that
should be first and foremost in minds of all government employees
and officials, the ideal of service.
Aristotle once said that man is a zoon politikon
and that the highest office man can aspire to in life is the office of
public service in and for the public good, and further that Politics
can and should lead men and women to excellence when it comes to
The sad reality is that this ideal has been
trampled underfoot by the greed and corruption of many government
officials and politics is now seen by many as just another avenue
towards a life of power, status and affluence. We are indeed a very
far cry from the rule of the philosopher kings as envisaged by Plato
in his Ideal Republic.
Mr Minister, your Department is at the veritable
coal face. You are responsible for creating the norms and standards
that will lead to the overall improvement of service delivery by
The IFP commends the Department for recent
policies and regulations that have been adopted to curb corruption
but the test for any policy or regulation is in its implementation.
One such policy is the Financial Disclosure Framework for senior
managers in the Public Service. This framework requires Senior
Managers to disclose in prescribed forms, all their registrable
interests to be scrutinized by the PSC in order to identify any
potential conflicts of interest. One would expect the Senior
Managers to set a good example by complying with this requirement.
Regrettably in the 2008/2009 PSC report no less
than 1743 failed to comply.
We are yet to hear what punitive steps the
Department will take to discipline such managers.
We are currently in service delivery crisis mode,
sporadic outbreaks of service delivery protests are occurring nation
wide and have in many instances led to the death of civilians and
damage to property and infrastructure. Situations such as these
cannot and must not be allowed to arise again.
The principles of Batho Pele must be entrenched in
our public service sector. Impact assessments must be conducted and
continuous monitoring should take place, and where the principles
are found to be lacking, swift corrective actions should be
Our citizens must be engaged on their service
delivery concerns, communities must be engaged and solutions found
in partnership with our people.
Initiatives such as the Khaedu project, with its
management toolkit for problem identification must have the full
support of government and should be greatly encouraged with
mandatory participation for all senior management service members.
The Department must however be complimented on its
efforts to curb excessive government spending through its cost
containment measures such as restrictions of the use of business
class travel, participation in the government fleet management
scheme and by reducing the size of government delegations to both
national and international destinations, which also have the desired
knock-on effect of reducing governments carbon footprint upon the
Corruption has no place in government and those
found guilty of perpetrating same should feel the full might of our
Government cannot serve two masters; it exists
solely at the will and behest of the people whom it serves. There is
no place for self serving officials in government. Let the clarion
The IFP supports this budget vote subject to the
correction of the discrepancies highlighted above.
I thank you.
Prof CT Msimang MP