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Source: Ministry of Public Service and Administration
Title: G Fraser-Moleketi: Parliamentary Media Briefing, February
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION,
GERALDINE FRASER-MOLEKETI, MP, AT THE GCIS PARLIAMENTARY MEDIA
BRIEFINGS, CAPE TOWN, 11 February 2004
While internationally support has grown for the need to streamline
and in some cases downsize the core public service, it is also
increasingly recognised that the state remains a pivotal
development partner, with which private sector and civil society
needs to work. "Increasingly the state is called upon to act as
linking pin of processes of planning, consultation, negotiation and
decision-making involving diverse players, State and non-State, at
different levels of governance. It is the hub of activities
connecting multiple partners and stakeholders from very varied
fields, activities, regions, cultures, professions and interests
(United Nations UN, 2001, World Public Sector Report: 31).
This is certainly true in the context of South Africa, where the
development agenda of the country is underpinned by the need for a
strong state that both provides the enabling environment for social
and economic partners to flourish, and directly ensures the
delivery of basic needs services, particularly to the poor.
The comprehensive Government and Administration (G&A) cluster
programme on improving performance of the state has numerous
initiatives to build a capable South African state, that focus
around four broad outcomes:
1. Streamlining systems and processes of the machinery of state to
enable better alignment of resources and capability with national
2. Integrating service delivery mechanisms and capacity to provide
citizen-centred, responsive service delivery machinery.
3. Directly combating poor performance, corruption and
4. Contributing to governance improvements and capacity building
beyond South Africa, within the context of New Partnership for
Africa's Development (NEPAD).
1. STREAMLINING SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES OF THE STATE TO ENABLE BETTER
ALIGNMENT OF RESOURCES AND CAPABILITY WITH NATIONAL
The President in the State of the Nation address on 6 February 2004
clearly outlined our national priorities when he states:
"The advances we must record demand that we ensure that the public
sector discharges its responsibilities to our people as a critical
player in the process of the growth, reconstruction and development
of our country."
The G&A Cluster faces the challenge of ensuring that the
systems and processes of the state are equipped to deliver on these
priorities. In this regard the cluster is undertaking the following
* Improvements will be made to the National Planning Framework
implemented by The Presidency, in order to facilitate integrated
governance. In particular the Medium Term Strategic Framework will
be placed at the centre of the policy prioritising and budgeting
process, to ensure that financing is allocated to priorities
* Preparatory work for the creation of a single public service is
being conducted, initially focusing on the rationalisation of
conditions of service in the local government sector.
* In line with developing the framework for the single public
service, the review which is being undertaken of public entities,
in particular, their governance arrangements, human resource
practices, procurement procedures and their sustainability as
public entities. There are currently 336 public entities employing
about a quarter of a million people who fall outside of the public
service. The proliferation of these entities, all created under
disparate legislation, need to be assessed and aligned so that
these resources are better directed towards achievement of national
priorities. Accordingly the accountability framework of PEs needs
to reflect this aspect.
* The cluster will develop common standards (definitions and
classifications) for departments and other users of statistics to
improve on departmental specific monitoring and evaluation systems.
The National Statistical System will assist clusters to develop
suitable indicators to more effectively track performance,
particularly with regards to service delivery.
2. INTEGRATING SERVICE DELIVERY MECHANISMS AND CAPACITY TO PROVIDE
CITIZEN-CENTRED, RESPONSIVE SERVICE DELIVERY MACHINERY
The President last week also spoke of the progress that we must
achieve "with regard to the integration of our system of
governance, achieving seamless cooperation both within and among
all spheres of government".
The G&A Cluster is actively addressing the reality that service
delivery at times takes place in a disjointed and irregular manner,
forcing the citizen, rather than government, to act as the
integrator of services. In order to address this, the G&A
cluster have an active range of programmes that will be
aggressively scaled-up over the next year.
* 46 Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) have been established,
including an additional six since July 2003. Of the 46 centres, 23
provide services beyond those of government, with a total of 400
services now available in rural and under-serviced areas. The range
of services in nine of these centres will initially be greatly
extended through creating access to the central e-government
Gateway portal. Run under the auspices of the Government
Communication and Information System (GCIS) in partnership with
provinces and local authorities, the technology linkages in these
sites will be provided by the Universal Services Agency. The
central portal will delivered on the infrastructure of the State
Information Technology Agency.
* These sites are strong examples of integration in practice,
focusing on citizen need. The key improvement is the introduction
of a General Services Counter (GSC) that uses the Gateway portal to
deliver better services. The GSC will allow MPCCs to deliver a
wider range of services, including services of departments that are
not physically present at the MPCC. To rural and previously
disadvantaged communities living in isolated communities, the GSC
will open the door for these communities to have access to full
package of government services required for a better life. The role
and importance of the GSC will increase over time but over the next
two months, it will play a crucial role in providing essential
information to citizens and businesses.
A GSC is fully functional in one of the nine sites (the Mapela MPCC
in the Limpopo province) with the remaining sites coming on stream
over the next six weeks. The sites are: Mbazwana MPCC in
KwaZulu-Natal, Hartebeeskraal MPCC in the Western Cape, Sterkspruit
MPCC in the Eastern Cape, Mpuluzi MPCC in Mpumalanga, Namahadi MPCC
in the Free State, Galeshewe MPCC in the Northern Cape, Tombo MPCC
in the Eastern Cape, Leretlhabetse MPCC in the North West, and
Faranani MPCC in Gauteng.
In addition to the GSC, the Centre for Public Service Innovation
will introduce multi-media facilities (television), that will
enable people to access Gateway directly and a range of business
* As we speak a multi-sectoral government stakeholder workshop is
taking place in Mpumalanga to develop the model for more rapidly
rolling out MPCCs and increasing their service offerings.
* The Community Development Workers (CDW) Programme
This programme, announced in last years' state of the nation
address, is well underway.
The CDW initiative is integrated and linked to key government
flagship programmes such as Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP),
Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme (ISRDP) and
Urban Renewal Development Programme (URDP). At national level, the
Ministry for Public Service and Administration has taken overall
responsibility for the project and is working hand-in-hand with the
Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), South
African Management Development Institute (SAMDI), South African
Local Government Association (SALGA) and Department of Provincial
and Local Government (DPLG). These departments are responsible for
ensuring the establishment of appropriate co-ordination structures
at a provincial level as well as developing and managing the
National Monitoring System on the CDWs.
Provincial departments of Local Government in consultation with
local government will take responsibility for the deployment and
placement of CDWs. The provinces will be the employer but the
municipalities will provide the workplace for the CDWs.
The CDWs will work closely with community structures especially
Ward Committees to identify areas where service delivery
interventions are required.
The key policy decision since the July Lekgotla 2003 has been the
adoption of a learnership strategy in preference to immediate
employment of CDWs as public servants. There are several reasons
for the adoption of this strategy. A short orientation-training
course will not be adequate to prepare a person to be a CDW; thus
longer-term training is essential. The learnership strategy allows
for on the job training, and deployment under mentorship. This will
also help fulfil the President's injunction in the State of the
Nation Address "that we attract the right people into this cadre of
CDWs, train them properly, and supervise them effectively". The
learnership strategy enables learner CDWs to obtain credits and
ultimately a qualification over the one-year course.
There are already 60 learner CDWs in the field in Gauteng and by
the end of February there will be 342 learners in the field under
supervision of mentors. By the end of May there will be a total of
910 deployed in the field. On completion of the one-year
learnership, the trained CDWs will be eligible to apply for posts
in line with public service practice. Ultimately we envisage over
the medium term, the creation of 2840 CDW posts.
The CDWs will benefit from the use of technology through being
provided with a mobile platform (a lap-top with GPRS connectivity)
that will enable 40 CDWs in a pilot programme to access central
e-government portals. The programme is a unique example of public
service and local government directly confronting challenges to
integration presented by different conditions of service, multiple
providers of government services and needy communities.
The ultimate success of CDW programme will be determined by the
extent to which government is seen to come to the people, rather
than citizens having to continuously seek out government to obtain
* The Gateway portal will be made available through the existing
www.gov.za website, building on the familiarity that citizens
already have with government information. The test site can be
accessed on www.services.gov.za. The Phase 1 launch will focus on
improved information on services, with Phase 2 providing a base for
on-line transactional services. The production site contains
content regarding 4600 services offered by government. The launch
of the portal will coincide with the development team reaching the
required target for data verification.
* Additional service points benefiting from the central portal will
be available in 55 sites across the country provided by the South
African Post Office, through Citizen Post Offices, Public
Information Terminals and Internet Cafes.
* Making use of the wide penetration of fixed line but in
particular mobile telephony, citizens will be able to access
information from the portal through a national call centre, using
the 1020 number.
Following the Electoral Commission (IEC) Voter Registration Weekend
on 24 to 25 January, the department has done a broad assessment of
the distribution of identity documents (IDs) to their rightful
owners in preparation for the national general elections. The
department managed to process 95 276 IDs during the week of January
(weekend ending 09 January 2004), 110 905 IDs for the second week
(week ending 16 January 2004) and 94 125 for the third week (week
ending 23 January 2004). 317 579 IDs were issued to their rightful
owners in the first three weeks of January 2004.
At the beginning of 2003, the department set itself a target to
issue out 2.5 million IDs. During 2003, the department also managed
to dispatch 2 660 859. Out of this number, 1 596 515 are new or
first applications and 1 064 344 are reissues. Thus, the department
issued 1 673 697 IDs. Out of 1 673 697, at least 1 004 218, were
first applications and 669 479 reissues.
By 27 October 2003 prior to the first register weekend that took
place in November 2003, 307 707 IDs were uncollected in our offices
countrywide. In addressing this challenge the department embarked
on a rigorous campaign to get people to collect their IDs through
door-to-door deliveries and a multi-media campaign to raise the
level of public education, awareness and consciousness. As a result
of this campaign our analysis of the statistics show that by 25
January 2004, the department had 78 740 uncollected IDs in the
3. DIRECTLY COMBATING POOR PERFORMANCE, CORRUPTION AND
The attention that is being given to improving planning frameworks
and enabling greater integration of services is appropriate and
moves the public sector into a new phase of efficient and effective
delivery. Earlier there is reference to the State of Nation Address
where the President speaks of the integration of our systems, but
he also makes strong reference to raising the skills level within
the public sector to "ensure its managerial and technological
modernisation driven by a clear understanding of the developmental
task of our democratic state".
However, the G&A cluster is also very much aware of the need to
continuously focus on getting the basics right, ensure that public
servants are accountable and are doing their work, that
non-performers are called to account and corruption is eliminated
from our systems.
The cluster therefore has the following programmes underway:
One of the challenges that we have faced until now is our inability
to provide hard, consolidated statistics on corruption. At present
we have no single database of this kind of information, which
includes information on disciplinary cases, risk areas, prejudice
to state and the efficiency of handling corruption cases. In order
to improve the efficiency of reporting on corruption and protection
of whistle-blowers, an Integrated Corruption Management Information
System is currently being developed, for release in 2004. We are
pleased to report that this system is being developed in
partnership with the CSIR's Meraka Open Source Centre, utilising
Open Standards and Open Source Software (OSS) products, supporting
the newly adopted policy of government on the use of OSS.
The proposed Corruption Management Information System (CMIS) will
not only address major gaps in our knowledge of the incidence and
perceptions of corruption, but will also contribute greatly to the
rollout of the Public Service Anti-corruption Strategy. The CMIS
will allow all stakeholders to capture and maintain information
through a web-based interface. For security reasons, different
levels of access will be built into the system. The system will be
used to audit anti-corruption capacity, conduct risk assessments
and track the process of data collection.
There are three phases to the project. The first phase has begun
and is expected to be completed by mid-April. There will be a first
iteration based on an initial assessment of user requirements
(needs analysis), audit of current systems, etc. The system is
envisaged to be functional around July this year, and should be
populated and running by January 2006.
* Reducing Red Tape
One critical issue hampering effective service delivery is red tape
or unnecessary bureaucracy. Interaction between government
departments, agencies and citizens is formal. Rules, regulations
and procedures govern interactions between citizens and government.
These are necessary to ensure equitable and fair access to
services, and to guarantee good governance. At times however these
rules and regulations become inefficient and costly; they impose an
unjustifiable administrative burden on both citizens and public
servants; they become red tape. The social and economic costs
associated with red tape are difficult to quantify. A reliable
costing exercise has yet to be conducted in South Africa, but the
burden exacted by red tape is likely to be substantial. A number of
factors are now converging that suggest this is the opportune time
to address red tape challenges:
* The intensive policy work of the last ten years has seen a
regulatory framework emerge which paves the way for red tape
reform. Relevant in this respect are the Electronics Communication
and Transaction Act, the Public Finance Management Act, the Public
Service Act, our e-Government and Information Security
* The Batho Pele Principles have embedded a client focus in the
public service and service levels are improving
* Government's information management and administration capacity
continues to be enhanced through technological innovations.
As an initial step in tackling red tape reform the Centre for
Public Service Innovation, an agency falling within my portfolio,
in conjunction with the DPSA and SITA, will launch a learning
document on red tape reform on 10 March 2004. The report, entitled
"From Red Tape to SMART Tape", is the second in a series of Future
Watch reports aimed at stimulating innovation in the public
service. It reviews trends in red tape reform globally and provides
a framework for considering these trends within the South African
service delivery context. It also documents a number of
international, but more pertinently, local case studies, which
demonstrate that efficiency challenges in service delivery, are
already being addressed. The Future Watch report on red tape reform
is a call to all government departments and agencies to find
opportunities to collaborate with the DPSA and CPSI in undertaking
red tape reform projects.
Although specific projects for reform have yet to be identified, it
is anticipated that the priority reform areas will include:
* Business processes within government, especially the sharing of
crucial information across government departments, functions and
agencies, which facilitates service delivery transactions.
* Service delivery to the most disadvantaged of South African
citizens, where the efficient provision of social grants is more
than a matter of convenience.
* Improving the efficiency of integrated service delivery points,
such as MPCCs, particularly the related back office challenges.
Enormous progress has been made in getting services to citizens in
remote locations, now we must make every effort to ensure that we
ease any administrative burdens that may still impede access.
* Finding ways to ease the administrative burdens placed on Small,
Micro and Medium Enterprises, where the cost of administrative
compliance may constrain economic growth.
* The Cluster, due to its transversal role across government, will
develop a framework for the management of interventions. An early
warning system has been developed and piloted. The system tracks
indicators that relate to the service delivery performance of
departments. The intention is to quickly identify shortfalls in
service delivery, and address these as quickly as possible.
* An effective example of the success of dealing with a range of
institutional performance issues can be seen in the Eastern Cape
Achievements in Eastern Cape:
* New procurement delegations and new frameworks for
* Financial management support, supply chain management support,
human resource support and information and communications
technology (ICT) support for two years to set in place sustainable
* Backlog payments to employees of R86 800 000
Improved internal controls: Internal audit functions have been
established in the four IMT departments and audit capacity has been
brought in for two years to assist these departments.
Human Resource Management, leadership and management
Critical vacancies are being filled and a huge number of posts in
health have recently been advertised. There is a scarce skills
strategy in place, especially in the rural areas and forms part of
the negotiations at national level. All managers have undergone
competency assessment and development plans for these managers are
being finalised. All health managers have received new performance
agreements and the performance of managers in education is
currently being conducted for past years. Two Heads of Departments
are being disciplined for PFMA transgressions.
Fighting Corruption: Besides audits relating to items such as
procurement, hospital stock, petrol card abuse, which have been
completed, with cases being prepared for this financial year, 1323
cases have been managed by the Interim Management team. Only 115
still need to be completed. Of the completed cases, 286 involve
theft and fraud. Of those found guilty, 42% have been
4. CONTRIBUTING TO GOVERNANCE IMPROVEMENTS AND CAPACITY BUILDING
BEYOND SOUTH AFRICA, WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAD
"All major current international developments emphasised the
importance of constructing a new world order that is more equitable
and responsive to the needs of the poor of the world, who
constitute the overwhelming majority of humanity" (President Mbeki,
South Africa, through the Minister and Department of Public Service
and Administration (DPSA), plays an influential role in the
International and African governance and public administration
community. At the request of the NEPAD secretariat the South
African public service and administration ministry has spearheaded
the development and adoption of a continental programme on
Governance and Public Administration. The programme focuses on
institutional capacity, research and data availability, innovation
and training in public services across all African countries, and
has now been adopted as a programme of the African Union. Some of
the practical work that has already taken place under the auspices
of the programme includes:
* Seminar on public sector performance management
* Initiation of a programme on leadership capacity
* Development of a programme of action on e-government
* Collation of data on the size and shape of the African public
* Establishment of a supportive 'Network of African Management
Development Institutes (AMDIN).
In addition to this comprehensive programme, South Africa has also
been called upon to provide direct assistance to other countries.
As part of the bilateral agreement with the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC), the South African government has been requested to
provide technical assistance in the arena of governance and public
administration, a welcome change from the tendency of African
governments to draw expertise from countries of the North. The
South African design team visits the DRC next week to define our
programme of support
The cluster is firmly committed to making South African experience
and expertise available to our neighbours, as part of our
commitment to building the African Union. Improved state capacity
across the continent will contribute to poverty alleviation and
enhanced economic opportunities, which is in the collective
interest of the continent. Equally, we believe that South Africa
can benefit from experiences elsewhere in Africa.
Issued by: Ministry of Public Service and Administration
11 February 2004