Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo urged African Public Service Commissioners to redouble their efforts contributing towards promoting good governance and excellence in the African continent.
Speaking at the fifth General Assembly of the Association of African Public Services Commissions (AAPSCOMs) in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg today, Minister Dlodlo said solutions to challenges facing the continent lie with the structures like the AAPSCOMs, which as a network of expertise, has the express purpose to promote good governance and public service excellence in the continent.
“I have no doubt in my mind that as experts in public administration, your deliberations during your three-day meeting will without doubt provide solutions to some of the public service challenges that the continent faces.
“We know that good governance is not easy, and tends to become a nebulous concept, as it embraces many concepts of importance. Notions like the struggle against corruption, greater accountability for poor management of public funds and vigilance against human rights abuses can only be attained when there is competent management of a country’s resources and affairs in a manner that is transparent and accountable.
"Where there is corruption, wastage of public funds, lack of accountability and human rights abuses, development will suffer. If we were to take the argument that effective service delivery is the outcome of good governance, which can best be promoted through sound oversight, we would be on the right track,” she said.
The Association of African Public Services Commissions comprises of Public Services Commissions across the African Continent. Its primary purpose is to collaborate and share best practice among Public Service Commissions in the continent in order to promote good governance and service delivery.
The Fifth General assembly which is attended by delegates from seven different countries (Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia) convened under the theme: “Building and strengthening the capacity of the Public Service Commissions to meet the challenges of public administration and service delivery in Africa”.
Minister Dlodlo further pledged her government’s support and commitment towards the work of the AAPSComs and that such bodies need to integrate their work with the initiatives of the African Union. “We need to find a way through which we can integrate this important work with other institutions in the African Union such as the APRM program or the Open Government Program initiatives” she said.
In this way, the Minister said the impact of good governance efforts would be huge and that the role of AAPSCOMS would be much more visible in the mission to make public service more accountable, efficient and transparent. She added that delegates should emerge from the General Assembly with practical measures that will contribute towards the effectiveness of the public service in the continent.
She said South Africa has similar challenges to those of other African counties, however, she said a critical success factor in our National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2030, is the existence of a developmental state that is cable of tackling the root causes of poverty, unemployment and inequality across all spheres government.
Education and Health
The Minister said a number of countries in Africa are also playing roles that are more important in the allocation of funds towards health and education and these actions are resulting in significant improvements in child mortality, primary enrolment rates and access to life-saving medicines.
In South Africa, education is an apex priority of Government’s pro-poor policy. The South African Government took a policy decision to subsidize free higher education for the poor and working class undergraduate students.
General Assembly Elections
The Fifth General Assembly of AAPSCOMS will also be used for the appointment of its Office Bearers which is the President and Vice Presidents. South Africa has held the Presidency through the Public Service Commission since 2009 and will be stepping down at this Fifth General Assembly.
Issued by Department of Public Service and Administration