ActionSA Unveils Comprehensive Interventions to Professionalize the Public Service

In envisioning good governance, accountability, and transparency in South Africa’s public service; a high degree of professionalism, care and a sense of duty must be engrained in all public servants. This can effectively materialise when the country’s public service is a politically neutral entity that is responsible for implementing government policies and delivering services to the public.

Though, political affiliations can still play a role in the appointment of government officials in some cases, they must be managed and staffed by highly qualified, ethical and committed public servants under the banner of the following core principles:

  • The government should operate free from political interference.
  • We must modernise and streamline our state institutions led by capable and service oriented public servants.
  • The state’s ultimate goal should be to provide the services and foster the environment necessary for socio-economic prosperity With the ultimate goal of socio-economic justice.

In recognition of the challenges and our core principles our three policy levers have outlined the tools necessary to address structural weaknesses currently present in our Public Sector,

These levers are:

Institutional Strengthening to ensure that institutions are autonomous, transparent, and accountable, with legal and financial support to facilitate efficiency.

It is our intent to entrench protections against political influence and interference to create institutions capable of working together to achieve South Africa’s socio- economic goals

We will propose Government reform as in intervention to establish a governance framework for state institutions that prioritises the developmental role of government by focusing on customer-centric service delivery with pride by independent and accountable state organs.

Public Service Capacitation aims to enhance performance through effective Human Resources Practices and a skilled, committed Human Capital.

In response to the underperforming state of our institutions, ActionSA proposes reducing the Public Sector Wage Bill by eliminating inefficient senior and middle-level managers. Despite the existing incapacity within our state institutions and government departments, our civil service remains bloated. Gone are the days when government departments used to employ Cadres who earned six-figure salaries while producing little to no value.

So, Actioners, after we eliminate the inefficiencies, let’s get to work and:

–          Increase the number of Police Officers

–          Increase the number of Teachers

–          Increase the number of Nurses

Let’s not stop there; let’s also strive for:

–          Improved Salaries for Police Officers

–          Improved Salaries for Teachers

–          Improved Salaries for Nurses

Our proposed interventions in the draft policy aim to enforce limits on remuneration-to-expenditure ratios, preventing bloated staff structures across government departments. This ensures that the majority of remuneration is allocated to frontline workers rather than management structures.

Corporate Governance involves enhancing cooperative governance, particularly with regard to empowering local governments. This is a crucial aspect of establishing a foundation for service delivery excellence.

As detailed in our draft proposal, ActionSA believes that government functions, especially those related to service delivery, should be decentralized and entrusted to efficient provincial and local governments that are closer to the people they serve. However, this decentralization should be preceded by institutional strengthening and independent capacity assessments to ensure improved service delivery.

We endorse the decentralisation of functions and advocate for capable municipalities, the private sector, and civil society to assume more responsibilities traditionally carried out by the state, as long as this devolution occurs within a clear framework.

Our policy proposes a transfer of additional powers and authority to local governments in areas such as sustainable service delivery, social development, public transport, and law enforcement.

Civic Engagement involves actively promoting the participation of citizens and civil society organizations in the planning, execution, and oversight of public services.

Our primary goal is to empower our voters, enabling them to make informed decisions and to hold their elected representatives accountable, thereby promoting more efficient governance.

To enhance civic participation in the political process and encourage constructive interactions with the government, we must address the trust deficit between the state and its citizens.

To achieve this, ActionSA proposes to intervene through Voter Education, which entails offering comprehensive civic education programs. These programs will educate residents about the significance of their vote, how to engage in government processes, hold government officials and elected representatives accountable, and ultimately increase voter participation.

Additionally, our Community Engagement initiative aims to proactively involve communities served by government entities and departments in the governance and service delivery processes. This empowerment will enable our communities to hold civil servants and elected officials accountable.

As ActionSA strives towards our vision of a prosperous South Africa, we must ensure that the country is served by an efficient, streamlined, and politically impartial state. This state should deliver high-quality services to its residents in a cost-effective and timely manner.