Public Protector calls for enhancement of citizen servants not government servants culture

Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela has called on all public servants to enhance the culture of being servants of the citizens and not servants of government to improve on productivity in the public sector. She added that citizens were not customers but shareholders who deserved more from those they have entrusted with power to manage their affairs and resources.

She was addressing delegates at the Government Summit on Leadership at CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria on Wednesday. The summit brought under one roof government leaders including Cabinet Ministers, Directors-General and Heads of Departments, with the aim of finding a way to improve on productivity in public sector.

The Public Protector commended public servants who executed their responsibilities diligently and urged those who were still lagging behind to pull up their socks. She denounced those who painted all public servants with the same brush.

“For many civil servants, the occupation is not just to a way to earn a living and to make ends meet. The way some officials make great sacrifices to perform their duties with diligence, cannot be procured by money,” she said.

The Public Protector said it was wrong for officials to brand complaining people as a ‘complaining public’ when the public exacted accountability in the face of poor or non-delivery as promises have been made to them directly or in the Constitution.

She said it was important for high-level public service decision-makers to continuously engage in dialogues leading the public service to higher productivity and ultimately efficient and responsive service delivery.

The Public Protector also urged organs of state to make an effort to understand the constitutional imperatives of institutions such as her office, which are required to provide remedial action for prejudice resulting from improper administrative action.

She further called on organs of state to show willingness to take responsibility for findings of maladministration and to reverse the consequences and not to try to provide justification using information from experts and legal advisors to avoid compliance.

The Public Protector called on public servants to let the Constitution guide their daily decisions to ensure that state is accountable, operates with integrity and is responsive to the needs of the people.

For more information, contact:

Kgalalelo Masibi
Public Protector South Africa
012 366 7006
079 507 0399

Published Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2013