Public servants keep the wheels of SA turning during pandemic despite corruption: Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the work done by public servants since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they have kept the country afloat.
This despite some being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, including maladministration, embezzlement and corruption, he wrote in his Monday weekly newsletter.
“At a time when shortcomings in the public service are amplified and bad news falls like an avalanche, we acknowledge our public servants and their service.
“While much is made of those who are errant and unprincipled, the vast majority of public servants understand the weight of responsibility their positions entail, and discharge their duties faithfully.”
The tribute comes as the country celebrates Public Service Month. He applauded their service delivery contribution to the country’s fight against the pandemic which had demonstrated SA still had capable and committed public servants who serve diligently.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, civil servants have displayed courage and resilience in discharging their duties, often under the most difficult of circumstances. Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, they have kept the wheels of our country turning and have ensured service delivery continued.”
Ramaphosa singled out frontline health personnel, police officers, teachers and government officials for their resilience in rendering services. He also acknowledged some challenges with which the country grapples.
“We have learnt many lessons from the pandemic. Covid-19 has exposed the chasms between the planning and execution of public service delivery, and the reality of government departments still working in silos when they should be working together in a seamless, development-orientated manner.”
The president acknowledged more needed to be done to root out the ill in the sector.
“Though we must continue in earnest with our task of rooting out those whose conduct makes them ill-suited for public service, we must at the same time acknowledge the vast majority are exemplary civil servants. They have kept us going.”
SA was on course with developing a new integrated model for service delivery, he added.
“We have set ourselves the challenge of building a capable, ethical state. We remain firmly on course towards professionalising the public service and transforming it into a group of men and women who are able and committed to serving our people and their interests.
“We call on public servants to be part of this process by identifying ways in which we can realise a public service focused on meeting the needs and advancing the interests of citizens. Our commitment to building a state that is ethical, capable and, above all, developmental, necessitates that civil servants see themselves not merely as state functionaries but as development workers.”