The Provincial Government dedicated a special evening to appreciate the extraordinary achievements of some exceptional men and women and teams in the public service last Wednesday evening.
“These are the men, women and teams that always go beyond the ordinary call of duty. Batho Pele principles are about putting people first in everything we do in public service and the central idea behind the concept is to ensure the transformation of public service to be effective in delivering services which meet the basic needs of the people.
“In other words, the improvement of service delivery is the ultimate goal of the transformation of public service. I can say it without fear of being contradicted that the men and women who constitute our public servants have personified what Batho Pele is about,” acting Premier and Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC, Seaparo Sekoati said in his address.
He added that these principles are based on the Constitution and encapsulate the promotion and maintenance of a high standard of professional ethics; ensure that services are provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias; that resources are utilised efficiently, economically and effectively; that the public is encouraged to participate in policy-making and that the public service is accountable, transparent and development-oriented.
He said the teams comprise men and women whose primary motivation is nothing but the ever burning desire to serve people effectively and with diligence and recognising these men and women speaks to government’s commitment to building an effective, efficient and responsive public service.
“We know that as public servants and various teams within the public service you are confronted with a number of challenges that undermines your ability to serve to the best of your abilities. However, we are inspired by your never-say-die attitude,” he told the nominees, adding that government relies on their creativity and critical thinking for them to do their job of taking services to the people.
“Part of the qualities we require from you as Public Servants are integrity, honesty, the absolute refusal to tolerate corruption or dishonesty in any form and at any level. We also expect you to adopt high standards of personal behaviour,” Sekoati said.
He said by showcasing and rewarding government teams for excellent service and recognising best practices in implementing the Service Charter and Batho Pele Principles and programmes promote a new culture of professionalism, dedication, integrity and effective service, encourage continuous delivery of quality services that are responsive to the people’s needs, establish an open platform for the public servants and the citizens in general to gauge government’s performance in rendering quality and better services and facilitate a culture of continuous improvement, innovation and excellence in the public service.
The winners of the recent Premier’s Awards are:
Best Innovative Team: The category recognises creativity among employees of government as well as the development of new and creative approaches or ideas in rendering service delivery in the province.
The winner is the Agriculture and Rural Development unit from Towoomba research farm near Bela-Bela where they run a rainwater harvest project as well as a conservation for crop, range and productivity pilot project and helped most families in the area to produce their own crops. The runners up are the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs’ (Coghsta) Human Resources Community Development Learnerships and Internships unit followed by the Nylsvley Nature Reserve rangers unit.
The Best Support Team or Unit of the Year: Government recognises and awards the team or unit that enables the service delivery institution or team to render effective and efficient services.
The winner is the Department of Transport’s Public Debt and Revenue Management /Collection unit who is responsible for improving collection strategies in the Capricorn district and collecting more revenue than any other district for three consecutive years despite increased annual targets. Coghsta’s team responsible for information technology was in second place and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure’s Fleet Transport Management unit third.
Best Service Delivery Team/Institution of the Year in the province. Institutions or teams that render direct services to citizens are recognised and awarded.
The honours went to the Marulaneng Auction facility of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. An auction and dipping facility that serves farmers from 21 surrounding villages. The Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure’s Skeiding Cost Centre for the Blouberg mobile drainage team and the Department of Social Development’s Elim Hlanganani Home for the Aged where vulnerable children and the aged are cared for, shared the second position.
The Best Frontline Team or Individual of the year: Albert Morewa from Fetakgomo Municipality won the platinum award, Reiloe Meso from Blouberg Municipality the gold and while Phillemon Kola and Molefe Mamabolo from the Department of Transport and community Safety took home the silver.
The Premier’s Special Awards went to potato farmer Solly Ratjomane, Freddy Maake, a Bafana Bafana supporter, Thomas Chauke, a musician and Victoria Mosoma, a budding young scientist.
Story & photos: NELIE ERASMUS