Africa Public Service Day
Africa Public Service Day is the day on which we honour all the many women and men whose responsibility it is to serve the people of Africa. It is an important day on our calendar and one we observe in the Western Cape.
The South African National Cabinet has moved the official celebration of Africa Public Service Day to Friday, 22 June.
The Pan African Conference of Ministers in 2001 declared 23 June as Africa Public Service Day. However, this year the 23rd of June would be on a Saturday.
In 2001, Ministers of Civil Service met in Namibia for the third Biennial Pan African Conference. They adopted an Africa Public Service Charter, whose aim was to set standards that would restore prestige and dignity to the public service and raise performance levels and competence in governments.
The principles embodied in the Charter are compatible with the Batho Pele approach as well as other key government transformation objectives and priorities.
The Purpose of Africa Public Service Day is to:
- Bring public servants together to commemorate the value and virtue of service delivery improvement to the communities they serve.
- Consider the working conditions of men and women who devote their lives to serve the public.
- Encourage positive interest by citizens in the work of public administration.
- Reward good initiatives.
- Promote professionalism.
The Charter defines a framework to guide the public services in Africa in taking such legislative, regulatory, technical and practical measures as may be required to create favourable conditions for the proper functioning of the public service and improve the quality of its services.
It states and defines the principles and rules of conduct for public service employees, who will foster a neutral and stable environment conducive to the strengthening of ethical values and the image of the public service, as well as the professionalism of its employees.
These principles and rules of conduct are equality of treatment of citizens, neutrality in service delivery along the objectives of the government of the day, legality in terms of administrative decisions conforming to laws and regulations, continuity in terms of ongoing service delivery to customers, proximity and accessibility of services , participation, consultation and mediation, quality, effectiveness and efficiency, evaluation of services, transparency and information,speed and responsiveness, and reliability and confidentiality of information concerning citizens .
The relations between the public service administration and its employees shall be based on professional merit and respect for human rights. Each public service must also see to the career development prospects of public service employees while ensuring the development of human resources and their self-fulfilment. These must be reflected in recruitment and promotion, mobility and redeployment, staff training and development , motivation of staff, remuneration and physical safety, working conditions and security of tenure.
The fundamental values of a public service employee shall also be based on a public service rooted in professionalism and ethics. The rules of conduct for public service employees shall be part of an integrated anti-corruption system.
The Charter also expresses the will of African states and underscores their political and moral commitment to improve the services provided to citizens and ensure the efficient use of the resources allocated for such services.