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Attuned to service

To all public servants – teachers, nurses, municipal workers,

and officials – at all government departments, l thank you for your service.

Happy Public Service Month to all our hard-working public servants.

So, what exactly is this public service, public servant or civil servant that we speak of?

Well, a servant is hired to help provide a service by whoever employs them. Right? In the case of a public servant, the public is the ultimate employer.

 The servant serves the public and is paid to do so. Public servants are the guardians of our Constitution.

If you are a public servant, you are there to serve all citizens without fear or favour.

You do this by making citizens’ rights, privileges

and benefits accessible as outlined in the founding provisions of the Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996).

This can only be achieved by working within clear and specifi c guidelines.

These guidelines include the Batho Pele principles, which are aimed at creating a better life for all South African citizens by putting people fi rst

. The Batho Pele principles are displayed at hospitals, government departments, clinics, municipalities and other government premises.

 Pragmatic solutions Sometimes the desired service is not achieved to the expected standards.

Sometimes it is achieved, but there is little appreciation or acknowledgement of the service rendered.

While the public service wage bill has grown over time, the challenges our government faces remain stubborn and in some cases continue to grow, especially with growing unemployment and higher costs of living.

It is wise for all of us to notice that the challenges we face require a public service that is able to adjust, adapt and remain agile in fi nding pragmatic solutions to the challenges.

Creating a culture of service in our public service is vital for an emerging economy like ours.

The work of public servants may look simple in a transactional sense of buying a service.

But it is not always that simple. Being a public servant is not like any other job – or at least it should not be.

It requires the public servant to be attuned to serving the public and to be selfl ess in providing that service.

It is close to the well-known belief that old-school dedicated nurses and teachers do not just care for patients and nurture school children, they have a calling to do so. lt is almost like a divine undertaking.

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