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General: Public service training found wanting?

Publish date: 09 October 2019
Issue Number: 4799
Diary: Legalbrief Today

Public service trainers and human resource development managers need to ‘empower themselves and be grounded in batho pele (people first) principles and values and have a firm conceptual grasp of the South African Constitution as a founding document that articulates the principles that guide public administration’. Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch, notes Public Service & Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu made this observation in an address to delegates at a recent public service trainers forum conference in Midrand. In the Minister’s view, only then will government’s trainers and human resource development practitioners be able to ‘make a meaningful impact’ in their efforts to ‘capacitate the public service’.

Mchunu’s comments tend to suggest that they have been found wanting and that ‘purposeful training and development interventions’ are not the norm. Emphasising the pivotal role of the National School of Government in ‘refining the public service’ and ‘restoring the credibility of public institutions’, the Minister made it very clear that, while the task of ‘institutionalising’ integrity, transparency, accountability and responsiveness is ‘huge’, the sixth administration’s commitment to honing the skills of public servants so that they ‘fully support’ its ‘developmental agenda’ remains ‘unequivocal’. ‘We cannot fail our people,’ he said.