September marks Public Service Month (PSM) in South Africa as an integrated strategic national event in the Department of Public Service and Administration calendar.

  1. What Is Public Service Month, And Why Should You Care

The Public Service Month serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities and look at the impact the government has, especially around service delivery issues. All the national and provincial departments must participate and put in place activities and campaigns to take service delivery to higher productivity.

  1. How Does Public Service Affect Productivity

The public sector in South Africa faces many challenges, including a lack of capacity and trying to balance service delivery with difficult global economic conditions. This is forcing both public and private sector organisations to refocus spending priorities to maximise efficiencies.

Continuous productivity growth is a significant determinant of sustained output growth. Consequently, it can lead to employment creation, higher labour compensation, improvements in living standards and alleviation of poverty and inequality.

The measurement of productivity trends and growth is vital for monitoring and evaluating productivity efficiency performance on a continuous improvement basis and assessing the economic sectors and industries within South Africa.

  1. Why Are People So Drawn To Public Service Opportunities

Public sector productivity is as crucial to the economic performance of a country as that of a private sector. Here are three main reasons why public sector productivity is crucial:

  • First, the public sector is a significant employer.
  • Second, the public sector is a major provider of services in the economy, particularly business services (affecting the cost of inputs) and social services (affecting labour quality).
  • Third, the public sector is a consumer of tax resources. Changes in public sector productivity may have significant implications for the economy.

Therefore, it is also necessary and important for government to consider public sector productivity at the forefront, particularly the challenges public service delivery is faced with.

  1. What Can You Do During September To Make A Difference In Your Community

Public servants are expected to:

  • Roll up their sleeves and spring clean their service delivery points;
  • Visit schools, hospitals, police stations and courts, talk to citizens, mediate the delivery of services and getting things done;
  • Unblock the bottlenecks and red-tape in the delivery of services;
  • Ensure the systems and infrastructure are working and use public resources efficiently to the benefit of the citizens; and
  • Recommit themselves to belong, care and serve the people.

However, these expectations are not only for public servants, but you as a citizen can also participate in these activities and campaigns.

  1. Resources For More Information About Public Service And Volunteering Opportunities In Your Area

Approach, Productivity SA, established in terms of section 31 (1) of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014 as a juristic person with a mandate to promote employment growth and productivity. We can assist in addressing productivity challenges in the South Africa Public Sector.

We urge every government department to take productivity as an essential tool to assist our government in inspiring and leading a better South Africa.

The Department of Public Service and Administration offers valuable insights for legislation, documentation, projects, etc. View their public service programmes here. Other related links worth following are Public Service Charter and Batho Pele – people first.