Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi says human resource development practitioners in the public sector must upskill public servants to ensure improved service delivery.
Minister Muthambi was speaking at the launch of the European Union (EU)-National School of Government (NSG) Public Service Training and Capacity Building Programme on the 19th Public Sector Trainer’s Forum Conference on Monday.
The EU-NSG support programme aims to improve service delivery in the public sector by focusing on strengthening information, communication and technology (ICT) systems for the NSG, improving research and curriculum development and improving training and development. The programme also aims to strengthen the NSG strategic partnerships at domestic, regional and international levels.
The Minister urged the conference to deliberate on practical solutions that would ease challenges between training and unemployment.
“Our higher education and training system is currently producing a high number of unemployed and unemployable graduates. This situation must be reversed. In the African continent, approximately 12 million young people enter the job market each year, while the formal private sector is too small to absorb the growing labour force,” the Minister said.
Partnerships to strengthen African governance
According to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), the EU-NSG support programme will not only impact on the South African public service but the public service of other countries in Africa as well.
“The prosperity of the African continent and the well-being of its citizens is a crucial aspect in the context of people-centred development. Agenda 2063, as developed by the African Union Commission (AUC), envisions that ‘capable democratic and developmental states and institutions will characterise the continent’,” Minister Muthambi said.
As part of efforts to improve the public service, South Africa’s development roadmap, the National Development Plan (NDP), notes that South Africa’s global competitiveness can be forged through international partnerships.
“In order to enhance its role to contribute towards African capacity development, the NSG, through this EU programme, has already started to forge these kinds of strategic international partnerships,” said Minister Muthambi.
Established partnerships include a partnership with the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) of France, which will result in the development of an African Governance Programme (AGP). The programme will establish a post-graduate qualification that will teach governance in Africa, focusing on policies, treaties, regional integration and peer review mechanisms for good governance.
The African Management Development Institutes’ Network (AMDIN), which is a network of government Management Development Institutes (MDIs), is another partnership established to support the EU-NSG programme. AMDIN was established to create a platform to promote mutual partnership, peer support and collaboration in developing leadership and management capacity in response to the needs of the African people and their governments.
Investment in for the EU-NSG programme
Joint efforts between the EU, National Treasury and the NSG have seen an amount 10 million euros to be invested by the EU in this programme.
The three-day 19th National Public Sector Trainers Forum (PSTF) conference will see attendees engage on key policy and implementation matters that affect the public sector.
Key focus areas include advancing the development and growth of Human Resource Development (HRD) practitioners. Awareness of quality HRD standards, platforms for discussion, implementation and possible review of HRD frameworks.