Deputy Chair, Minister, hon Deputy Minister and members, I want to take this opportunity in Youth Month to salute the youth of this country, and thank those young people who have contributed to ensuring that democracy is restored in our country by voting for the mighty ANC in the local government elections.
One of the biggest challenges facing this country is corruption within the Public Service. Corruption is widespread and beginning to take the shape and size of organised crime. Yearly, billions of rands are taken from government coffers by these criminals. Corruption is counter-revolutionary and every disciplined citizen of this country must take a stand against this disgusting behaviour by exposing and reporting it wherever it occurs.
I am delighted that the department established a special anticorruption unit in November and it should continue fighting corruption more vigorously. We remain resolute in our determination to fight corruption in society as the ANC. Corruption is an enemy of our cherished historical values of serving the people with dedication, selflessness and the highest standards of integrity. We are committed to acting against the current rampant and selfish quest for personal wealth which undermines the values of the kind of democratic society we are trying to build.
The first attribute of a developmental state under our conditions should be its strategic capacity: popular legitimacy deriving from its democratic nature and approach of people-centred and people-driven change. In this regard, it should be able to lead in the definition of a common national agenda and in mobilising all of society to take part in its implementation.
We maintain that the ongoing transformation of the state is meant to ensure that these capacities are attained and the process of identifying weaknesses and correcting them will be intensified. This includes engendering new doctrines, culture and practices, as well as ensuring that the state institutions reflect the demographics of the country, including appropriate representation of women and people with disabilities. This applies to the Public Service in its totality as well as to specialised institutions such as the judiciary, the police, intelligence agencies, and the Defence Force. All these organs should serve the people in an efficient and impartial manner.
The community development workers, CDWs, are the heroes of government and must be recognised as such. One of the structures that assist the CDWs is the Thusong service centres. These establishments bring government departments to South Africans' front door. They are vital for service delivery in the Public Service. Government's vision for the Thusong Service Centres is to provide every South African citizen with access to information and services within their place of residence and in each local municipality by 2014, with the purpose of improving the quality of their lives through integrated service delivery.
The Thusong Service Centres serve not only the community through the tireless efforts of CDWs, but also the efforts of ward committees and councillors. The department needs to take a serious look at these centres and see how they can be improved upon in order to bring more government services to the people.
With regard to the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, Palama, some government departments have admittedly attracted negative attention, as have some of our municipalities, especially the smaller, more isolated ones in the rural areas. These circumstances have set an urgent agenda for continuing Public Service improvement and the corresponding and required public training and management development.
For the Public Service to respond adequately to all these issues raised in the so-called service-delivery-related protests that we are experiencing, there is a need for the public servants to relate perfectly to a demanding environment. Palama therefore needs to be more focused and an appropriately resourced organisation with people that are key to playing its role in developing the public sector cadre required by the South African developmental state.
During the 52nd national congress in Polokwane, we resolved that we should continue to lead and drive the process of unification of the administration in the three spheres of government into a single public sector service. Uppermost on the government's agenda for the ongoing social and economic upliftment and transformation of our society is improvement in the delivery of basic and other services to the people of South Africa.
Currently, delivery is hampered by weaknesses in numerous areas, including, amongst other things, national frameworks and policies that do not extend to local government in areas of service delivery and public administration and management, marked differences in remuneration and condition of services in the Public Service, and local governments which make mobility and the transferral of functions difficult.
The single Public Service is based on the principle that the institutions across government - whether local, provincial or national - that comprise the machinery of state have to work together to more effectively fulfil the needs of South African society. This means that their structures must be aligned and structured in such a way that there are no barriers to co- operation.
The single Public Service initiative seeks to ensure greater alignment across the three spheres of government in the areas of human resource management and development, service delivery, information and communication technology, anticorruption and the design of framework legislation. As the ANC, we are delighted to note that the department will commence with the implementation of the process map to Parliament, which includes the review of the draft public administration management Bill for alignment with the preferred legislative option. We support the Vote. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]