Launching the charter in Midrand, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the agreement to establish the charter was reached with trade union leaders during wage negotiations last year.
All labour unions represented in the Public Service Coordination Bargaining Council (PSCBC) signed the charter and committed to lead in its implementation.
The charter, which all public servants are expected to sign, also seeks to ensure effective, efficient and responsive public service, among other things.
Sisulu called on public servants to take ownership of the Public Service Charter and lead South Africa to higher productivity.
She said the charter will ensure that the public service is professionalised, trained, capacitated, effective, efficient and development-oriented.
“As government, we are committed to creating the best working conditions to make sure that public servants have the best working infrastructure. We say to our public servants, they must meet and exceed the expectations of the people.
“The absence of consciousness within the public service, which recognises that public servants are there to serve the people and which therefore results in lacklustre performance by public servants in rendering services to the public, is cited as one of the shortcomings.”
Sisulu said the Public Service Charter will serve as a guiding tool for good governance, democracy and sound working relations between the State, public servants, sectors in the civil society and the general citizenry.
She explained that the charter is a statement of intent that enables service beneficiaries to understand what they can expect from the state and forms the basis of engagement between the government, citizens and organs of civil society.
“We are through the charter advancing to a culture where citizens are proactive in enforcing their role in public service delivery,” Sisulu said.
The charter will also commit to:
•Serve the public in an unbiased and impartial manner in order to create confidence in the public service;
•Provide timely services to promote the development and upliftment of all South Africans;
•Respect and protect every person’s dignity and rights as contained in the Constitution;
•Not engage in any transaction or action that is in conflict with or infringes on the execution of official duties;
•Act against fraud, corruption, nepotism, maladministration and any other acts which constitutes an offence; and
•Demonstrating professionalism, competency, excellence, transparency and impartiality in the performance of official duties.
The Batho Pele call center was also launched to get feedback on the implementation of the Charter from members of the public. The number is 0860 428 392.