SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

31 August 2014

South Africa: First Urban Mall Thusong Service Centre to Open

As part of Public Service Month, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will this morning launch the Maponya Thusong Service Centre at the Maponya Mall, in Soweto.

Maponya Mall is home to the first Urban Mall Thusong Service Centre, a one stop shop for various essential services provided by government through the departments of Labour, Home Affairs, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Transport and Finance.

Government adopted the concept of Urban Mall Thusong Service Centres after recognising the need to bring services closer to where people live.

Since the introduction of the centres 15-years ago, 183 centres have been established in 107 local municipalities.

This means that in those communities, they no longer have to travel long distances to obtain government services such as applying for identity documents, birth certificates, UIF or social grants.

Government envisages that more Thusong Service Centres will be linked to malls.

The Deputy President will be supported by Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane, Premier David Makhura and Mayor Parks Tau.

The launch is in line with the Public Service Month - an annual service delivery initiative celebrated in September.

The month seeks to instil and rebuild good ethics, morale and pride in public servants as part of the Batho Pele Revitalisation strategy.

Batho Pele, a Sesotho word which means "People First", is an initiative that was launched in 1997 by government to help transform the public service.

It was developed because democratic South Africa inherited a Public Service that lacked the skills and attitudes to meet the country's developmental challenges.

This year, celebrations will be held under the theme: "Reinventing the way Public Servants Work - Batho Pele".

Government said this theme intertwines to the fact that despite the major strides that have been made since 1994 - to take service to the people, there are still service delivery gaps in achieving an effective, efficient and development oriented public service.

The month will see government pushing and reinstalling Batho Pele to be integral part of the public service. It will see senior managers deployed and making unannounced visits to frontline service delivery points.

The month will also be used to popularise the Public Service Charter, which is part of the measures introduced by government to transform the public service to ensure that public servants deliver appropriate services and fight corruption.

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