PSM June 2024

Page 1

UKZN Professor Ncoza Dlova

recognised for her sterling contribution in her field

Gautrain Management taking smart mobility to the next level

Youth Month

Celebrating and empowering young people since 1994


Contents: June 2024 8


8. Conversations with leaders

Gautrain Management Agency CEO Tshepo Kgobe is accelerating inclusive smart mobility

10. Women in the public sector

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Medical School Dean Professor Ncoza Dlova is winning international recognition for her research

14. Trailblazer

UKZN’s Luthando Molefe is earning his stripes in transformational education

16. Profiles in leadership

Dr Phil Mjwara reflects on his journey in transforming science and innovation

20. Office of the President

Voters prove that our democracy is strong and robust



22. Beneficiaries of government’s youth empowerment programmes grateful for opportunities

Young South Africans share their experiences of working in the Public Service

24. 30 years of democracy: The electrification of South African households

Achieving universal access to electricity

26. Democracy has boosted South Africa’s brand globally for the past 30 years

Acting Director-General Nomonde Mnukwa

Acting Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services Terry Vandayar

Deputy Director-General: Intergovernmental Coordination & Stakeholder Management Michael Currin

Managing Editor Tshepo Nkosi

News Editor Miriam Mokoena GCIS Photographic Unit Elmond Jiyane Ntswe Mokoena Siyabulela Duda Kopano Tlape Busisiwe Malungwane

Deputy Director-General: Content Processing & Dissemination Regomoditswe Mavimbela Head of Editorial and Production Zanele Mngadi

Production Assistants Jauhara Khan | Nonjabulo Ntuli

Graphic Designer Tendai Gonese

South Africa has affirmed itself as a symbol of hope and unity in the world

28. The role of communicators in a developmental state

Effective communication contributes to building a more cohesive society, writes SANRAL’s Vusi Mona

30. “Significant progress” recorded in Operation Vulindela reform initiative

DG in the Presidency Phindile Baleni says South Africa is making strides in overcoming economic challenges

32. General Household Survey 2023: Key findings

Tracking development and service delivery gaps

Public Sector Manager • June 2024 34. Grooming and style Style yourself elegantly this winter 36. Food and wine Chorizo chickpea soup served with parmesan baguette 38. Travel Visit the Golconda Fort in India to learn a part of Indian history LIFESTYLE
22 34
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Pretoria, South

30 Years of Freedom: empowering youth since 1994

At the advent of democracy in South Africa, the nation was profoundly divided along social, political, economic and spatial lines, isolated globally and burdened with numerous discriminatory laws against black people. This impacted the majority youth population adversely. Before 1994, South African youth were perceived inconsistently, seen by some as liberation heroes and by others as impulsive adversaries of apartheid. This perception shifted in 1994 with former President

Nelson Mandela’s recognition of young people as a vital national asset, stating their immense needs and crucial role in reconstruction and development.

Since 1994, South Africa has undergone significant demographic changes, with the population growing from 40.6 million in 1996 to 62 million in 2022, and about 21% of this population being young people aged 14 to 35. Government established several institutions to serve youth, including the Na-

tional Youth Commission (1996), Umsobomvu Youth Fund (2001), National Youth Development unit in The Presidency (2005), and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA, 2008). The South African Youth Council was also formed to unify youth-led and youth-serving civil organizations.

To further youth development, government enacted various legislation, policies, and frameworks. The National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 emphasises active youth involvement in establishing a transformative state to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality. This includes the National Youth Policy (2009 – 2014, 2015 – 2020 and 2020 – 2030), the National Youth Service Framework and the Integrated Youth Development Plan, which guide stakeholders in delivering youth development services.

Several interventions have improved the lives of the youth – the Employment Youth Accord, Employment Tax Incentive, National Youth Service Programme, Presidential Youth Employment Intervention and support for

enterprise and cooperatives. Educational initiatives have promoted the science, technology, engineering and math fields, increased school enrolments and enhanced early childhood development from 40% in 2002 to 90% in 2021. About 60% of black learners now complete Grade 12 and 51% of previously underperforming schools now see students achieving Bachelors passes. Nutritional support has expanded, with 84% of children receiving free meals daily and school infrastructure has improved, alongside digital skills training in coding, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Bursaries such as Fundza Lushaka and the #FeesMustFall movement have advocated for accessible education, leading to a significant government funding allocation. Currently, 75% of learners in public schools do not pay fees, receive free learning materials, and 60% of learners in no-fee schools are provided with free transport. Over 90% of learners with disabilities now attend school.

Healthcare access has also improved, especially for rural

FEATURE MINISTER'S MESSAGE 4 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Photos: GCIS
Minister Dlamini Zuma

and underprivileged communities, with new clinics and hospitals, comprehensive sexual education, and public health campaigns against diseases like HIV and AIDS, and tuberculosis. Social cohesion efforts include strengthening community engagement, promoting equality through sport, culture, arts and music.

Between 2019 and 2024, the NYDA supported over 100 000 youth with non-financial interventions and more than 10 000 with financial support. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a relief programme aided 1 000 distressed youth-owned enterprises. The NYDA partnerships facilitated the creation and sus-

tenance of over 32 000 jobs and supported 9 977 youth-owned enterprises with grant funding. Additionally, 114 049 young people received non-financial business development support. Despite this progress, persistent challenges remain, such as high unemployment rates, increased poverty and a widening inequality gap. Youth unemployment was 53.2% according to the 1996 National Census. Youth entrepreneurship is critical for development and job creation, yet participation remains low. From 2010 to 2014, youth entrepreneurship in South Africa increased from 6% to only 12.8%, the lowest in Africa. Additionally, social ills such as crime,

teenage pregnancies, substance abuse and poor physical and mental health continue to affect youth negatively.

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and the NYDA hosted successful BRICS Youth Summits and BRICS Ministers responsible for Youth Development Meetings in 2018 and 2023. In 2023, the BRICS Youth Council was established to guide the development of young people among BRICS nations.

Efforts will continue to accelerate initiatives addressing youth needs, focusing primarily on reducing the high unemployment rate through demand-led skills development. The Deputy

President launched the South African National Service Institute to deliver the reimagined National Service, aiming to create hundreds of thousands of opportunities to tackle the unemployment crisis and meet the targets of the NDP.

As we celebrate 30 years of freedom and democracy, we can take pride in the strides we have made in empowering our youth. The journey has not been without its challenges, but the resilience and determination of our young people continue to inspire us. Looking ahead, we remain committed to building on these achievements, creating an environment where all young South Africans can thrive and contribute to a prosperous, inclusive and democratic society. Together, let us continue to invest in our youth, for they are not only the leaders of tomorrow but also the driving force of today. Their empowerment is the bedrock of our nation’s progress and the key to unlocking a brighter future for all. ❖

5 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

Building a capable, ethical and developmental state

As we come to the end of the Sixth Administration and begin a new administration, it is important for us, as implementers of government programmes, to reflect on both the achievements and the areas that still need improvement in delivering services to the people of South Africa. This will enable us to strengthen areas that are lagging while using success stories to improve on delivery.

As part of the 30 Years of Freedom commemorations, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has launched the Towards a 30 Year Review of South Africa’s

Democracy Report. This report provides a detailed and critical examination of the country’s democratic journey and gives an important guide for the work that still needs to be done to build a truly united, free and equal society. It also reflects on the extent to which government policies and programmes have succeeded in improving the quality of livelihoods for citizens and delivering on the promise of a better life for all.

One of the reviewed areas, which is an important aspect of our work is on building a capable and developmental state. According to the National

Development Plan 2030 (NDP), to achieve the aspiration of a capable and developmental state, the country needs to, among other things, enhance parliament’s oversight role, stabilise the political administrative interface, professionalise the public service, upgrade skills and improve coordination.

The aim of building a capable and developmental state is to deepen democracy and maintain political and economic stability and effectiveness of regulatory instruments; continuously improve and champion good governance for effective delivery of services, implement

national priorities and deal with corruption; transform key institutions to align with constitutional values and principles; and improve the standards of living and meet the basic needs of South Africans, including housing, electricity, water and sanitation.

The review reflects on some of the achievements made over the years and as noted by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the launch, “It will assist us as we work to achieve the vision of the NDP by 2030 and as we plan for the decades ahead”. Government has managed to achieve many of its targets

Nomonde Mnukwa, GCIS Acting Director-General.

under this priority and continues to create programmes that will ensure that this is achieved by 2030. The report notes that during the first decade of democracy, government’ s main focus was on establishing democratic institutions, building a unitary state with new values and culture, driving fundamental transformation through the Reconstruction and Development Programme, fostering reconciliation and nation-building, and reintegrate the country internationally.

According to the report, there has been improvement in the composition of institutions that support our democracy such as parliament, the judiciary, the Public Service, armed forces, the police and in many local councils in terms of race, gender and age. The report also highlights the improvement of standards of living, meeting basic needs, repealing old laws and enacting transversal legislation governing the Public Service, financial management, and intergovernmental relations as having progressed since the onset of democracy.

Other achievements highlighted in the report are:

• Integrating public participation into core parliamentary processes through initia-

tives such as “Taking Parliament to the People”.

• Establishing public sector operating models, including the South African Revenue Service, Auditor-General of South Africa, Development Bank of Southern Africa,

Rand Water and Operation

ning and spatial planning frameworks.

• Elevating institutions to fight corruption to a wholeof-society effort through the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and related actions.


• Evolution of the system of development planning, including the NDP and medium term, annual plan-

• Government’s capacity to mobilise the all-of-society response against the COVID-19 pandemic. The report further states that government policy choices are

on the right track, “the current focus of the NDP remains highly relevant for the South African society, including the various progressive legislation, policies and programmes. There is much to build on towards the full realisation of a fundamental societal transformation as envisaged at the onset of democracy”.

With six years to go until 2030, the report points out that there is still a chance to meet the set targets for developing a developmental and capable state. Recommendations include developing the impact of stateowned enterprises; improving governance and fiscal sustainability of local government; prioritising the reform of the public procurement system; advancing digital transformation and modernisation; developing disaster risk reforms and rapid response services for speedy interventions; restoring human dignity and prioritising the professionalisation of the public sector and place the right people with the necessary skills in appropriate positions at all times.

This report is one of the many resources and references we have at our disposal. Let us embrace them and use them as guidance to achieve the NDP targets and build a South Africa we are all proud of. ❖

7 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Image : DIRCO

Gautrain accelerating inclusive smart mobility

After 11 years of successive clean audits, the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) is about to tread unchartered waters.

Manning the voyage will be its freshly minted Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tshepo Kgobe. The GMA is nothing new to him. He was part of a team of engineers that pioneered the 80-kilometre high-speed express commuter rail system

when it was still an idea in 2005. It has railway lines with 10 stations, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport.

“I was one of the first 10 to 20 engineers in the space,” he revealed during a recent interview with Public Sector Manager magazine.

He left the project two years later to spread his tentacles as an engineer. It was not until 2014

that he returned to the entity as a senior executive. Before his recent appointment, he held the role of Chief Operating Officer, a position he was entrusted with in 2020.

When the contract was concluded, he left the project to pursue other business interests.

“Over the past 10 years, I have personally restructured the business three times. We are about to reorganise it again to make it

a bit more efficient” he said. What that does, he said, is build the institutional memory, allowing proper handover to new management when it is time for leadership to move – an aspect that, he noted, lacks in several state-owned entities that find themselves in dire straits.

“I have a great team [which] I have seen grow. Some of them side-by-side, some reporting me. In turn, it is easier for me to then be able to get into the role. It is easier in that sense but it is not easy in a sense that we have chosen a completely different direction for the business,” Kgobe explained.

In this regard, plans are afoot for the GMA to become a “highly commercial” business. This would include seeing the entity no longer relying on the fiscus.

8 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADERS
Writer: Sihle Manda

An entity of the Gauteng Department of Transport, the GMA is a public-private partnership between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Bombela Concession Company. The latter holds a 19-year concession for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Gautrain. The concession will lapse in March 2026.

“We want a business that is able to wash its own face – at least as a minimum. Long-term we are going to make sure that we maximise the subsidy that is paid by government to do this work” explained the CEO.

Expansion plans

As a business facing multilayered challenges, the GMA is traversing the various predicaments on its path with utmost delicacy.

Of great importance for Kgobe is the conclusion of the Bombela concession in 22 months.

“That is the first thing, we then have to put up a new agreement at the same time we are closing the old one,” he emphasised.

The agency has already gone to market to invite bids for the next concessionaire.

In addition, he said, the GMA has to consider if this does not happen while it seeks various

approvals from National Treasury on alternative plans.

Amid the intricate web, the entity has to commence with its approved expansion plans that include expanding the network by another 150 km of rail.

“If National Treasury was to say to me: ‘here is R200 billion’; where do we start? In essence, we are already at the point that we are ready to commence the Soweto line,” he expounded.

The proposed Soweto line is expected to take off from Sandton, loop to Randburg, proceed to the Dome or Cosmo City vicinity, before ensuing to Little

Falls, to Roodeport Ridge and Roodeport before it concludes in Jabulani, Soweto.

“On that, we are ready to go to the next phase – pre-feasibility [and] preparing the tenders. In addition to that, in the background, we were doing the route determination. we have concluded the public participation process,” he said.

Other work include route determination for a line between Cosmo City, Lanseria, Fourways, Sunnyhill, and Samrand as well as the line to Mamelodi and another to Boksburg. By and large, Kgobe is of the

view that the GMA has achieved its objective.

“[The GMA] was always created to be an economic driver. It is a catalytic project that has propelled the economy of Gauteng. We have to remain, a mobility asset that empowers the economy of Gauteng,” he said.

As confirmed by various independent assessors, the Gautrain has had a positive economic impact.

“They look into our change in carbon footprint, the jobs we have created, changing the perception of doing busi-

“If National Treasury was to say to me: ‘here is R200 billion ’; where do we start?
In essence, we are already at the point that we are ready to commence the Soweto line.”
Public Sector Manager • June 2024 9

ness in Gauteng and in turn positively impacting foreign direct investment.

It has achieved above and beyond what it was intended for,” added Kgobe.

As he settles into the position, his biggest challenge will be appointing the

right people for leadership positions.

“This organisation might be small but it contains a lot of people who are highly knowledgeable. But the question is: are they ready for leadership roles that enables them to function autonomously in a highly commercialised environment?,” he pondered.

To respond to the question, GMA senior executives have, in the past past two years, gone through a leadership development training programme.

“One continuously tries to create a conducive environment that produces good leaders. We are very good at hiring the best capable technical and professional skills,” said the CEO.

On clean audit outcomes, he said this was “everybody’s business”.

“Everyone in the business needs to have that mindset. That is where the AG (Auditor General South Africa) talks about auditing for culture, your culture has to enable your ability to have

clean audits,” he reiterated.

Affordability and Inclusivity

With the service often bemoaned for being unaffordable to certain demographics, the agency is working on rolling out highly discounted packages targeting four population groups: people living with disabilities, scholars and the eldery. A product offering for the indigenent, which is also in the pipeline, is expected to take longer due to unavailability of a reliable register.

Kgobe said that post-2026, the Gautrain will be taking on the revenue risk and that it has the ability to set fares.

The Gautrain is aimed at providing and optimising an integrated, innovative public transport system that enables and promotes the longterm sustainable economic growth of Gauteng. It is also part of a broader vision to industrialise and modernise the region, including a commitment to creating and sustaining an integrated culture of smart mobility. ❖

10 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADERS

Scientific merit award for UKZN’s first black female medical school Dean

The first black woman Dean in the 75-year history of the University of KwaZuluNatal’s (UKZN) Medical School, Professor Ncoza Dlova, is the recipient of the Gold Medal Scientific Merit Award from the South African Medical Research Council.

Dlova, who also heads the University’s Dermatology Discipline and a National Research Fund “B”-rated researcher, said it was a privilege and an honour to receive the award for her research which is recognised by her peers both locally and internationally, and is grateful to the patients and colleagues for their contribution.

The award was in recognition of her sterling contribution to research, teaching and learning, and exemplary leadership, motivating staff and students within the School of Clinical Medicine (SCM), which she previously headed, to uphold the UKZN value of excellence before, during and beyond her tenure as the SCM Dean.

Dlova has received many ac -

colades, including awards for the Best Dean Leader in the College of Health Sciences in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

She is a well-published dermatologist and has authored more than 135 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. Her research interests and expertise are in the areas of pigmentation and hair disorders as well as HIV and skin issues, while she also has an interest in global health and medical education. Dlova has contributed more than 15

chapters in international dermatology textbooks and is a coauthor of two dermatology books about black skin.

She has successfully supervised, mentored and trained more than 40 dermatologists, supervised numerous master’s students and is currently supervising five PhD candidates, contributing significantly to the transformation of dermatology in South Africa.

Dlova supports several community initiatives and helps to

educate South Africans about skin and hair conditions through outreach programmes and sharing her research findings with the public. She is a member of numerous international dermatology boards and societies, including Global Psoriasis Atlas, International Eczema Society, Skin of Color Society in the United States of America, African Hair and International Hair Groups. She has been a guest speaker in more than 50 countries.

She is a member of the prestigious American Dermatology Association and a recipient of the 2019 Maria Duran Award from the International Society of Dermatology.

Dlova represents Africa as a Member of the Board of the International League of the Dermatology Society, the largest body of dermatology societies in the world, and is the first fully appointed African representative in the society’s 86-year history. In her quest to support medical students, she established the

12 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 WOMEN IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Source: UKZN Photos: UKZN

Ncoza Dlova Medical Student Fund to assist with historic debt.

Reflecting on being appointed Medical School Dean, she said, “It was both challenging and exciting in being able to impact positive change in terms of creating unity and a team that shares the same vision and goals.

“Being a dean leaves limited time for research and also involves having to juggle personal and family life. However, I was lucky to be able to receive the NRF B rating and the Gold Scientific Award dur-

ing my tenure as a Dean, as I tried to push research during my private time. It is important to know when to go and also important to have a plan B.

“As Director of the Kenyan School of Law Patrick Lumumba once said, ‘Time limits are good things; no matter how good a dancer you are, you must leave the stage’. I will continue to serve in a supportive role, complete the projects we started and continue to interact with the students – an aspect of my academic role I thoroughly enjoy and cherish,” added Dlova. ❖

“It was both challenging and exciting in being able to impact positive change in terms of creating unity and a team that shares the same vision and goals.”
13 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Professor Ncoza Dlova.

UKZN’s Molefe earning stripes for passion for transformational education

Growing up in the dusty streets of rural Nquthu, northern KwaZulu-Natal, Luthando Molefe, set his sights on escaping poverty that enveloped his surroundings.

Already at that tender age, he was able to engrave in his psyche that education would be the only way he would be able to achieve this. Molefe has since managed to position himself as a shining star in the education sector.

He recently won the “Most Outstanding Transformational Educator” award at the 2nd International Organisation of Educators and Researchers (IOER) Pinnacle Awards 2024 in Malaysia.

IOER is an academic organisation of eminent educationists, researchers and practitioners across the globe that is aimed at conducting both national and international activities related to

education and research, such as conferences, research forums, seminars and training, and other events that support the importance of education and research.

Teaching to respond

Molefe’s teaching philosophy is influenced by Elizabeth Walton’s idea of teaching to respond. He carefully scrutinises what he teaches (subject content), how he teaches it (pedagogy) and who he teaches (the type of learners). The cautious examination of these three elements then allows him to be mindful of putting together relevant approaches he needs to meaningfully facilitate the learning and teaching process – in the quest to presenting education that does not leave any learner behind – which according to him is teaching to respond. More importantly and espe -

cially in the present time, he argues that he is highly cognisant that learners in learning and teaching spaces bring with them a number of diversities such as socio-economic backgrounds, intellectual and physical capabilities and language, among many other factors.

As a result, one must take a teaching-to-respond approach to accommodate these differences and promote harmony and meaning in the teaching and learning process.

Last year, Molefe was named one of the Top 100 South African Shining Stars for 2023 by Inside Education in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency. This was for his continued outstanding and extraordinary work in the areas of academic excellence, community outreach and leadership, which he says are the strands he is mostly passionate about.

“Growing up in a setting that reflected the African proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, I have been driven by one of the seven roles (as gazetted in the Norms and Standards for Educators 2000) of a teacher, that is a professional, plays a community, citizenship, and pastoral role,’ said Molefe.

Inside Education recognises game changers, high professionals and young people who are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

In the same year, he was the recipient of the South African Heroes Awards in the category: Youth Empowerment, for his excellent work.

When he completed his matric in 2014, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Education in Science

14 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 TRAILBLAZER
Additional reporting: UKZN Photos: UKZN

Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2015. After obtaining the qualification four years later, he went to acquire a Bachelor of Education Honours (Summa Cum Laude) in Teacher Education and Professional Development in 2020 and a Master of Education (Cum Laude) in Teacher Education and Professional Development in 2021 from the same institution.

Currently, the 28-year-old is trudging towards a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education, also at UKZN, where he is employed as a lecturer.

He told Public Sector Manager (PSM) magazine that his passion was fueled by “growing up in an area that was mostly characterised by poor socio-economic backgrounds with most families surviving [by] social grants that are provided by government.”

The decision to pursue an education degree was motivated by his school teachers. It was during the second year of his first qualification that he decided to join a community engagement society at UKZN.

“That is where I started to realise that there is more life outside the lecture walls. I then became a very active community engagement practitioner and I have, over the years, been excelling in this aspect and in academic excellence, leadership

and research since these are the aspects I am mostly passionate about,” he said. “The manner in which I work is that I always try to balance these strands and I always advocate for them to inform each other in my engagement.”

Supporting young academics

As coordinator of academic monitoring and support/wellness at UKZN’s School of Education, his role includes supporting undergraduate students, mostly those struggling with their studies.

“I help them navigate through the academic space through a number of activities that are specifically designed to cater for their individual and collective needs,” he told PSM.

With UKZN’s 2023 – 2032

Strategic Plan emphasising the attraction of high-potential students and developing their capabilities to become globally informed professionals and citizens able to compete at a global stage, he said he was proud of his feat.

“I am proud to learn that the work I have been doing over the years, as an individual and in collaboration with others through this accolade, has turned out to be a true reflection of the institution’s mandate.

I am grateful to UKZN and its well-informed academics and resources for making it all possible for me to excel at this international level,” he said.

The young academic added that having to place himself in an outlook that aims to produce quality and socially responsive work and what holds the prom-

ise for the future, in his own field and at a national level, is “no child’s play”.

“Let alone putting together what will make sense to the other side of the river and competing at an international level. The hard work, dedication and long hours I always put to my work have paid off and this inspires me more to continue working “to exceed the standards’ mindset in everything I do because it always bears positive results,” he conceded.

On future plans, he says he has his sights firmly set on one day becoming a professor.

“Since I ventured into the academic space, one of my career aspirations is to end up being a professor of education and being one of the internationally recognised researchers in my field.” ❖

15 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Photo: Busani Ngcaweni’ X

Mjwara’s journey in sciencetransforming and innovation

Former Director-General (DG) of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), Dr Phil Mjwara, has been credited with visionary leadership that inspired many positive changes within the department as well as the science community in South Africa and beyond.

He recently stepped down after 18 years at the helm of the DSI. Mjwara bowed out in style – shortly after receiving the South African Medical Research Council’s Presidential Award for his visionary leadership in promoting science.

Speaking at the former DG’s farewell event, Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Minister Blade Nzimande commended Mjwara for playing a significant role in strengthening the governance and organisational culture of the DSI.

“Through his visionary leadership and appreciation for

the bigger picture, he helped elevate the role of science, technology, and innovation to foster the culture of evidencebased decision-making, across all levels of government.

“Through his strategic policy insights, he was instrumental in helping to put in place some of the key policy and institutional interventions that were aimed at transforming and making our National System of Innovation (NSI) more responsive to the socio-economic reality of our country,” said the Minister.

Proud moments

As DG at the DSI, he proved that he was both a gifted academic and a capable administrator. In an interview with Science Scope, a Council for Science and Industrial Research publication, the longestserving DG at the DSI said one of his proudest moments at

Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Photo: DSI
Former DSI DG, Dr Phil Mjwara.

the department was being part of a team that created a wellfunctioning organisation that reflected the country’s demographics.

“I longed to create a department that would operate functionally even when I was busy attending to my many other duties such as meetings.

“So, I used my first six months in my new position to make sure we had the right engine and the right car for the destination one had in mind”.

This resulted in the DSI receiving four consecutive clean audits, including a recent clean lifestyle audit, which the former DG describes as an indication of an ethical workforce.

He said that when he joined the department, the science system mainly focused on generating knowledge but his team’s focus was on changing things to ensure that “knowledge was used for [the] socio-economic benefit for all South Africans”.

“We then started to prepare for the introduction of the NSI... engaging stakeholders in the science, technology and innovation system, to continue advancing knowledge but also to start looking at areas in the knowledge enterprise that would begin to benefit the country in a tangible way on the socio-economic agenda that we were driving,” he explained.

He added that this was fol-

“During elections, we use satellite imagery to help the IEC to determine the right number of voting stations in a given area to minimise long queues. These are just a few instances [of] how science is used to enhance the lives of South Africans”

lowed by the development of the 10-year Innovation Plan, reveal-

ing that this was the first time the system had a document that

mentioned innovation.

“The idea was to identify areas where we could be intentional on the use of knowledge for socio-economic impact. We now have a new document called the Decadal Plan (2021– 2031), through which we seek to build on the outcomes of the 10-year [Innovation] Plan to increase the socio-economic impact from the knowledge enterprise,” he elaborated.

Another proud moment for the dedicated retired public servant was the work done by the science community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The science community played a huge role in making the country understand what the virus was all about and advised government on the kind of vaccines the country needed to import. The science industry saved government millions of rands as a result,” he said.

Science-based decision-making Mjwara described the DSI as

Public Sector Manager • June 2024 17
Photos: US National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

a department and system that provides solutions to some of the challenges the country is facing. He highlighted various areas, where the department has managed to encourage government to use science in decisionmaking.

“On the economic front, we work with Minerals Council South Africa on using science and technology to modernise the mining industry”.

He added that there were plans to look at how Artificial Intelligence and robotics can be used to minimise deaths in mines as these can help predict seismic activities to get early warnings.

“So, we have a suite of technologies and innovations that enable us to partner with the mining industry, for example, through a programme called South African Mining, Extraction, Research, Development and Innovation,” he explained.

The department continually looks at how its innovations can be utilised to ensure that economic sectors are competitive. These include agriculture, where the department has been exploring ways of modernising the sector.

“On the social side, we have a range of programmes, where we call on innovators to approach

the Technology Innovation Agency with their ideas,” he added. These include the Grassroots Innovation Programme, which helps provide advice to innovators on how to improve their ideas to become fundable initiatives.

Another achievement on the social side is the Living Laboratories, a programme that encourages innovators to pool resources, talent and community knowledge to solve local challenges.

“The concept places community members as both co-creators and recipients of innovations, which are subse -

quently more widely adopted in the surrounding community. For example, in one village in the Eastern Cape, we linked residents to a hydro system that produces electricity from a nearby dam,” Mjwara explained. He said during the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal, the DSI used scientific innovations to assist in track flooding –satellite imagery and modelling tools to indicate how floods would impact communities downstream allowing authorities to evacuate residents.

“You can also have satellite pictures that can tell you what infrastructure you had before

18 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 PROFILES IN LEADERSHIP
Photos: Benjamin Lehman on Unsplash

the floods and can, therefore, assess the extent of subsequent damage to it”.

In addition, he said, the DSI worked with the Department of Health on how to prepare for the National Health Insurance using scientific tools and data analytics to allocate the type of clinics that would best serve communities.

“During elections, we use satellite imagery to help the IEC to determine the right number of voting stations in a given area to minimise long queues. These are just a few instances[of] how science is used to enhance the lives of South Africans,” he said.

Priority innovations

Asked about what innovations the DSI was currently championing, the former DG noted that following the country’s and other developing nations’ struggle to get vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders have used the South Africa’s scientific capabilities to enable it to produce its own vaccines.

“We identified four catalytic projects that are targeting Hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, Rift Valley fever and respiratory vaccine. We work with universities to advance the development of discovery science to find the right ingredi-

ents that target these diseases in humans,” he said.

According to Mjwara, if the initiative succeeds, the country can save R13 billion every three years used to import vaccines.

“Half of this saved amount could be spent on building the capacity to manufacture vaccines locally. We will be creating jobs and there will be many auxiliary industries that will contribute to the South Africa’s reindustrialisation programme,” he explained.

Another priority innovation close to Mjwara’s heart is the development of knowledge on hydrogen. He said this followed the realisation that the country has platinum-group metals that were exported after mining. To ensure that the innovation is successful, the DSI partnered with institutions of higher learning.

“We set up three institutions –at the University of Cape Town in Mintek, North-West University and University of Western Cape. We are proud that there is now hype around hydrogen economy and the opportunities it can bring for the national economy.

“Five years ago, we did a Hydrogen Society Roadmap, and we identified a number of catalytic projects in this area. We estimate that if we implement this very well, as a country, by

2050 we will have 11.5% of the gross domestic product coming out of this initiative”.

There was also the piloting of CoalCo2-X, a project aimed at demonstrating technology that can capture carbon dioxide from the flue gas of coal fired power plants and convert together with (green) energy to commercially relevant products.

“So, you are converting greenhouse emissions into products that we need. Imagine the number of jobs that can be saved if we harvest carbon to create products from the mines that are going to be phased out as we transition to cleaner energy, whether it is solar or wind or green hydrogen,” he said.

Mjwara highlighted the importance of embracing innovation for the country to keep up with the ever-changing digital world.

“The world is undergoing tremendous transitions as evidenced by how we communicate – from fixed-line phones to mobile phones – and the way we bank – from bank books to mobile banking. The only constant in the next coming years will be change that happens in society and you cannot deal with change if you are not innovative,” he said.

Despite his retirement, the former DG plans to ensure that the knowledge he gained over

the years is preserved to benefit future generations.

“I will probably spend some time in one of the country’s universities so I can help to institutionalise the knowledge I have acquired and put it within the academic framework. I would also like to avail myself for coaching of young leaders entering the Public Service,” he said.

Dr Mjwara holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, Master of Science Degree and a PhD in Physics from the University of the Witwatersrand. His academic career includes serving as professor of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Pretoria, and Physics lectureships at the universities of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and Fort Hare. He has published and presented numerous papers on physics, technology analysis and technology foresight processes. His professional experience includes working as a director in the former Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, serving on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Group Executive for Research and Development and Strategic Human Capital Development at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. ❖

19 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

Voters prove that our democracy is strong and robust

We have just held a successful general election. Over 16 million citizens cast their votes at more than 23 000 voting stations across the country.

This was the most competitive election we have held since attaining democracy in 1994, with a record number of political parties on the ballot and independent candidates standing

for the first time.

This election has been declared free and fair. It took place peacefully and without serious incidents of intimidation or violence. This is a credit

to the IEC, to the political parties and their leadership, and above all to the South African people.

By discharging this important civic duty, South Africans have

20 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
South Africa (IEC)
Images: Electoral Commission of

done more than exercise their right to vote. They have shown that they continue to hold our democratic order and our Constitution in high regard.

This successful poll shows that our democracy is strong, that it is robust and that it endures.

This constitutional order is anchored in the rule of law, supported by institutions for advancing democracy, such as the IEC, and upheld by an independent judiciary.

Since 1994, we have strived together to build a country that is democratic, prosperous and free, and this remains the defining mission of our nation.

With us now having entered a new phase in our democratic journey, political parties will have to strive in earnest to find common ground as we work to rebuild our country.

Although every political party carries a mandate based on the commitments they made to the electorate, all parties share an over-arching mandate to build a country that is inclusive, united and prosperous.

This moment in our country calls for responsible leadership and constructive engagement. There can be no place for threats of violence or instability.

South Africans must stand firm against any attempts to under-

mine the constitutional order we have worked so hard to build, and for which so many struggled and sacrificed.

Whatever challenges we may face as political events unfold, they should be dealt with in a spirit of cooperation and in accordance with the prescripts of our Constitution and the rule of law.

Despite the mammoth logistical undertaking, and despite a number of challenges it faced, the Electoral Commission once more acquitted itself with excellence, professionalism and integrity.

According to the results of the Election Satisfaction Survey

conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council, the majority of voters surveyed expressed confidence in the IEC. Furthermore, the majority were also generally satisfied with the voting procedures, felt safe to cast their ballots in secrecy, and were confident that the election was free and fair.

Having achieved yet another milestone on our democratic journey, we should all take pride in our own contribution towards giving meaning to the values and principles of our constitutional democracy.

As we work as political parties to find each other across the divide in the coming weeks and months, let us demonstrate both in our actions and our utterances that we hold the Constitution and the rule of law to be paramount.

Let us remember that whatever authority, whatever power, we are entrusted with must be exercised to advance the interests of the South African people.

Now more than ever, we need to put our differences aside and work together for the common good. ❖

*This President’s message was first published on 3 June 2024.

21 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
The President and First Lady queue to vote in Soweto.

Beneficiaries of government’s youth empowerment programmes grateful for opportunities

As the country commemorates Youth Month, young South Africans receiving training in various public institutions say they are grateful for internships and learner work programmes as they prepare and equip them for the world of work.

Public Sector Manager magazine spoke to young communicators who are currently participating in the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme in various government institutions to get their views on how the initiative is equipping them for the future.

Wandisa Nyawuza (21) – a WIL student in the Media Production Directorate at Government Communica-

tion and information System (GCIS) said the training that he is getting is preparing him for a career in the media industry.

“I have learnt a lot of different things not only related to journalism as a career, but also in marketing and media buying disciplines,” explained Nyawuza.

He sees himself as a living proof of the opportunities available for South African youth to improve their lives and secure the country ‘s future.

Nyawuza singled out the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority programmes, that include learnerships and scholarships, as some of the

many initiatives available to empower young people.

“Those are opportunities that our parents did not get [during the apartheid regime]. So, there is change and there are possible ways to change your life as a young person in South Africa today,” he said.

For Nyawuza, Youth Day means a commemoration of the heroes that died for him to enjoy equal education regardless of race and gender, and the right to pursue a career path of his choice.

Masibonge Somatyala (22), who is based at the Port St. Johns Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape says the skills that he is learning include writing

22 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Wandisa Nyawuza.

media statements and how to maintain transparency between the municipality and the public.

“I also get opportunities to cover various events that take place in the OR Tambo District Municipality. This helps my journalism career journey a lot,” said the trainee journalist.

Somatyala agrees that there are more opportunities and platforms available to South African youth today than there were before the country attained its freedom and democracy in 1994.

“There are programmes that various sector education and training authorities offer to help train the youth who are either studying towards their qualification or have graduated,” he said.

He said his municipality also has a unit that conducts door-to-door cam-

paigns to help young entrepreneurs to register their businesses.

On Youth Day, Somatyala said, “It is a call to the current generation to continue striving for equality and to work towards creating a society where every young person could succeed,” he said.

Nokufunwa Naubrey Zigana (34), who is placed at the Communications and Special Programme Unit at Matatiele Local Municipality expressed gratitude for the support and experience she is gaining through the programme.

With the guidance and expertise, she is gaining from her mentor and colleagues, Zigana thinks she can operate on her own.

“I am now prepared to succeed in

the communication industry, whether it is in the public or private sector”, she added.

Zigana said although there are opportunities available for youth to improve their lives and help secure the future of the country, there are still restrictions that needs to be dealt with, such as getting an entry level job after completing your studies.

To her, Youth Day holds a significant meaning as a memorial of the brave actions taken by the youth of 1976 who fought against injustice and inequality. Because of their work, she sees many possibilities to improve her quality of life and the community she lives in. ❖

* Writers are themselves interns at the GCIS.

23 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Nokufunwa Naubrey Zigana. Masibonge Somatyala.

30 years of democracy: The electrification of South African households

Despite a myriad of challenges – both present and past – government, through Eskom and municipalities, has made great strides towards achieving universal access to electricity in the country. This came out during a roundtable on the electrification programme since 1994 hosted by the Government Communication and Information System.

According to the Eskom website, in 1987, fewer than 13 million people had access to electricity

with the vast majority of that access servicing white households – leaving other population groups reeling in the dark.

At the dawn of democracy in 1994, Parliament endorsed a plan to create universal access to electricity – defined at some 97% due to population growth and challenges related to the formalisation of informal settlements.

This charged government’s wholesale plan to electrify homes. Access to electricity in

South Africa is now at least 94% according to Statistics South Africa.

Director Project Monitoring and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Mineral resources and Energy (DMRE), Lufuno Madzhie, said the electrification programme has thus far, been a success.

“[From 1994 to 1998] Eskom and municipalities only electrified 2.5 million households. In 2001, then government decided this [electrification] programme

needs to reside within the DMRE. Through us as the department, working with different stakeholders, we have achieved a lot with regard to this electrification programme.

“Through this programme, the department has achieved a huge milestone. Currently, we have electrified over 8.3 million households,” he said.

Eskom’s Pozisa Njezula emphasised how access to electricity improves the welfare of households and explained how

24 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 Source: SAnews Photos: GCIS
Delegates attending a roundtable on the electrification programme since 1994 .

Eskom contributes to facilitating access for hard-to-reach rural areas.

“[It allows for the] improving on safety, where we no longer have to use candles and paraffin stoves. It improves on convenience, where we no longer have to collect wood to cook and also, in terms of improving on education, learners can study at night.

“With us now pushing towards universal access, the challenge that we are faced with is that we now have to reach the far-flung areas. The far corners in all the rural areas. With the support from the DMRE, as Eskom we have started and embarked on the rolling out of micro grids for those far-flung areas where you may not be able to get grid electricity because of losses as well as the amount of money that you would have to spend to get to those areas.

“The [micro grid] is just a container, it has solar panels, it has batteries and then you have got the reticulation network. When you get to a certain area, you electrify it off-grid and those people benefit,” she said.

Challenges and solutions

Njezula bemoaned that although the electrification programme

is going full steam ahead, the power utility faces serious and dangerous challenges when going into communities.

“We are not immune as Eskom to the crime [and] extortion in our project sites. In South Africa, with almost all the projects that are being undertaken, there are reports of these extortions demands for certain amounts of money, including protection fees and so forth.

“That delays the progress in our projects, and it really puts the lives of our employees as well as our contractors in danger. In some instances, we have to leave site, we need to be escorted, we need protection,” she said.

Head of energy and electricity distribution at the South African Local Government Association, Nhlanhla Ngidi, described the country’s electrification plan as a “moving target”.

“In terms of access itself, at 94%, I think it is very important that people understand because this is a moving target.

In a year’s time, you could find this being below 94% and it is because of all these challenges... people moving towards where the economy is more active.

“Municipalities have done quite well but with capacity challeng-

es, we still need municipalities to be assisted and government needs to put in place agencies that can come in and be catalysts in terms of the implementation of the programme,” he said. Energy expert, Chris Yelland, agreed that access to electricity has improved but warned that affordability remains a blockage to some households.

“[There] are some technology developments that require that we look at these distant rural customers. The first thing of course is renewable energy. The

price of renewable energy. has come down dramatically over the last ten years. This is now opening the doors to access renewable energy for remote households that never existed ten years ago.

“There is a lot to celebrate in electrification [but] there is a lot to do about affordability. We are not there yet. We need to understand where we come from, where we are and where we are going and for that we need data. ❖

25 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Nomonde Mnukwa, GCIS Acting Director-General.

South Africa marked a momentous occasion on 27 April 2024 – the 30th anniversary of its democracy. This milestone is not just a date on the calendar but a powerful symbol of hope, a testament to the transformative power of peaceful political transition, and a beacon of inspiration for nations striving for freedom.

The ongoing celebrations of this democratic milestone are not mere festivities but a

Democracy has boosted South Africa’s brand globally for the past 30 years

poignant symbol of our shared journey. The commemoration of Freedom Day evokes a surge of emotions, reminding us of the collective struggle we overcame to attain this freedom and nurturing a deep sense of unity and pride.

Our democracy, firmly rooted in the values of unity, fairness, democracy, non-racialism and non-sexism, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, is more than just a political system. It is a guiding beacon that shapes our domestic and foreign policies, propelling us to a significant role in global affairs.

Against this background, public discussions about the democratic dispensation and the political activities leading up to the 30th anniversary of democracy have sparked feelings

of pessimism and optimism. The emergence of diverging sentiments has the potential to overshadow democratic achievements; therefore, it is important to highlight other aspects of democracy that are often overlooked in public discourse.

It is evident that whenever South African democracy is examined publicly, the emphasis has always been on the challenges undermining democratic achievements; hence, it may be valuable to ponder on the country’s international brand that benefits from this democratic dispensation. It is imperative to underscore that democracy has catalysed our global presence.

Our unwavering commitment to multilateralism and active engagement with key international organisations have strengthened our brand.

As we commemorate and exhibit the impact of democracy on the country’s international brand at this juncture of the 30th anniversary, we do so under the symbolic banner of "Tintswalo," invoked by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2024 State of Nation Address. In his address, President Ramaphosa provided crucial context for the occasion, sharing insights on the impact of democracy on South Africa’s global brand, thus further expanded during the Freedom Day celebrations on 27 April 2024 at the Union Buildings.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary celebrations, reflecting upon the insight shared by esteemed Professor Joseph Nye regarding public diplomacy in a changing world is imperative. He aptly highlighted that public diplomacy

26 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 OPINION
Writer: Curtis Singo: South African Diplomat in Bern, Switzerland Photo: Shaun Meintjes on Unsplash. Photo: supplied Curtis Singo.

is an indispensable tool for nations to accomplish their objectives in global politics. Nye's statement serves as a crucial basis for reflecting on how the democratic system propelled South Africa onto the international stage and further redefined its global brand as a significant leader.

Formidable brand

The democratic transition positioned South Africa as a formidable brand, leading to numerous affirmations of the country as a symbol of hope and unity, representing a truly diverse nation that inspires people worldwide. Literature underscores that successful country brands are founded mainly on robust national policies and institutions that uphold a central message. Brand South Africa accentuated that perceptions of efficient internal governance play a significant role in shaping the nation's global and domestic reputation. It is not a coincidence that South Africa exemplifies such an assertion; hence, it is increasingly enhancing its brand internationally through a constructive role and democratic norms and standards that foster respect for human dignity and the

promotion of human rights. The recent presentation of its case against Israel at the International Court of Justice cemented its brand internationally, which future generations will recognise and appreciate.

South Africa has recently been recognised by the International Monetary Fund for its transparency, ranking among the top three globally.

including the hosting and being the Champions of the African Cup of Nations as a democratic infant in 1996. Hosting the first ever organised 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup in Africa showcased South Africa's ability and marked a turning point in the country's international brand. Winning the first Rugby World Cup in 1995, a few months after the democratic

It has also been ranked first in Africa for its gross domestic product, which is currently at $378 billion. South Africa has also been recognised as a leader in soft power in Africa, according to the 2024 Global Soft Power Index by Brand Finance. All these are attributable to the democracy at 30 years.

Since 1994, South Africa has successfully hosted major international sporting events,

transition, also laid a foundation for the Rugby team's distinction, which cannot be isolated from the country’s thriving international brand.

South Africa's global readiness is evident in its sports and cultural exports, such as music, art and fashion, which have significantly impacted the global stage. These exports, a crucial part of our 'soft power diplomacy,' are not just about winning

accolades and prizes but also about shaping international perceptions and showcasing our nation's diverse and vibrant culture. The song, Jerusalem, produced by South African artist Master KG, featuring Nomcebo Zikode, is a testament to our global contributions. It became a symbol of hope, particularly during the challenging times of COVID-19, resonating with people worldwide.

It is thus no secret that democracy has been a game-changer in propelling South Africa's reputation to unprecedented heights on the global platform. Without the democratic system, South Africa would not have achieved such a remarkable feat quickly, attesting to the importance of democracy that marks its 30th anniversary this year. It is undeniable that the 30 years of democracy have brought us numerous achievements. From economic growth to social progress, we owe these successes to the power of democratic ideals. Let us continue to uphold these values and work towards an even brighter future. ❖

*Singo writes in his personal capacity.

27 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

The role of communicators in a developmental state

Communications is a specialised field and, as such, it is not easy to do it effectively and with purpose. When it comes to government communications specifically, reaching vastly diverse audiences across wide geographical areas adds another dimension of complexity.

For a developmental state such as South Africa, it is no different especially when one considers the role that communications plays in fostering social cohesion and nation-building.

The role of government communicators goes far beyond deciding simply how to get a message across. They craft effective communication strategies that help bridge divides, promote understanding between different socioeconomic groups and cultivate a sense of national identity and unity.

Delivering a narrative that resonates across a diverse landscape can contribute to building a more cohesive and inclusive society, which is essential for sustained development.

In this regard, the recent convening by the National School of Government of a first pilot

workshop on mastering the art of government communication, must be applauded and encouraged.

In South Africa, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) is the central vehicle that coordinates the delivery of communication to the public on government policies, plans, programmes and achievements. A key pillar in this regard is the use of communication that meets the information needs of a wide variety of audiences, while empowering and improving lives.

Not just the basics

Achieving this requires a fine balancing act of determining the audience, developing clear and relevant messaging, and choosing the right channels. This is essential in a developmental state such as ours, and therefore, communicators need to understand the information needs of different communities and audiences across broad geographical, socio-cultural and language divides. In so

doing, they are able to tailor messages to ensure relevance and understanding, and foster trust between government and its people.

The ideal in a developmental state such as ours is targeted and direct messaging to reach and resonate with a broad spectrum of key stakeholders, using the right channel. The creation of government-owned channels and platforms, such as Vuk’uzenzele Newspaper, and state broadcaster SABC, enables the wide distribution of messaging. However, channels that facilitate feedback – such as social media and surveys– add value by enabling citizens to hold government institutions accountable for their actions and decisions.

Amplifying the message

Government communications should not be left to the GCIS alone. Given the key role played in delivering services and effecting socio-economic devel-

28 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 OPINION
Writer: Vusi Mona, SANRAL Spokesperson and General Manager for Marketing and Communications Photos: Sanral and

opment, State-Owned Entities and public institutions across all the spheres of government must also actively engage communities, foster dialogue and drive inclusive growth as part of what they do.

The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), for example, embraces a variety of its own platforms to engage with stakeholders more effectively. These include its social media channels, website, mobile app, publications and the SANRAL TV platform. It also uses public gatherings and targeted forums to engage citizens and small businesses on projects being rolled-out in their communities. Furthermore, its marketing campaigns reach citizens through a wide range of traditional media with extensive use of radio, but also print and television.

Harmony through collaboration

Government communicators understand that information sharing is not the exclusive domain of government, and that reaching a wide and diverse audience requires collaboration and partnership. Commercial media has an important role to play in announcing national development objectives and

making information accessible, as was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw that widespread communication from government, the medical community and media houses was instrumental in helping to inform the public of measures to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Communication for education

Developmental communication also serves as an important catalyst for education and awareness. Facilitating the exchange of ideas and partnering with media houses to share educational content can improve access to learning and drive entrepreneurial growth across different age groups and sectors of the economy. Whether through information sharing or knowledge-sharing platforms, there is an opportunity to extend collaborative networks which can play a vital

role in kickstarting development and driving continuous improvement.

For SANRAL, while roads infrastructure development and maintenance is its core mandate, stakeholder engagement around new projects, procurement processes and road safety are some of the ways it builds awareness and educates road users on issues such as the importance of road safety and the value of having skilled engineers to design and build significant infrastructure projects. In addition to classic media reporting, through storytelling, thought leadership and multimedia campaigns, SANRAL highlights the socio-economic benefits of its projects, from job creation and improved access to services, to enhanced regional connectivity and economic integration.

SANRAL also recognises that effective communication requires collaboration

and partnerships. The agency works closely with its shareholder and other government departments, academia, media houses and various stakeholders to reinforce the message that infrastructure development is a cornerstone of economic progress. Through various communication channels, SANRAL showcases how national roads not only connect people, cities and markets but also bridge the gap between aspirations and opportunities, laying the foundation for socio-economic growth.

In essence, communicators in a developmental state play a crucial role in rallying every sector of society – from businesses and labour unions to civil society and the public at large – around a shared mission. They are the architects of engagement, bridging the divide between government institutions and the communities they serve. ❖

29 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

“Significant progress” recorded in Operation Vulindela reform initiative

Director-General (DG) in The Presidency, Phindile Baleni, says Operation Vulindlela has made significant progress in reforming the economy since its announcement nearly four years ago. She was speaking during a media briefing aimed at providing an update on progress in the imple -

mentation of economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela.

Operation Vulindlela is a government-driven initiative aimed at accelerating the implementation of structural reforms in key sectors to achieve inclusive growth in the economy.

“Significant progress has been

made in reforming our economy since the President announced the establishment of Operation Vulindlela in October 2020.

“Our economic challenges are complex and deep rooted. However, the progress that we have made in implementing the economic reforms through Operation Vulindlela give us confidence that they will be overcome. While the impact of these reforms may not be immediate, they will be significant.


In the electricity sector, government has moved to do away with some barriers to private electricity generation, resulting in massive investment in that space.

“In the energy sector, regulatory changes have resulted in a massive increase in private investment in electricity generation with a pipeline of more than 22 500 megawatts of confirmed projects in development.

“The reform of the energy system has now far advanced with the passage of the Electricity

Regulation Amendment Bill and the establishment of the National Transmission Company of South Africa, amongst other key milestones.

“We are already seeing the impact of these reforms in reduced load shedding and in the proliferation of new energy projects across the country,” Baleni explained.


Regarding logistics, Operation Vulindlela is aimed at growing exports in the country through the improvement of efficiency.

“Greater private participation in port terminal operations has been enabled and the freight rail network is being opened to competition. These reforms will allow more volumes to be transported via rail and support export growth while making our logistics systems more efficient and competitive.

“The Freight Logistics Roadmap, which was adopted by Cabinet in December last year [2023], continues to guide the im-

Public Sector Manager • June 2024 Source: SAnews
Photo: The Presidency
DG in The Presidency, Phindile Baleni.

plementation of these reforms,” the DG said.

Telecoms and water sector

Baleni asserted that strides made through Operation Vulindlela in the telecoms sector are already bearing fruit with decreased costs in data just but one example.

“One of the earliest milestones in the economic reform programme was the completion of the spectrum auction – ending a more than 10-year delay and contributing to reduced data costs and improved network quality and reach,” she said.

Turning to the water sector,

Baleni said reforms have led to the clearing of the backlog in water use license applications which stood at more than 1 000.

“[The] license application system has been improved to reduce processing times. Concrete steps have been taken to strengthen institutions in the water system, to improve regulation as well as to encourage investment in the infrastructure,” she said.

Visa reforms

Government has also embarked on reforms for South Africa’s visa regime in order to attract skills and to encourage growth in tourism to the country.

“The e-Visa system is now available in 34 countries while visas have been waived for visitors from 135 countries. The recommendations of the work visa review task team, which was completed last year, are now being implemented, including the establishment of the Trusted Employer Scheme and a pointsbased system for work visas,” Baleni said.

Working together

The DG emphasised that one of the key drivers to achieving the progress that Operation Vulindlela has produced is collaboration.

“Perhaps the most important

lesson of Operation Vulindlela is that we can achieve significant progress by enabling collaboration across government and putting in place clear, time bound plans and by establishing systems to support delivery and ensure accountability.

“More than 15 government departments and entities have contributed to the implementation of these reforms through new ways of working and a singular focus on implementation and results. Above all, this report demonstrates that government is fully committed to staying the course on the reform agenda and removing constraints on growth,” added the DG. ❖

31 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Photo: Department of Transport

General Household Survey 2023: Key findings

The General Household Survey tracks the progress of development and identifies persistent service delivery gaps. Over the past 22 years the survey has yielded a rich set of information across a wide variety of themes, and the following figures summarise some of the most significant findings from the 2023 report.

Between 2002 and 2023, the percentage of individuals who benefited from social grants increased from 12.8% to 39.4% while households that contained at least one individual who received a grant increased from 30.8% to 50.0%. These increases were mainly due to the large uptake of COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grants.

Approximately 15.7% (9.8 million individuals) of individuals had medical aid coverage in 2023. Coverage varied from 25.7% in the Western Cape to 9.5% in Limpopo. Although 71.7% of white South Africans were

members of a medical aid scheme, whites only comprised 31.7% of all medical aid members.

Although national access to mains electricity increased from 76.7% in 2002 to 89.8% in 2023, almost a quarter used wood (7.8%), LPG/Gas (6.8%), paraffin (2.5%) and other sources of electricity (4.5%) for cooking.

Almost nine in 10 (87%) of households had access to piped water in the dwelling, in the yard or at a communal tap, while 83.3% had access to improved sanitation (flush toilets and VIP Pit toilets), up from 61.7% in 2002.

Almost one quarter (23.1%) of households considered their access to food as inadequate or severely inadequate, 5 percentage points higher than in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19. The need was most pervasive in the Northern Cape (37.7%) and least common in Limpopo (6.9%). ❖




32 Public Sector Manager • June 2024 FEATURE
Source: Stats SA 2002 2023 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% (9.8 million individuals) of individuals had medical aid coverage in 2023 25.7% in the Western Cape 9.5% in Limpopo Whites only comprised 31.7% Other Races 2002 2023 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Wood Electricity LPG/Gas paraffin

Style yourselfelegantly this winter

You do not always have to buy new clothes for every season. Sometimes you just need to find new ways of pairing what you already have in your closet, or to buy few items that you can wear with what you already own.

In this edition, Thato

Mphungoa, fashion and style enthusiast, gives men fashion tips for winter. He easily selected few items from his closet to create a number of trendy and comfortable looks.

Mphungoa lives up to his interest by content creation and curating looks for himself,

a few of his close friends, as well as personally thrifting items for people that seek styling assistance.

Denim on denim on denim

“Layer a denim shirt with a denim jacket and good straight cut, loose or baggy fitting jeans

and a pair of sneakers. Wear a scarf to accessorise – the bigger the better!” explains Mphungoa.

Oversized trench coats and jacket or blazers

“Balance it with good trousers, fitted or baggy fit works. A good pair of loafers or sneakers are a

GROOMING AND STYLE 34 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Writer: More Matshediso Photos: Thato Mphungoa

good match. I normally would pair it with a beanie and a tote bag with a shirt or t-shirt,” he said.


“A good-knitted cardigan always does the trick. It can either be fitting or loose fitted, especially with good chinos or jeans or sweatpants for a more relaxed look. Pair of shades or cap are normally the accessories of choice for this look,” he said.


“A suit can either be worn up or down, depending on the mood. A good pair of Bronx shoes and a shirt can be the one option for dressing it up. Coupled with a sling leather bag. Alternatively, wearing a t-shirt, knitwear or turtleneck with sneakers can be the option to dress it down. You can accessorise this with jewellery of choice,” he explained.

Twinset sweaters

“Matching top and trousers twinsets are a good choice for lazing around and running errands or catching a sunset cocktail hour with friends. Paired with comfortable sneakers, tote bag or a simple wristwatch,” he advised. ❖

You can catch more of Thato Mphungoa’s style and work on Instagram: @thatomphungoa.

35 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

Writer: More Matshediso

Chorizo chickpea soup served with parmesan baguette

In this edition of Public Sector Manager magazine, Olivia van Stavel, a culinary arts lecturer at False Bay Technical and Vocational Education and Training College, shares her family’s favorite recipe for a winter meal, a Chorizo and Chickpea Soup served with Parmesan Baguette.

“It is a comforting, heart and body warming dish packed with nutrients and can be executed easily. The best part is that it takes a fraction of the time to

cook than many other traditional soups,” she explained.

Ingredients Chorizo and chickpea soup:

• 20 ml of olive oil.

• 2 white onions (diced).

• 2 to 3 leeks (sliced).

• 4 to 6 carrots (cut into chunks).

• 2 to 4 celery stalks (sliced).

• 2 to 4 Chorizo sausages (sliced).

• 1 can of chickpeas.

• 1 can of white beans.

• 1.25 litres of chicken broth or stock.

• 80 g parsley chopped.

• 2 tablespoons of flour.

Parmesan baguette:

• 50 g of butter.

• 30 ml of olive oil.

• 1 whole baguette.

• Parmesan cheese.


Chorizo and Chickpea Soup:

• Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry chorizo sausage until cooked. Remove sausage and set aside.

• In the same pan, add onions and leeks and fry on low heat until translucent.

• Transfer onions and leeks to a soup pot along with carrots, celery and chicken broth and bring to a rapid boil. Season with salt and pepper as required.

• Reduce temperature to a moderate heat and cook until vegetables are soft.

• Reserve 200 ml of the liquid in a bowl, add the flour to make a paste and gradually add mixture to the pot.

• Bring the soup to boil once more allowing it to thicken.

• Add chorizo sausage, chickpeas and beans, and reduce heat.

• Check and adjust seasoning as required.

Parmesan baguette:

• Cut baguette into 1 to 2 cm slices.

• Mix butter and olive oil together and spread over baguette slices.

• Place baguette slices in oven and bake on 200 °C until golden brown.

• Remove and add parmesan.

• Serve with soup.

Public Sector Manager • June 2024
Photos: Olivia van Stavel

About the chef:

Van Stavel has also worked at the Harbour Bridge Hotel and Suites as a Chef de Partie and later promoted to Sous Chef before transitioning into the education sector 12 years ago.

Earlier this year, Van Stavel was among 25 chefs from the Western Cape, who graduated from the Department of Tourism’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) programme for Chefs. At the end of the programme, they each received an Occupation Certificate for Chef, NQF Level 5.

The RPL programme is an intervention of the Tourism Sector Human Resource Strategy that recognises the prior knowledge and skills of chefs who have been working in the sector for many years and awards them with the relevant occupational qualification and designation.

The programme empowers beneficiaries to explore career growth opportunities and improve their trajectory in the workforce. Since its inception in 2021/22, the department has invested R3.1 million in the programme and has reached 107 experienced chefs across the country.

Van Stavel says being a chef in South Africa at the time that the country celebrates 30 years of freedom and democracy is a privilege not found in many places.

“Our industry is tight knit and, therefore, we do not take for granted the sacrifices that were made for us to have this opportunity of being recognised for our skills. We are spoilt when expressing our creativity due to the diverse cultural backgrounds of our people, which reflects in the wide range of availability of ingredients, flavours and cooking influences,” Van Stavel said. ❖

37 Public Sector Manager • June 2024

Visit the Golconda Fort in India to learn part of Indian History

Afew months ago, I attended media training at the Dr Marri Chenna Reddy Human Resource Development (MCR HRD) Institute of Telengana in the Hyderabad district – as part of celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and India.

The event, which was also in celebration of South Africa’s 30 years of freedom and democracy included visiting few heritage sites. Over the next months, I will be writing about these tourist attractions.

The State of Telengana in India has several tourist attractions that you can visit to learn more about the rich history, diverse religions and heritage of the people of India.

One of the heritage sites that I visited was the Golconda Fort in the western part of Hyderabad city, about 9 km away from the Hussain Sagar Lake. According to the Government

of Telengana website, Golconda Fort occupies 3 km2 , and is about 4.8 km in length. It was originally known as Mankal, and built on a hilltop in the year 1143.

“It was originally a mud fort under the reign of Rajah of Warangal. Later it was fortified between 14th and 17th centuries by the Bahmani Sultans and then the ruling Qutub Shahi dynasty. Golconda was the principal capital of the Qutub Shahi kings,” explained the Telengana government.

The inner fort contains ruins of palaces, mosques and a hilltop pavilion, which rises about 130 meters high and gives a bird’s eye view of other buildings. The government refers to the Golconda fort as one of the most magnificent fortress complexes in India.

Its history goes back to early 13th century, when it was ruled by the Kakatiya’s followed by Qutub Shahi kings, who ruled the region in the 16th and 17th century.

TRAVEL Public Sector Manager • June 2024 38 Writer: More Matshediso Photos: State of Telengana
Photo: More Matshediso Golconda Fort in India.

The fortress rests on a granite hill 120 meters high while huge, crenellated ramparts surround its structure.

“It was initially called Shepherd’s Hill, translating to Golla Konda in Telugu language, while according to legend, on this rocky hill a shepherd boy had come across an idol and the information was conveyed to the ruling Kakatiya king at that time.

“The king constructed a mud fort around this holy spot and after 200 years, Bahamani rulers took possession of the place. Later the Qutub Shahi kings converted this into massive a granite fort extending 5 km in circumference,” it said.

The fort is considered a mute witness to historic events. During my visit to the fort, I also got to enjoy a highly dynamic

3D sound and light show in the evening.

During the show, locals and tourists get to learn about the history of the fort and its inhabitants from almost 800 years ago. The story is narrated beautifully through fixed lights and pre-recorded soundtracks for the duration of about 30 minutes. It is narrated in English and Hindi, allowing tourists

get to choose their preferred language.

Golconda Fort is one of the most visited monuments in Hyderabad with about 3 000 tickets sold daily on weekdays and double the number on weekends.

South Africa and India enjoy a strategic partnership, and bilateral relations are anchored in a deep and shared history of

friendship and solidarity. India, which gained independence in 1947, was an active supporter of the international liberation struggle and also a staunch supporter of the fight for freedom and democracy in South Africa.

Full diplomatic relations with India were established in November 1993. The two countries also work together in multilateral fora like the BRICS, grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, G20, IBSA, a unique forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association. ❖

* There are currently no direct flight between South African and India and SA citizens are eligible to a free tourism visa to India. Check with your local travel agent for costs.

39 Public Sector Manager • June 2024
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