Johannesburg - South Africa wanted public servants who would truly serve the needs of its people, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

"We need a public service... that is going to conserve our resources. We need public servants who are not going to steal our money. We need public servants who aren't corrupt," Ramaphosa said.

"We need public servants who are going to serve the public... Our Constitution requires that all people in South Africa be served by a professional public administration that works fairly, equitably and without bias."

He was speaking at the launch of public service month and the Thusong service centre at Maponya Mall in Soweto.

Humble service

Ramaphosa said citizens had a legitimate expectation that services would be provided in a timely manner and close to where they lived.

"Where payment is required, these services should be affordable... We want a public service who are going to be humble."

Public servants needed to become agents of change, enablers and facilitators.

"They need to collaborate with citizens to resolve complex service delivery challenges," the deputy president said.

Time to re-invent

"If we hope to address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the public service has to re-invent itself. It needs to find new ways of adding value and effecting change."

Leadership within public service was also very important, as it determined the direction and redeployment of sources, and was a repository of knowledge.

"It needs to be visionary, proactive and responsive," the deputy president said.

"It needs to respond to people's needs, and be accountable, transparent and development-oriented."


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