The Biennial Conference of The Commonwealth Association for Public Adminstration & Management, Cape Town, 15 October 2000

President of CAPAM, Minister Zola Skweyiya,
Vice President Sir Richard Mottran,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I would like to welcome you to the city of Cape Town and to South Africa.

We are most honoured that you elected to hold this important Biennial Conference of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management in our country and hope t I trust that at the end of this conference we will all be enriched by your deliberations and that, every country within the Commonwealth family of nations, will be in a better pos As is the case with other countries, South Africa has also benefited immensely from the on-going dialogue within the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Managem The exchanges and dialogue within the Association have contributed to the creation of a sound policy framework for public service delivery in many of our countries.

This is reflected in the on-going efforts to make our public administrations efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to current challenges.

I am certain that all of us would agree fully with the seven principles of public life articulated by Lord Nolan in the 1998 conference - selflessness, integrity, objectivity, acc We would also be of one mind in the view that the actualisation of these principles would help enormously in ensuring improved service delivery to ordinary people and to the empow It is therefore clear that the challenge confronting all of us is the elaboration of the ways and means through which to integrate these principles into the daily work of all our Correctly, you have chosen the important theme "Globalisation, Governance and the Public Service".

I say correctly because it is not possible to discuss the function of government outside of the context of the process of globalisation, which also impacts on the issue of governa Undoubtedly, as we attempt to improve the public service, we have to take into account the challenges that globalisation and the communication and information society pose to all With your permission, I would like to quote at some length some important observations made by the World Bank in its World Development Report 1999/2000, entitled "Entering the 21s " Rising educational levels, technological innovations that allow ideas to circulate, and the economic failure of the most centrally planned economies have all contributed to the " Globalisation and localisation are terms that provoke strong reactions, positive and negative. Globalisation is praised for the new opportunities it brings, such as access to ma " Localisation is praised for raising levels of participation in decision making and for giving people more of a chance to shape the context of their own lives. By decentralising The World Bank goes on to say:

" This report does not praise or condemn globalisation and localisation.

Rather, it sees them as phenomena that no development agenda can afford to ignore. While national governme I am certain that you will reflect on all these matters, searching for a proper balance among the three levels of governance - the global, the national and the local, and the plac I am also certain that the South African delegates at your Biennial Conference will give you some indication of what we are doing as a country to build a new system of governance Our Constitution recognises national, provincial and local government as autonomous spheres of government that are nevertheless integrated through a process of cooperative governa We are now involved in a major effort aimed at the strengthening and the radical transformation of the local government system, consistent with the global tendency towards localis At the same time, we are also working towards the introduction of e-government both to make government more accessible to the people and to improve service delivery.

Our national legislature has approved legislation to improve access to information, including information in the hands of the government.

Sister legislation has also been passed to protect whistleblowers so that government power is not abused to hide corruption or malpractice in the conduct of public affairs.

All these and other measures will, among other things, help us to ensure the implementation of the seven principles spelt out by Lord Nolan.

But clearly, the changing environment affecting the process of governance requires that members of the public service should be given the necessary skills to be able to cope with We have taken steps in this regard, to retrain members of the public service, including those occupying the highest management positions in this service.

Given the importance of the process of localisation and the changes to local government that I have mentioned, it is also critically important that we pay the necessary attention It is also clear that we have to do more work to inculcate and promote pride in the public service.

We must create the situation such that each member of the public service takes pride in the fact that he or she is working to serve the public and therefore internalise the princi This should also help to create the social climate such that the public in general holds the public service workers in high esteem and thus encourage these workers to strive to be I believe that this is especially important given the fact that necessarily, the public service has to compete with the private sector in attracting and retaining skilled personne It is also important in the context of the important task all of us have to address, the task of fighting and rooting out corruption.

In this regard, it is correct that as we try to improve the values, the ethics and the effectiveness of our systems of governance, we must focus on the issue of global crime and i This is important because global crime, which in the past decade has grown tremendously on the fringes of the global economy, consistently seeks to corrupt and change the rules of Global crime, working through local surrogates, always finds fertile ground in societies where the public service does not respect the principles, codes of conduct and professiona It thrives in situations where there are weak social, political and economic institutions and where the majority of the populations are excluded from active participation in the p Because the public servants are central to the movement of peoples and goods, and in the procurement of an enormous volume of goods and services, they become obvious targets of bo At the country level, global crime tries to immerse itself in and corrupt the culture, the ideology, the codes of honour and the way of life of the locals and then work on the con Of course, they also seek these deals through the selective use of violence and widespread corruption of bureaucrats, law-enforcement officials as well as private sector people li Given the so-called border-less nature or the thin borders of the globalised world, we need even stronger institutions of administration, management, control and co-ordination wit Clearly, the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management has to deal with this phenomenon of global crime that feeds into the cancer of corruption that we al In so doing, we will be reinforcing our progress towards meeting the challenges that face most of our countries; the challenges of poverty eradication, access to education and hea We are fortunate that we have the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management because it will help us to assist one another in ensuring that we also have the At the same time, none of us should use the excuse of underdevelopment and lack of resources for any failure to embark on a process of adhering to the basic principles and standard Chairperson.

I am happy that CAPAM continues with the important task of dialogue and information sharing because, I believe that by learning from one another, will always be the best way of ac Learning through effective partnerships, information sharing and dialogue are key to public service delivery in a dynamic and fast changing world.

To ensure that we keep pace with global developments, we require effective management of information and knowledge that the Commonwealth is endowed with, as well as the building o We should also share information about the critical matter of translating our good policies into active delivery and implementation because, the relevance of a body such as this o The great potential of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management lies in your membership drawn, as you know, from individuals, institutions and profess We also need to exploit the capacity that is represented by the participation of both elected and appointed officials drawn from all levels of governance, as well as academics, th Clearly, this diversity should be a source of strength. Perhaps our individual countries can learn something from this experience and work out mechanisms that would unite people f Furthermore, we need to work out ways and means of using this Forum to strengthen national and sub-continental public administrations so that all our countries and regions are abl I agree with the emphasis this conference places on the important matters of leadership, on a strong ethical base for the public service, on ensuring that people have access to se I would therefore like once more to wish you a successful conference and an enjoyable stay in South Africa.

I thank you.

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