Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority
The Public Service Sector SETA, more commonly referred to as the PSETA, is one of the few existing sector education and training authorities (SETAs) that is not going to be changed or revised in any substantial manner.
But the PSETA is a bit different to the other SETAs because it provides support to provincial governments rather than industry sectors. More specifically, it is aimed at providing support to provinces that were lumbered with huge backlogs from the previous government (or dispensation).
Role of the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority
Essentially what the PSETA does is to assist provincial governments within an Integrated Provincial Support Programme (IPSP) with the aim of improving service delivery (with all its massive challenges) and extending good governance.
Initially, when the SETA programme was launched nationally throughout South Africa, the Eastern Cape, kwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo Province were targeted. Then in 2002, the IPSP was extended to assist Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and Free State as well.
Part of the strategy needed to improve service delivery involves shared knowledge and learning opportunities. To this end, learning networks have been established with both inter-departmental and intra-departmental events organised to help educate those already involved in the provincial government sector. Some years ago a learning journal for public service managers was also launched.
So it is clear that college courses are important, as are discretionary grants and bursaries for learners who qualify and are eager to get workplace experience within provincial government. In fact all forms of education, training and learning are important, including whatever it takes to make this knowledge and the skills that go with it accessible to the people who need it.
The Integrated Provincial Support Programme
The Integrated Provincial Support Programme (IPSP) was initiated to release more funds for service delivery to the “poor”, largely by restructuring and improving governance via the regular interaction with citizens. With all the challenges service delivery nationally requires, transparency and accountability have been highlighted as key aspects.
The other challenge that the IPSP envelops is the need to be able to translate policy into action within the Batho Pele framework.
Batho Pele principles and service delivery
The South African Government’s Batho Pele principles are in many ways enshrined in the Constitution, but were developed specifically to improve service delivery in the public service.
There are eight basic principles:
- Consultation, which involves customers, users, groups, consumer representatives, HGOs and CBOs. More often than not a variety of methods of consultation are required.
- The setting of service standards that reinforces the need for benchmarks that will constantly measure satisfaction of the people for what is received from provincial government. Precise, measurable standards are required to be able to judge whether or not these are met.
- Increasing access to public services, since such a large number of people in South Africa simply don’t have access to these services. This principle recognises the fact that access to information and services empowers the citizens of the country.
- Ensuring courtesy, meaning that those operating within the provincial government sector should treat all the people of South Africa with consideration and respect.
- Providing information so that people know what to expect and what they can demand in terms of service delivery.
- Openness and transparency so that everybody knows how government institutions operate and what they can expect. This also implies that government employees are accountable.
- Redress when services are not provided as promised.
- Value for money which doesn’t usually require additional resources and often reduces costs.
The Government aims to promote “integrated seamless service delivery” within the Batho Pele policy. Both education and training are of course key.
Where to find the PSETA
The Public Service Sector SETA (or PSETA) is currently based in Pretoria, Gauteng.
Telephone: (012) 314 7490
Fax: 086 618 8844