This chapter sets out the principles which govern the public administration and people who are employed by the state. It also sets out the principles and framework within which the public administration must operate in order to deliver government services to the people.
The government cannot hope to realise the vision set out in the Constitution, or deliver the services embodied in chapter 2 of the Constitution, such as housing, education and health without an effective public administration.
The public service must be structured and function in terms of national legislation and must effectively and efficiently execute the lawful policies of the government. Section 195 of the Constitution states that the public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles:
- A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.
- Efficient, economic and effective use of resources must be promoted.
- Public administration must be development-oriented.
- Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.
- People’s needs must be responded to, and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy-making.
- Public administration must be accountable.
- Transparency must be fostered by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.
- Good human-resource management and career-development practices, to maximise human potential, must be cultivated.
- Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity, fairness, and the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.