Letlhakeng — The Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Thato Kwerepe has reminded public officers that they are equally vital to the public service regardless of their positions.
Addressing public officers in Letlhakeng on Monday, Mr Kwerepe said it was therefore vital that they worked as a team as together they formed one body which was government, and that should others relax, service delivery to clients would be compromised.
Mr Kwerepe also informed the officers that government was aware of the challenges they faced in their daily pursuit of good service delivery, and said that such challenges should nonetheless be approached with a positive mind if government objectives were to be achieved.
Mr Kwerepe also advised the public officers to live by the public service ethics, such as shunning corruption to keep a good name.
He said even though Botswana had been known to be a corruption free country, there had been concerns of late as statistics indicated that corruption was slowly creeping into the public service.
He advised supervisors that they should act as parents as this would help prevent many misunderstandings, especially administrative matters such as transfers, promotion and progressions.
He said this would also go far in as far as productivity of a civil servant was concerned as a happy employee tended to be more productive.
Mr Kwerepe also gave credit to pubic officers in the Letlhakeng Sub -district for their dedication despite working in one of the most challenging regions in the country.
For his part, the Deputy Director at the Directorate of Public Service Management, Mr Victor Manyanda informed the gathering that government was concerned about the high overtime that government departments paid monthly.
He advised that overtime should only come occasionally when there was need, and should not be made part of monthly salary. Mr Manyanda therefore encouraged taking some day offs in lieu of overtime.
Mr Manyanda also informed public officers that they were allowed to engage in private businesses with the approval of their permanent secretaries, and provided such businesses did not conflict with their daily government roles.
He also informed the public officers about other developments such as the two-days leave augment, retirement age of teachers at 65 years as well as payment of full salaries while on study leave.
In their comments, the public officers raised issues such as shortage of office space and lack of decent accommodation, saying most of them commit from as far as Molepolole. They also urged government to relook the issue of repairing and servicing government vehicles at private garages, saying such garages were expensive and drain edgovernment votes.
Mr Kwerepe, who is touring different parts of the country addressing public officers, promised to take up some of the issues from individual departments with the relevant ministers.