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September marks Public Service Month (PSM) in South Africa. The 2020 PSM celebrations are taking place when the country and the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebrations will take an integrated government wide programme of Public Service Month from 1 September 2020 to 4 October 2020 across all three spheres of government.

The overall goals of the Public Service Month programme is to:

  • instil and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how Public Servants do their work;
  • recommit and rededicate public servants to the Batho Pele Principles;
  • improve the morale and inculcate a sense of pride of being a Public Servant;
  • improve service delivery by exposing senior and middle managers to the coalface service delivery to identify challenges and develop plans for corrective action and interfacing with the citizens, and
  • focus to the national government activities taking place in the month of September.

The PSM is coordinated throughout the three spheres of government. The programme afford opportunities for public sector stakeholders to use the integrated planning model for Cooperative Governance which seeks to be a new integrated, district-based, service delivery approach aimed at fast-tracking service delivery to review service delivery challenges; ensure responsive improvements in the quality and efficiency of service delivery; and through Khaedu deployments of SMS members, identification of frontline service challenges, as well as the development of plans for corrective action and interface with the citizens, and promote the Batho Pele Principles to continue placing the people and their needs at the centre.

The Public Service Month is commemorated under the theme: Growing South Africa Together for an Ethical Public Service."

The theme reinforces government's commitment to instil a sense of pride of being a Public Servant, and calls on Public Servants to abide by the Batho Pele Principles.


The Constitution of South Africa, Chapter 10, demands that the Public Service, amongst others, maintains and promotes a high standard of professional ethics; promotes efficient, economic and effective use of resources; and is accountable for its actions. 


The Code of Conduct in the Public Service forms the main basis on which pro-active, corrective and even disciplinary action rests.  The Code of Conduct is clear that Public Servants must execute their official duties in a professional and competent manner.  It also prescribes that public servants, when on official duty, dress and behaves in a manner that is befitting of a Public Service employee.



The Public Service in anchored in the Constitution


  • The Public Service is guided by the provisions of the Constitution.
  • The Public Service functions and structured in terms of national legislation.
  • The Public Service must execute the lawful policies of government of the day.
  • Public Servants must be faithful to the Republic and honour and abide by the Constitution and all other law in the execution of his or her official duties.
  • Public Servants must put the public interest first in the execution of their official duties.
  • Public Servants must co-operate with public institutions established under the Constitution and legislation in promoting the interest of the public.



The Code of Conduct in Public Service inspires us to put Batho Pele – People First.

  • We are working to ensure an ethical and professional service.
  • The standard of professional ethics in the Public Service should be beyond reproach.
  • The Public Service should be efficient and effective.
  • Public Servants must promote the unity and well-being of the South African nation in performing their official duties.
  • Public Servants must serve the public in an unbiased and impartial manner in order to create confidence in the Public Service.
  • Public Servants should be polite, helpful and reasonably accessible in their dealings with the public.
  • Public Servants should not abuse their positions in the Public Service to promote or prejudice the interest of any political party or interest group.
  • Public Servants should respect and protect the dignity of every person and their rights as contained in the Constitution.
  • Public Servants shall not consume alcoholic beverages or any other non-medical substance with an intoxicating effect while on duty or shall not report for duty under such influence.



Public Service Regulations are our conscience for ethical conduct.

  • Public Servants must not engage in any transaction or action that is in conflict with or infringes on the execution of their official duties.
  • Public Servants must not conduct business with any organ of state or be a director of a public or private company conducting business with an organ of State.
  • Public servants must obtain written permission to perform other remunerative work. They are not allowed to perform such work, if approved, during official work hours and are not allowed to use official equipment or state resources for such work.
  • Public Servants must report to the relevant authorities, fraud, corruption, nepotism, maladministration and any other act which constitutes a contravention of any law.
  • Public Servants must refrain from favouring relatives and friends in work-related activities and not abuse their authority or influence another employee, nor be influenced to abuse their authority.
  • Public Servants must not use or disclose any official information for personal gain or the gain of others.
  • Public Servants must deal fairly, professionally and equitably with all other employees or members of the public, irrespective of race, gender, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, political persuasion, conscience, belief, culture or language.
  • Public Servants must refrain from party political activities in the workplace.



    The Public Service is committed to Batho Pele Principles.


  • Public trust in government and organs of state is key and we are working tirelessly to ensure public trust is maintained and improved.
  • The Public Service is guided by the National Development to build a professional, trained, capacitated, effective, efficient and development-oriented public service.
  • We are working to remove service delivery blockages and tackling red tape, to ensure a better and more streamlined Public Service.
  • The Public Service remains committed to ensuring that public servants serve citizens promptly and courteously, while assisting them to make informed choices when accessing services.
  • The Public Service is committed to the values of good governance, transparency, accountability and meaningful public participation.
  • The Public Service is committed to being responsive to the needs citizens.



Dedicated Public Servants serve diligently.


  • Public Servants are the frontline of service delivery and play a key role in addressing the country's developmental goals.
  • Many honest Public Servants continue to serve the millions of South Africans with dedication and pride.
  • The Public Service is home to thousands of committed and dedicated professionals from various disciplines.
  • Public Servants must lead the way in fighting and stamping out corruption.
  • In line with the National Development Plan, we are building a Public Service that is instilled with the culture of innovation, volunteerism and service



Public Service Month is an integrated programme of government.


  • In 2019 Cabinet took a decision that the PSM needs to be an integrated programme that consolidates all of government's national activities taking place in the month of September.
  • Heritage Day will be celebrate on 24 September to showcase the cultural diversity of our country.
  • Tourism Month highlights the national treasures of South Africa as one of the economic sectors which will play an important role to resuscitate the economy post-COVID-19 pandemic.
  • South African Police Service Commemoration Day held to honour men and women who lost their lives serving the county in the police service.
  • Thusong Service Centres Week showcases government's one-stop service delivery centres.
  • The 2020 Public Service Month also honours health workers and law enforcement agencies who are the forefront of fighting the Corona virus pandemic and those who succumbed to the virus.


Public Service Month is linked to priorities of government.


  • Social cohesion and safe communities.
  • A capable, ethical and developmental state.
  • A better Africa and World.
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