KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala with his full cabinet. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA).

PORT ELIZABETH - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called on members of his new executive council to motivate all public servants to ensure service delivery and economic growth in the province are visible and tangible to its citizens.

Zikalala made the call at the first sitting of the newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive council (PEC) sitting in Pietermaritzburg. 

The sitting which was extended to heads of department (HODs) was an induction for the new members of the executive whom Zikalala appointed on Monday.

The induction included among other things, a presentation by the Public Service Commission on Good Governance, the Code of Ethics, the Ministerial Handbook, the Public Finance Management Act and the Audit Improvement Plan.

In his opening remarks the premier warned HODs in particular that his administration would not tolerate the excuse that wrong things happened within departments as a result of an instruction from MECs.

“I want to warn public servants, particularly heads of department that they should never take instructions that are not within the law,” Zikalala said, making reference to ongoing commissions of inquiry that were unfolding at a national level. 

"Once they do that, they should know they are on their own,” Zikalala said, making reference to ongoing commissions of inquiry that were unfolding at a national level.

He said the provincial administration should strive to ensure gender parity in positions of authority and respect for accountability.

He emphasised co-ordination of government programmes and insisted lead departments should play a more meaningful role in their implementation in line with the Provincial Growth and Development Plan and the National Development Plan (NDP). 

This, he said, meant revitalising the cluster system of governance where departments are clustered according to their service delivery imperatives.

“Although cost cutting measures are here to stay, we must all ensure that programmes and projects are implemented. Our success will be measured by the impact we make,” Zikalala said.

Zikalala said it was crucial that MECs focus on key areas such as job creation, growing the economy, fighting crime and improving the lives of citizens.

Dr Pearl Sithole from the Public Service Commission made its presentation about guidance on governance practice for executive authorities and heads of department. 

This included issues on constitutional values and principles, role clarification and management ethics in the public service, among others.

The executive Council also received and approved reports on 16 June Youth Day commemoration under the theme “25 Years of Democracy: A Celebration of Youth Activism”, as well as hosting the ninth South African Aids Conference from 11 to 14 June, “Unprecedented Innovations and Technologies: HIV and change”.

MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube was appointed leader of government business.

Zikalala said he would introduce his executive to King Zwelithini at a date yet to be determined.

African News Agency (ANA)