Press Release

ACSA, SARS, Treasury And HSRC Lead Finalists For The 2nd Public Sector Excellence Awards, And Mrs. Albertina Sisulu To Receive A Public Sector Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award For Distinguished Public Service

15 November 2010

Johannesburg, South Africa: The Public Sector Excellence committee has announced the finalists for the second annual Public Service Excellence™ (PSX) Awards. PSX, South Africa’s premier forum for indepdent public recognition of top performance in the public sector, has also announced that it will honour veteran anti-apartheid struggle leader Albertina Sisulu with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service. The awards, to be presented by Minister Collins Chabane, will be announced at the second Public Sector Excellence awards on Thursday, 18 November 2010, at the Sandton Sun, Johannesburg.

Awards will be given in five categories: Leadership & Communication, Effectiveness & Service Orientation, Sector Brand Leadership, and the Grand Prix for best reputation for organisations and campaigns. The state owned entities and agencies that feature the most in the various categories include: SARS, SAA, ACSA, SABC, HSRC, PetroSA, SAPO and TELKOM SA. Top government departments include Arts & Culture, Social Development, National Treasury, Basic Education, Forestry and Fisheries.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony, during which the key-note address will be delivered by Minister in the Presidency, the Hon. Collins Chabane, who is responsible for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration. In addition, having hosted a one-day Masterclass in social marketing earlier in the day, social marketing guru and international best-selling author, Prof. Gerard Hastings, will also address the gathering.

Public Sector Excellence Awards – as voted by citizens – 2010

The Public Sector Excellence awards are an independent assessment and celebration of excellence in the Public Sector – as voted by its customers, the citizens. The Public Sector Excellence Reputation Index, developed and conducted by global public polling research compay, TNS Research Surveys in partnership with the Brand Leadership Academy, is an assessment of how everyday South Africans evaluate the performance of the public sector across a set of public service attributes, derived from a representative, national sample weighted to represent populations estimates from Stats SA across suburbs, towns and village.

The Public Sector Excellence Reputation Index is the primary basis for the Gold, Silver and Bronze public recognition awards. The prestigious Grand Prix Public Sector Excellence recognition, awarded to the organisation – government department, agency or SOE – and campaign, is determined by an esteemed advisory committee of experienced and respected scholars, decision makers and thought leaders.

The advisory committee, led by Riah Phiyega - Head of Presidential SOE Review Committee, includes, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro - SA Law Reform Commission, Gugu Msibi – Director: Public Sector, Ernest & Young, Tasneem Carrim - Policy and Research, Government Communications and Information System, Neil Higgs – Director: Innovation and Development, TNS Research Surveys, Dr. Ivan May - President of Convocation at Wits University and Thebe Ikalafeng - MD, Brand Leadership Group; Public Sector Exceelence™ founder.

In awarding the Grand Prix Public Sector Excellence recognition, the panel relies on the PSX Reputation Index results to select the finalists and further filters the results against the following criteria of (1) delivery on institutional mandate, (2) governance and leadership, (3) prudent use of public money (return on investment), (4) transformation, (5) service delivery, (6) accountability (e.g. clean audits) and (7) national and global recognition by other independent institutions and peers. Grand Prix Public Sector Excellence winners are recognised with a Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze award.

Public Sector Excellence™ Lifetime Achievement for Distinguished Public Service

The public sector excellence Lifetime Achievent for Distinguished Public Service honours leading retired South Africans’ lifetime career accomplishments and direct and indirect contributions the public service.

Criteria for Public Sector Excellence Lifetime Achievement for Distinguished Public Service:

  • Outstanding sustained contributions for the ultimate benefit of the general public or the Republic of South Africa.
  • At least 20 years of public service as a professional, volunteer or activist in the public service and/or not-for-profit sector, including service on boards and commissions, governmental service and professional organisations.
  • Recognised as living role models, inspirational leaders and their selfless contributions to public service.
  • Shown outstanding dedication to their work while maintaining a high level of commitment to public-service governance, values and ethics.
  • Been a model and inspiration for South Africa in dedication to excellence.
  • Developed, managed, and sustained strategic partnerships with other government, private-sector, volunteer, or non-profit organisations that integrate both policy and service delivery, with a view to better serving South Africans.
  • Demonstrated the spirit of ubuntu and Batho Pele – Putting People First.

The Public Sector Excellence advisory committee has unanimously and humbly chosen to bestow the 2010 Lifetime Achievement award on Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the people and the Republic of South Africa.

Mrs. Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu

Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was one of the most important women leaders of the anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa.

Born in the Eastern Cape, Nontsikelelo Thethiwe took the name Albertina when she started at the Presbyterian mission school as a small child. According to SAhistory.org.za she later became responsible for caring for her siblings as her mother was sickly and her father was away at work.

She trained as a nurse in Johannesburg and met her husband Walter Sisulu through a cousin and mutual friends. Former president Nelson Mandela and his first wife Evelyn were best man and a bridesmaid at their wedding in Johannesburg.

When Walter joined the ANC full time in 1947, Albertina became the family's breadwinner. She joined the ANC Women's League in the late 1940s and became active in the Federation of South African Women, which lobbied for equality. She was also part of the organising team for the historic anti-pass protest of 1956 and for many years refused to get a pass book herself.

She became the first woman to be arrested under the General Laws Amendment Act of 1963 and faced detention for 90 days without charge, so they could get information on Walter who had gone into hiding. He and Mandela were among the founding members of the ANC’s liberation wing, Mkhonto weSizwe. While she was in detention she didn't know that Walter and 16 others had been arrested in Rivonia. Walter was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.

With her husband having been sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island in 1964, she carried on the anti-apartheid resistance and was herself banned for about 18 years altogether, which severely limited her movements and who she could talk to. To support her five children, she made dresses and knitted jerseys for money, and relied on credit and the goodwill of friends.

During that time, she helped set up a cell to enable ANC members to leave the country and was later elected to the leadership of the United Democratic Front, which espoused the then-banned ANC's views and goals and worked to help secure the eventual release of the ANC prisoners.

Walter Sisulu was released from prison in 1989, among the first wave of high profile activists to be freed. In 1994 Albertina and Walter both became members of Parliament.

Walter passed away in May 2003 at the age of 90. Mrs Sisulu turned 92 last month – SAPA

Public Sector Excellence Report 2010

In addition, the Public Sector Excellence Awards, the evening will also see the launch of the second annual Public Sector Excellence™ Report – Insights, Thought Leadership and Best Practices in Building Citizen-Orientated, Brand-Driven Public Sector Institutions.

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