“This programme has assisted me to acquire more knowledge about ethics as well as the essence of public participation, in terms of how we can get communities more involved in service delivery programmes,” said Cynthia O’Reilly who graduated today, 12 May 2018 with a Higher Certificate in Public Administration from the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
O’Reilly who works for eThekwini Municipality’s Community Participation and Action Support Unit said obtaining this qualification has equipped her with more insight on how she can better serve the communities that she works.
Bheka Mbuthuma also from eThekwini Municipality’s Community Participation and Action Support Unit said he is proud of his achievement and this graduation has inspired him to study further.
“This programme has taught me how to work well with a team and stakeholders because as part of my responsibilities as a team leader, I convene various stakeholders for service delivery programmes of the Municipality,” said Mbuthuma.
While for Celukuthula Sibisi who works for eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit said this programme has broadened his understanding of customer service, as her main responsibilities revolve around customer service. “I have learnt a lot from this programme, particularly around customer service as most of my modules were around customer service. I have also learnt how to prioritise customers as well as to understand how to deal with different customers,” she said.
Zimele Cele, Programme Coordinator from eThekwini Municipality said this programme was designed to be a gateway for Municipal employees to further their studies, particularly those who did not qualify for higher education. “The focus of the programme was conceptualised around service delivery and public participation because we are trying to address the issue of service delivery protests. We realised that communities need to be part of the decision making processes of the Municipality, and Municipal employees need to be at the forefront of facilitating public participation. This programme has equipped them with this critical competence,” said Cele.
The Public Participation Training Programme was initiated by EThekwini Municipality and DUT in 2015. The Municipality has funded a total 400 employees to complete training in Public Administration, with a focus on Public Participation which is one of the key functions for all government employees. The 1-year programme has equipped municipal employees with critical skills in the execution of their duties.
Some of the key stakeholders who have ensured that this programme is a success include Dr. Surendra Thakur, Director of CCPE and KZN e-Skills CoLab, Prof Rishidaw Balkaran, Executive Dean: Faculty of Management Sciences, DUT; Prof Veena Rawjee, Prof Dasarath Chetty, Project Executive from eThekwini Municipality; Dr. Mpilo Ngubane, eThekwini Municipal Academy; Puleng Monatisa, Senior Manager, eThekwini Municipal Academy; Nomfundo Phetha, Project Executive, EThekwini Municipality.
Pictured: Some of the eThekwini Municipality employees who graduated today, 12 May 2018 with a Higher Certificate in Public Administration, from left, Thandeka Dlamini, Lindithemba Khumalo, Cynthia O’Reilly, Bheka Mbuthuma and Celukuthula Sibisi.