The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has reminded the more than one million public service employees of their critical role in delivering services to communities.

This as government marked the beginning of the annual Public Service Month on Friday.

The department's Director General Mashwahle Diphofa said September, being the Public Service Month, is used to celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community.

He called on all public servants to continue to live by the principles of Batho Pele when dealing with the public. Batho Pele (people first) principles encourage public servants to ensure, among others, that citizens are treated with courtesy and consideration.

As we celebrate Public Service Month, as Public Servants, it is important to ask ourselves: as the current crop of public servants, are we living these values and principles of a Public Service as enshrined in the Constitution?

When future generations and scholars of public administration reflect on the history of public service, will they positively note that, as the custodian of Public Service in the country, we lived up to this constitutional mandate?

Diphofa noted that the National Development Plan (NDP) highlights the need for well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and are capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation's developmental objectives.

Public servants, he said, were therefore the change agents, enablers and facilitators of integrated good governance and public administration towards Vision 2030.

During the 2015 Public Service Month, several issues were identified as needing attention. Among those issues were strengthening and demonstration of the deeper understanding and internalising of the Batho Pele, the need for skilled, competent, knowledgeable, capable and disciplined public servants who put people first and raising awareness about the Public Service Chatter.

Allow me to stress that Public Service Month should continuously serve not only to celebrate public servants but also as a renewal of commitment by public servants to serve the citizens of our country with utmost dedication and professionalism.

We therefore call upon on public servants to remain committed to serving communities beyond the Public Service Month - let it be a daily programme of action of delivering services to our people, Diphofa said.