Batho Pele is an initiative that was launched by the government to transform the Public Service at all levels.
Batho Pele can be translated to “People First”, and has been summarised by this slogan: “We belong, we care, we serve.”
It is an approach to improve service delivery by getting the Public Servants to commit to and prioritise serving people
. Quite literally, putting people, and their needs, first.
The 8 Batho Pele Principles
Interact with, listen to and learn from the people you serve. The only way we can find out what customers want, is by asking them.
This can be done through surveys, suggestion boxes and by talking to- and listening to our customers
2. Service Standards
The standards we set are the tools we use to measure our performance. It’s important to have set service standards that guide exactly what service is delivered and to what quality or standard
For example, if you apply for an ID book from Home Affairs, and you have all the necessary documents, it should only take about six weeks to get the ID book. If this standard is not kept, the department owes the customer an explanation and an apology
When people do not get what they are entitled to from the Public Service, they have a right to redress.
When this happens, and complaints are made, citizens should receive a sympathetic and positive response
. This means that the public servant should apologise and then advise on a solution
that will be offered regarding the problem.
All citizens have the right to equal access to the services to which they are entitled. Public servants have a special role to play in making access ‘easy’, to make sure that those who need extra assistance get it
. This especially applies to disabled people, illiterate people and rural people who may have difficulty accessing government services.
Practically, this could mean making sure your phone is answered within three rings, that your clients know which queue to join, exactly what email address to use and what hours the department operates.
It is important for Public servants to remember that they are employed to help the people and to give them access to the services that are their rights. Public Servants should always be courteous and helpful
A practical example would be to readily assist where possible, whether by answering any queries, or guiding people to someone that can assist them. It can be as simple as a ’smile’
Citizens should be given full, accurate information about public services.
So if a public servant does not have information, they should try to find out and help the person. Make sure all information is available on the website. It’s very important to spend some extra time with people who need a better explanation or assistance because they cannot understand or cannot access the services themselves
Be open about day to day activities, Public Service and administration should be run as an open book.
The public have the right to know
how decisions are made, how a department works, who is in charge and what its plans and budgets are.
Practically it can be as simple as public access to up-line management
8. Value for Money
It is very important that public servants do not waste the scarce resources of government and that they deliver a service that is as cost-effective and efficient as possible
. Avoid wastage of time, money, and other resources.
Keep things simple
. The simpler procedures are the quicker they go, saving time and money.
The Batho Pele principles have been incorporated into several of the workshops we offer at Staff Training
, such as:
• Customer Care
• Effective Service Delivery
• Etiquette, Ethics and Customer Care
For more information please call us at 0861 996 660 or drop us an email.