The men, women and institutions that impressed us serving the people in 2021

Johannesburg – This year there were men and women (and institutions) in the public service who impressed while carrying out their duties.


1. Health Minister Joe Phaahla Assuming office in the wake of the Digital Vibes saga, Phaahla had his work cut out.

The medical doctor had to steer a ship that was sinking following the departure of former health minister Zweli Mkhize.

Phaahla has done a sterling job in ensuring the roll-out of the country’s vaccination programme and driving the government’s response to Coronavirus in general.

  1. Human Settlement Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has been a breath of fresh air since joining the cabinet. Aged 43, she is one of the youngest ministers. At the time she served as tourism minister, Kubayi-Ngubane took on the big boys, lobby group Afriforum, over the issue of transformation in the sector.

Her promotion to the human settlement portfolio is a good move. She is one to look out for in the future.

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA NOVEMBER 06: Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane delivers a keynote address at the Tourism and Hospitality Networking Business Session on November 06, 2020 in Soweto, South Africa. It is reported that the business session discussed the role of township and rural tourism in driving the South African economy. (Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)
  1. The Constitutional Court

The sentencing of former president Jacob Zuma to 15 months imprisonment by the apex court marked a watershed moment for the country’s democratic dispensation.

The unprecedented decision reaffirmed the rule of law, and the ConCourt judges should be commended for such a decisive move that protected the constitution of the republic, which was being undermined by Zuma.

SA Constitutional court.
  1. SA scientists

The country’s scientists have been at the forefront of innovative work to identify variants that are driving Covid-19.

The latest discovery was the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the previous ones. In October last year, our scientists also discovered the Beta variant, which was first identified in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape.

Our scientists continue to make us proud in the fields of medical sciences.

  1. The auditor-general (AG), Tsakani Maluleke

Since her appointment last December, Maluleke has held her own after replacing Kimi Makwetu, who died last year just before the expiry of his term.

Maluleke, who served as deputy AG since 2004, has protected the integrity of one of the best-performing Chapter Nine institutions in the country.

The office continues to expose the inefficiencies in the management of finances in state institutions, especially municipalities.

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke addressing the media after tabling her reports into the national and provincial governments. / GCIS

6. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

The IEC delivered free and fair elections under difficult conditions of Covid-19 on November 1.

The outcome of the recent local polls has not been challenged in court by anyone, which underscores the efficiency with which the electoral body delivered the local government polls.

National Results.

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