SAIGA CEO: Russel Morena speech – SAIGA & ABASA Media event

Master of Ceremony, Suraya Hamdulay. Thank you for the opportunity. 

The President of the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, Mr. Phillip Rakgwale, chairperson of the SAIGA Eastern Cape region, Mrs. Sisonke Mvubu, President of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA), Mr. Ashly Dicken, ABASA Secretary General Mr. Luyanda Gidini, National Chairperson of Women of ABASA, Ms. Linda Maqoma, members of the media and fellow colleagues from SAIGA and ABASA. 

I am honoured for this opportunity to say few words on this great day when these two great organisations officially collaborate with one common objective – to work together in addressing capacity challenges in the public sector by providing government officials, members and associates with access to a broader base of skills development programmes, workshops, seminars and related activities.

Auditing and accounting professionals, which our organisations represent play a critical role in the public sector. The public service is in everyone’s lips for diverse issues, if it is not for wage cost, it is for corruption, poor service delivery, irregular and fruitless spending, it is for incompetence. Since our inceptions, as the Southern African Institute of Government Auditors, we have been advocating for auditing and public accountability. 

We know the challenges which the public sector faces, our professionals are at the fore front of these, they understand the public sector more than anyone and it is for this reason that as SAIGA we say “enough is enough” about the public sector always being in the spotlight for negative things. We want to assist the state to address capacity challenges at all levels in our government institutions at the national, provincial and local spheres.   

It is our believe that poor or lack of critical skills from lower to higher level, poor management practices, poor audit performance, lack of accountability in terms of prudent financial management, and importantly the declining capacity of public sector-oriented institutions to enable and or sustain the development of a capable state as defined in the NDP 2030 are some of the challenges the state faces. 

Professional development, skills development and improving accountability are our solution to these challenges. By improving the competency levels of public sector financial officials, ease of leadership transitions at public sector institutions; increasing the capacity of the public sector in improving service delivery, increasing supply of competent public sector professionals; and at the same time providing a state-led oversight body for professionals within the public sector. 

Early this year when a call was made on the National Implementation Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service, under the leadership of the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, honorable minister Senzo Mchunu, we fully supported the call. We believe that for the state to achieve this important milestone there should partnerships with all professional institutions because every professional has expertise in their scope, which our government will benefit from.

This partnership between SAIGA and ABASA provides skills programmes including continuous professional development (CPD) through short courses, training on government auditing and accounting, specialised programme qualification, certification programme for the Registered Government Auditor (RGA) professional designation, technical advice and guidance in accounting and auditing specifically for the public sector space. The training shall be provided through SAIGA’s training academy which supports the state with capacity development programmes. 

As part of the agreement, members and associates of the two institutions will be able to attend all courses, programmes, workshops, conferences, seminars and related activities offered or hosted by ABASA or SAIGA including the recently announced SAIGA Annual Conference titled “citizens come first” scheduled to take place in November this year. 

Our vision is to be a leading professional organisation that pursues a collaborative approach and leverage the combination of core competencies of its stakeholder to increase member value in addressing needs of our professionals. As such, from a SAIGA’s perspective this partnership with ABASA will help contribute towards upskilling individuals in the public sector to be more accountable in their roles. This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will also help enhance the visibility of both institutions to the broader public. Through this agreement, members of ABASA are eligible for training and exclusive access to SAIGA programmes and events. 

We are doing this for the love of the public sector, for wanting to see constant services being delivered to all citizens and wanting to see the public sector becoming an employer of choice. Indeed, we are excited for this partnership with ABASA. In conclusion, we as SAIGA believe that an efficient public sector will result in happy citizens. This is what we want to experience in our lifetime. Thank you everyone. 

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