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Operation Phakisa: Faster, better and effective services

Written by Albert Pule
President Jacob Zuma says government will implement two more segments of Operation Phakisa in an effort to fast-track service delivery.

President Jacob Zuma giving the nation an update on the progress of Operation Phakisa a programme that aims to fasttrack service deliveryOperation Phakisa is currently being implemented in the ocean and health sectors while new segments are being planned for education and mining.

By October, Operation Phakisa Mining will start running under the Mining Phakisa Laboratory while Operation Phakisa in Basic Education will also begin between August and September.

Operation Phakisa is a government initiative adopted from the Malaysian government aimed at implementing priority programmes faster, better and more effectively.

“Operation Phakisa comes from Malaysia’s Big Fast Results Methodology which that country used successfully to achieve rapid economic transformation,” explained President Zuma during an update on progress made in the implementation of Operation Phakisa recently. 

It also forms part of government’s Nine Point Plan to grow the economy and create more jobs.

“We launched Operation Phakisa last year, starting with the Ocean Economy and later unveiled the ideal clinic initiative.

“We are happy with the progress made thus far with Operation Phakisa and look forward to the launch of the new segments,” added the President.

Ocean economy

The Ocean Economy Phakisa focuses on four major areas namely: marine transport, off shore oil and gas, aquaculture and marine protection services, and ocean governance.

A study conducted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) quantified the value of South Africa’s ocean.

“In the initial study in 2010, the oceans around South Africa were estimated to have a potential to contribute about R54 billion to the Gross Domestic Product and an estimated 316 000 thousand jobs,” explained President Zuma.

Between July and August of 2014, the ocean’s laboratory phase was implemented in Durban. The phase focused on initiatives across the ocean economy as a whole.

“It focused on initiatives which are able to deliver significant impact within the next five years and beyond and to lay the groundwork for sustained long-term growth, not only in the four priority areas, but also across the ocean economy as a whole.”

To increase the contribution of the ocean economy, the President said various opportunities would be explored in other areas related to the ocean economy.

“Opportunities are being explored in the various areas, one being the repairing of rigs and the servicing of vessels.”

He added that the country should take advantage of the number of vessels using South Africa’s oceans.

“Thirty thousand vessels pass through South Africa’s waters every year and 13 000 dock in our ports every year.”

The President added that more needed to be done to improve infrastructure to accommodate the high number of vessels passing through South Africa’s waters.

Some three hundred million tons of cargo on foreign owned vessels are shipped and 1.2 million tons of liquid pass along South Africa’s coasts annually.

“In this regard, significant investment is required in the new port infrastructure including rig repairs. The establishment of a small Harbours Development is thus necessary.”

He added that government is planning to rehabilitate five ports to unlock the potential of the coastline.

“We have identified Gansbaai, Saldanha Bay, Struisbaai, Gordons Bay and Lamberts Bay for rehabilitation.”

Three provinces will also get new harbours. “A roadmap has also been developed for the proclamation of new harbours in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.”

Operation Phakisa Ideal Clinic

The President also reported that the building of Ideal Clinics is on track. Operation Phakisa Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance, launched in November last year,  is improving services in public clinics. It is aimed at transforming public sector clinics into clinics that will provide good quality care to all communities.

The ideal clinic is expected to open on time in the morning; does not close until the last patient has been assisted even if it’s beyond operating hours; is staffed by health care professionals who treat people with dignity; is very clean and has reasonable waiting times.

President Zuma said through Operation Phakisa, progress has been made in achieving some of the desired elements of the health segment.

“Progress made thus far includes the implementation of the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution Programme.

“This is a medicine distribution programme for stable patients who do not need to see a doctor or a nurse, but are just coming to collect their monthly supply of medication,” he explained.

Further, the President said architectural designs for the Ideal Clinic have been finalised which will be used in the building or refurbishing of Ideal Clinics. "Using the same designed, 216 new clinics are going to be buit. In eight clinics, contractors are already on sie, in OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape. In another eight, contractors are already on site." The President added that under the programme, supplies are delivered to specific locations agreed by the patient and government. The programme has helped over 200 000 patients who no longer have to sit in long queues waiting for their medication.