Painting by vaps

THE EDITOR: Any painter will tell you that you cannot use a four-inch brush to paint every area in a house.

Brushes come in many different sizes, even textures, to ensure the best finish for the respective surface. The experienced painter always has a trick or two up his sleeve for those surfaces that provide a little challenge.

Some of our government ministers will do well to take an introductory painting course if only to understand why they cannot and should not use a broad brush on everything.

Reading the Minister of Agriculture’s pronouncement on public servants in your newspaper on Monday irked me in no small measure.

After all, he heads his organisation and surely there are productive, customer-focused employees there.

Seems not. Doesn’t he realise that his criticism is also a reflection on his ability to lead and motivate and help transform the organisation? Clearly not.

Blame, blame, blame. Criticise, criticise, criticise. How useful is that? How does it make the change happen?

I totally agree that the public service is a huge bureaucracy where employees are not empowered, where both internal and external customer service sucks and where the management and supervision of staff needs great improvement.

These are challenges for many organisations including those we like to hold up as bastions.

The fact is nowhere like the public service has the adjustment in expenditure been more of a reality.

Permanent secretaries have been bending backwards to help their organisations make the necessary shifts even when removing some of the basic amenities, such as water, causes discontent among staff.

And staff have been rallying because they know quite well that having a job is more important than getting water which they can easily bring from home.

This is a stressful time for everyone and perhaps the minister needs to remember that before painting himself and the public service into a corner.

HELEN MAY via e-mail


"Painting by vaps"

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