Government will next month launch Operation Phakisa, which will play a critical role in fast-tracking delivery of the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday in his address in response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address.

Operation Phakisa is an adaptation of Malaysia’s Big Fast Results methodology, which involves setting clear targets and following up with ongoing monitoring of progress and making these results public.

Zuma noted that this implementation methodology had enabled the Malaysian government to register impressive results within a short period.

He announced that the first phase of implementing Operation Phakisa would be led by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

“It will focus on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans, which are estimated to have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to [the country’s] gross domestic product by 2033 compared with R54-billion in 2010,” Zuma said.

The methodology would also be piloted to improve service delivery in the country’s clinics nationwide, promoting Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s Ideal Clinic Initiative.

“We want to find methods that work [and] deliver results, and we believe Operation Phakisa may provide the key,” Zuma said.

Meanwhile, the President said, while the economy would take centre stage in the next five years, government would also invest energy and resources to improve the performance of the State and, in particular, the public service sector.

“We want government to deliver services faster and more efficiently. More importantly, we want members of the public seeking services to be treated with respect, patience, understanding and courtesy,” Zuma stated.

Therefore, the Batho Pele Service Delivery Improvement Programme, which was first launched in 2004, would be revitalised, accompanied by the promotion of the new Public Service Charter, under the leadership of the Public Service and Administration Department.

“We also intend to ensure that all levels of this administration treat complaints management as a priority issue, so that we can achieve the goal of being a government that is accessible and responsive to citizens,” Zuma said.