OGP, Discussion with editors

7 October 2015, 10 Second Avenue Hotel, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg

The Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms. Ayanda Dlodlo had a working lunch with editors at the 10 Second Avenue Hotel, Houghton Estate, in Johannesburg yesterday to discuss the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as the Government of South Africa moves to officially assume the position of OGP Lead Chair. Deputy Minister Dlodlo was accompanied by Chief Director for International Cooperation Programme Ms. Qinisile Delwa.

The Government of South Africa joined seven other countries in launching the initiative in 2011 and served as Co-Chair on the OGP Steering Committee since last year.

Setting the tone for deliberations, Deputy Minister Dlodlo gave a detailed background on the OGP which included goals, mission and indicated that to become a member of OGP, participating countries must endorse a high level Open Government Declaration.

"Government must demonstrate a minimum level of commitment to open government principles in four key areas; fiscal transparency, access to information, income and asset disclosure and citizen engagement'' said Ms. Dlodlo.

Deputy Minister Dlodlo briefed editors on the role in which the Government of South Africa will play as OGP Lead Chair in the regional, continental and global sphere by ensuring that it heeds the call of OGP, which is to improve government's performance by being a transparent, effective and accountable government which encourages civic participation as well as enhances government's responsiveness to the people.

According to Ms. Delwa, the OGP platform will be used to benchmark with other government states as it promotes the sharing of ideas and information through collaborative efforts. She further added that France will Co-Chair with South Africa during their tenure as OGP Lead Chair.

In an effort to improve transparency, government will launch an open data portal dot.data.gov.za which is envisioned to create a more interactive platform between government and its citizens.

Deputy Minister Dlodlo also stressed the need for the media to come on board to help popularise the OGP among citizens and inform citizens about progress updates.

As part of the engagement, editors asked questions relating to the funding of the OGP and the instrumental purpose of OGP to ensure improved service delivery in the country amongst others.

The South African delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms. Ayanda Dlodlo as Special Envoy to the OGP will attend the OGP Global Summit which will take place in Mexico from 27-28 October 2015.

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