South African Association of Public Administration and Management


One of SAAPAM’s highest honours intended for the recognition of current and former officials within the public sector and researchers who have portrayed exceptional service in the Public Administration and practice peripheries.

The prestigious award recognises individuals who have consistently performed to the highest standards and have immensely contributed towards their diversified communities. The Public Service Award was established to recognise employees of the South African Government and other organs of the State at national, provincial and local governmental spheres. Furthermore, to eulogise persons with exceptional service in research and scholarship within the field of Public Administration and Management.

It is pivotal to note that officials and researchers in the African continent, have eligibility to the SPSA should they meet the award’s specified criteria of selection.

Outstanding service is notably delineated through:

  • Public service excellence and organisational internal/external outstanding service to stakeholders;
  • Exceptional contributions in the research, scholarship and practice of Public Administration,
  • Innovation in programme, project or policy development,
  • Leadership, inclusive of roles portrayed as a member of a team; or
  • The achievement of more efficient processes, improved productivity and better service delivery.

Your Nominations Guide for the SAAPAM Public Service Award


The award

Only a maximum of three (3) awards of the SAAPAM Public Service Award (SPSA) can be produced within a two (2) year period. This indicates that up to three awards can be granted to employees of the South African Government and its agencies, the academic sector, and African Continental personnels within the relevant discipline.

What is the medal awarded for?

The sole criterion for the award of the SPSA is to recognize outstanding achievement in the public service. “Outstanding service” includes service above and beyond the normal requirements of the position, a special achievement or success in the performance of duty around difficult or unusual circumstances and sustained high level performance by an individual with a focus on outcomes and recognisable benefits to clients and the workplace.

Who is eligible?

Current and Former employees of the South African Government at national, provincial and local sphere of government are eligible for the award. The SPSA is open to all levels of the public service.

The SPSA may be awarded only once to each recipient in a five (5) year circle. A person who has received an award from SAAPAM is not excluded from receiving an SPSA if the five years period has lapsed.

Retired office Bearers

Retired public office bearers, academics and researchers can be nominated for this award.

How should nominations be prepared?

All nominations should be prepared in word format.


The criteria and nomination form- Nominations are limited to 2 pages.

As the SPSA is part of the official national honours of SAAPAM, it is important to provide full personal details of the nominee, including the full name and home address. All information provided is treated as confidential.

Full position details are required so that the SPSA Committee can assess the nomination relative to the duties that would normally be expected of a person at a particular level. This is of paramount importance for the committee, in the process of nominations comparison.

The nomination statement must contain comprehensive information on the service or achievement for which the nomination is being made. A list of positions held over a period of years is not sufficient, on the basis that the nomination will be considered alongside other nominations in what is essentially a competitive process. The committee needs to be given a clear idea of what the nominee has done to fulfil the criterion of outstanding service. It should not be assumed that the committee has a detailed knowledge of the area in which the nominee is employed or was employed, or a full understanding of the significance of certain achievements. The nominee’s service should be put into context in the nomination statement.

Adjudication support- Nomination reports are limited to 2 pages.

To be properly considered by the committee, all nominations must be accompanied by referee statements which comment on the service of the nominee. It is also often appropriate to obtain referee statements from outside the agency, especially if the nominee is being nominated for outstanding service to a particular community or industry. If the nominee’s service relates to the work of another agency, a referee statement from that agency may also help the committee in their consideration of the nomination. Two referee statements would be sufficient.

A completed nomination should be forwarded to the National Board of SAAPAM.

Procedure for nominations

The diverse SPSA Committees consider nominations for eligible candidates. The National Board of SAAPAM will publish dates for nominations on the SAAPAM website annually.

After considering the nominations, the committee recommends a list of proposed recipients to the President and Executive Director of SAAPAM, who will then approve or decline the recommended names for the awards on behalf of the association. The decision then becomes a final verdict where nomination is concerned and no correspondence will be entered into beyond the verdict point.

Responsibility of contacting the proposed recipients rests with the Nominations Committee Chairperson, SAAPAM President/Vice President or Executive Director, who arranges for the announcement of the awards to appear in the SAAPAM website.  Proposed recipients may decline an award if they so wish. Sometime after announcement the recipient will be notified by SAAPAM Administration of the arrangements for them to receive their award at an official investiture.


Nominations for the SAAPAM Public Service Award should be directed to the office of the Executive Director of SAAPAM on below means of communication before the 30 June 2023. NB (No late nominations will be considered).

Dr John Molepo
Executive Director
Contact: 076 750 2300/ 012 382 9769
Email: or
South African Association of Public Administration and Management 

Administrative Office