Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi says labour relations in the country have in the past decade undergone a major transformation.
She was speaking at a two-day Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) conference to celebrate a decade of social dialogue in the public service.
The Minister said the council had played a major role in fostering transformation in the public service.
"The transformation initiatives undertaken by social partners and government as a collective through the PSCBC reflects the commitment of parties with the reconstruction and development of our fledgling democracy," said Ms Fraser-Moleketi.
The minister commended the interaction between the PBSCBC, government and labour over the last six years saying it had promoted sound relations.
She however challenged the PBSCBC to educate people about the labour relations framework in an effort to avoid distortion.
"As in any relationship, so too in the relationship between government as the employer, and labour, there would be tensions. These manifested themselves in industrial actions of all sorts.
"This is indicative of the reverence with which workers rights are held and affirmed in South Africa. Significantly though, the manner in which parties managed these tensions was largely due to the maturity of collective bargaining," she said.
She added that among notable achievements by the PSCBC was the removal of discriminatory practices in the conditions of service of workers in the public service.
"Government inherited a fragmented system of service delivery and was tasked to merge the respective administrations, each with their own service conditions into a more coherent people oriented service delivery system," she explained.
She also mentioned the Government Employers Pension Fund as also one of the laudable initiatives at achieving equality through the removal of discrimination.
Government officials and trade unions from Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, are attending this meeting including representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA).
Among the objectives is to evaluate the role the PSCBC had played in the transformation and restructuring of the country's public service.