National Framework to improve government capacity

Acting Public Service and Administration Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says the National Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Sector was introduced to ensure that only ethical, qualified and competent individuals are appointed into positions of authority.

“We have already introduced a vigorous process of pre-screening as we lay the foundation for a meritocratic public service; a meritocratic public service that is staffed by capable, ethical, qualified and professional public servants,” said Nxesi.

The Minister said this during the debate of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday.

Nxesi explained that ethical recruitment processes include formalised integrity assessments that are mandatory, with tightened occupation-based competency assessments and pre-service entry exams for the public sector.

“The overall objective is to improve the capacity of government to efficiently deliver on public goods and services.”

Nxesi said the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud laid bare some of the irregularities and criminal activities that the Professionalisation Framework seeks to address.

According to Nxesi, President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to the recommendations of the Judicial Commission outlining a number of steps and actions to ensure their implementation.

Nxesi said the Gazetting of the Public Administration and Management Act (PAMA) Regulations provides for enforcement of compliance with Norms and Standards to provide a uniform standard of access to quality services and governance of the public sector.

“The process to revise the performance management system for all levels in the Public Service has commenced. This will include linking the performance of the HOD [head of department] and DDGs [deputy director-general] to that of the institution they lead.

“As government we remain committed to ensuring that there is a balance between the wage bill, expenditure on services and investment in infrastructure.

“It is important to ensure that public service wage negotiations are aligned with the planning and budgeting cycle of government, both to strengthen labour relations and to prevent any risk to the integrity of the fiscus,” Nxesi said.

Working with the National School of Government and the Public Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA), the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) will support departments to conduct skills audits to ensure that training is in line with the Professionalisation Framework.

“We are proud to announce, that the United Nation’s e-Government Survey Report for 2022, recognised South Africa as a digital government leader in the continent.

“Coordinated by the Presidency, the DPSA is working with the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), National Treasury and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies to address the inefficiencies that exist in digitisation and establishing viable eService and e-Government.

“[South] Africa requires a professional and capable public service that is driven by ethics and Batho Pele Principles. It is after all, when we put people first, that we can serve them,” the Minister said.

In October last year, Cabinet approved the National Implementation Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service.

Source: South African Government News Agency