Public Service Commission on recent socio economic and political developments on the public service and service delivery

Public Service Commission's (PSC) statement on recent socio economic and political developments on the public service and service delivery

The Public Service Commission (PSC) held its quarterly Plenary from 28 February to 02 March 2018. The Plenary is the highest decision-making body of the PSC where all fourteen (14) Commissioners under the leadership of the Chairperson, Advocate Richard Sizani deal with a number of strategic issues within its mandate. Due to the recent developments in the country, the plenary meeting dedicated a significant amount of time to discuss the following issues:

Political developments

Policy developments, changes, including intervention by the PSC

Economic outlook and service delivery

Political developments

The PSC congratulates President Cyril Ramaphosa on his appointment as President of the Republic of South Africa. The PSC also congratulates new Ministers who have been appointed to Cabinet. The appointment of President Cyril Ramaphosa has brought a new dawn which is likely to usher in positive energy in the public service. President Ramaposa's specific reference to the work ethic of Public Servants, both in terms of appreciating those doing good and in admonishing laxity, brings hope that the character of a developmental state will be evident in the ethics and ethos of the South African Public Service. The PSC will continue to promote efforts that will lead to the realisation of the developmental public service.

Policy and developments and possible intervention by the PSC

Good Governance

2018 is a year dedicated to the late President Nelson Mandela. The former State President could have turned 100 this year. The public service should epitomise good governance in his honour and build a positive future for South Africa. To this end, Government should put emphasis on the following amongst others,

Ethical behavior and leadership in building a capable and developmental state

Turning the tide on corruption in public institutions

Effective coordination of anti-corruption efforts

Some of the interventions that the PSC will undertake in the area of good governance include the following:

The PSC will intensify efforts to promote the Constitutional Values (CVPs) and Principles across the Public Service. This means that departments will be put in a spotlight in terms of showing own initiatives to developing ethical culture in the public service. This will go a long way in providing institutional assessments on compliance with the values and principles whose overall aim is to promote good governance.

The PSC will also intensify its promotional work in the area of professional ethics within the Public Service. This will include amongst others, the following:

Management of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline

Management of the implementation of the Financial Disclosure Framework

Engagement with relevant Ministers, MECs, Municipal councils and other responsible parties to ensure that the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) is empowered to exert influence to curb corruption through active participation by all role players

Monitoring and reporting on financial misconduct cases.

Effective and efficiency of the state

A strong and capable state is central to South Africa's growth, development and transformation. The structure and size of the state must be optimally suited to meet the needs of the people as articulated by President Ramaphosa during his maiden State of the Nation Address. To this end, the PSC will within its Constitutional mandate, advise the Presidency in this process.

The public funds should be used economically, effectively and efficiently across the public service to avoid wastage. Service providers doing business with the state, particularly Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) should be paid within 30 days as failure to do so affects their promotion and sustainability.

Leadership stability

The National Development Plan (NDP) requires that the Public Service must be meritocratic, professional and career-oriented. Stability in leadership is critical in this regard. The PSC believes that the new administration will strengthen stability at the political-administrative interface which is key to service delivery.

To create stability in the leadership echelon of the Public Service, the PSC is of the view that mechanism for the appointment of individuals to senior government positions, state owned entities and law enforcement agencies should be strengthened to improve transparency and prevent undue influence amongst others. Therefore, the PSC will firstly, engage with the Presidency and MPSA with regard to the implementation of the National Development Plan recommendations on the establishment of the Head of Administration. Secondly, collaborate with the National School of Government, Presidency and Ministry for Public Service and Administration on the induction of Executive Authorities (EAs) and Heads of Department (HoDs) using the guide on induction of EAs and HoDs that it (PSC) has produced.

Econonic outlook and service delivery

According to the IMF's World Economic Outlook, South Africa is facing at least 5 years of slow growth. The negative economic outlook leads to budget cuts in the Public Service. The budget cuts are likely to lead to poor quality of service delivery. The PSC expects that the creation of labour intensive and highly technical jobs through infrastructure projects will go a long way in contributing towards the growing of the economy.

The PSC applauds the cost-cutting measures introduced by Government, on luxury goods, luxury travel and big splurge functions.

The PSC looks forward to public servants adhering to the principle of Batho Pele, which is putting people first when undertaking their responsibilities. Public servants must also carryout lawful instructions of the government of the day.

Source: Government of South Africa