DPSA, PSC, CPSI & NSG Quarter 1, 2 & 3 Performance; with Deputy Minister

Public Service and Administration

09 March 2022
Chairperson: Ms T Mgweba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was briefed by the Public Service Commission, Centre for Public Service Innovation, National School of Government and Department of Public Service and Administration on their first, second and third quarter performance of the 2020/21 financial year.

CPSI said the COVID-19 crisis presented an opportunity to adapt to virtual platforms and they were studying some weaknesses on such platforms with considerations for corrective measures. It was also discussed how the Commission was responding to issues of corruption and some of the challenges encountered.

The briefing by the Centre for Public Service innovation on the first, second and third quarter performance of 2020/21 financial year outlined some of the challenges encountered, including targets met in the financial year. They presented some of the innovative projects that they have including considerations for expanding them to areas that need them the most, especially in rural and township areas. They confirmed the strategic partnerships that they have and how they were working to create more.

The National School of Government briefed the Committee on the first, second and third quarter performance of the 2020/21 financial year highlighting met and unmet targets. They indicated that they were working to fill vacant posts and also their commitment to ensure that their curriculum teaches value-based governance and ethics to promote patriotism.

The Department of Public Service and Administration also briefed the Committee on the first, second and third quarter performance of the 2020/21 financial year reaffirming their commitment to serving the public despite all the challenges that they were grappling with. It was discussed that they were working hard to ensure the eradication of corruption. Although they do not have enforcement powers, cases of corruption are reported to the appropriate authorities. 

Meeting report

The Acting Chairperson, Ms T Mgweba (ANC), officially opened the meeting and welcomed everyone on the platform. She then requested Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake, to make her opening remarks before proceeding with the presentations.

The Deputy Minister indicated that the Department of Public Service and Administration was before the Committee to present reports on the Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the first, second and third quarters of the 2021/22 financial year. She indicated that the Department had 23 targets and 15 were achieved while 8 were not achieved. As of February 2022, the Department had filled 356 posts and 63 were still vacant. She further stated that the Department had implemented a project-based approach to fill in all vacancies. As of 31 December 2021, the Department had spent R328 million which is 61.7% of its allocated budget of R532 million.

In terms of a recent judgement by the Constitutional Court on Resolution 1 of 2008, issued on 28 February 2022, the appeal was dismissed. Importantly, the application before the Court was only in respect of the enforcement of clause 3.3 of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018. On Resolution 1 of the PSCBC, the Court did not make any order to invalidate the entire Resolution. She added that the matter of Resolution 1 remains valid, and the parties involved have performed in terms thereof. Therefore, the state is under no obligation to pay salary adjustments for 2021 as contemplated in clause 3.3 of Resolution 1.

She concluded by informing the Committee that in the execution of its work during the past three quarters, the Department was aware of the constraints on financial resources because of the economic situation that had led to budgetary reviews. However, it is not certain that the staff of the Department are committed to its mandate and, in the future, the Department would be able to deal with some of the challenges it faced.  

Public Service Commission (PSC) Q1, 2 and 3 performance for the 2021/22 FY
Public Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner, Prof Somadoda Fikeni, thanked the Committee and handed it over to the Director-General (DG) of the Public Service Commission, Ms Dinkie Dube. She indicated at the beginning of the financial year that the Commission started with a budget of R286 million, and in terms of its overall establishment, they have a national footprint with nine provincial offices and a national office that is based in Pretoria. She highlighted that the Commission comprises 14 commissioners with a total staff complement of 277 with some vacancies still unfilled.

In terms of the Commission’s performance, she said that in the area of public administration and investigations, they had a total of 332 complaints of which 104 have been referred to outside bodies after doing an assessment. She highlighted that the outside bodies were institutions that do similar work to the Commission like the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission. In the area of grievances, there was a total grievance load of 444 cases of which 157 were carryovers from the previous financial year and the remainder was received in the current financial year. Sharing with the Committee the case reports that were generated from the National Anticorruption hotline, she indicated that there was a total of 347 case reports generated.

On monitoring and evaluation, the Commission was able to conduct 88 inspections on sites both at the national and provincial levels, with Commissioners assisted by investigators and inspectors.

On the visibility of the Commission, she indicated that both print and electronic media showed interest in the work of the Commission. She said that considering the viewership and readership of the different media outlets, they believe that the total audience reached through the media outreach programmes ranged between 75 000 and 7.5 million.

On the performance of the PSC from the first quarter until the third quarter, she said that in the first quarter, all the annual targets were achieved, in the second and third quarters, they managed to achieve all the targets in programs 2, 3, and 4. But in program 1, they missed one target which relates to the payments of invoices within 7 to 14 days, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviewing the actual performance against this set timeframe, she indicated that they were able to process 80% of those invoices while 99.5% were processed within the prescribed time of 30 days. However, corrective measures have been put in place to ensure the targets are not missed. 

She added that the Commission was doing well in terms of implementing the recommendations from the auditors, and they have also achieved the target of producing the quarterly bulletins.

In the programme leadership and management practices, she said that all targets had been exceeded as all their targets in this area (including the finalisation of grievances lodged by employees in levels two to 12) were to finalise 65% of them within 30 days. And they were able to finalise 91% in the first quarter, 86% in the second and 84% in the third. On the target for finalisation of grievances lodged by the senior management members of the public service within 45 days, they had targeted 65% and 86% were finalised in the first quarter, and 85% in both the second and third. She indicated that most of the grievances related to the filling of posts where there is a public servant who either was not shortlisted or appointed, therefore believing that they have been unfairly treated. She added that there are several complaints on unfair treatment with some relating to performance management and salary problems. 

In terms of the production of the report on leadership and human resource management practices, it is an indicator that is still underway, and the Commission is due to produce the report at the end of quarter four and so far, they are on track to meet this target.

On the report about the report relating to the grievance management and the efficiencies of the grievance procedure, they have met the quarter two and three targets and they are on track to achieve the quarter 4 target which will be the production of a technical brief on this area.

She noted that in quarter three, the Commission achieved the target to produce a communiqué about grievances indicating that they have issued a grievance management communiqué in quarter two which was meant to provide advice on how to deal with grievances.

On monitoring and evaluation, she said that there were several constitutional values and principles (CVP) engagements. In the first quarter, they had targeted to conduct one CVP engagement, two CVP engagements in quarter two, one engagement in quarter three, and two in the fourth quarter. The Commission exceeded the target as in quarter one - they had 54 CVP engagements, none in quarter two, and two engagements in quarter three.

On inspections conducted, the Commission had a target of five and they achieved six in quarter two, in quarter three they met the target of four inspections on the implementation of the services. She indicated that there was a total of 58 on-site visits in the Department of Home Affairs and a further 30 unannounced and announced visits were conducted in schools, health facilities, and the South African Police Services. The Commission highlighted some of the systemic challenges that pertain to the services that the Department of Home Affairs provides, including recommendations from the inspection reports to improve the services provided.

On programme four, which concerns integrity and anticorruption, she said that the first indicator of finalising 60% of the public administration investigations within 90 days of receipt of all information was achieved. In quarter one, they finalised 90% of public administration investigations, 100% were finalised in quarter two, and 95% in quarter three. This is because the Commission had put strict monitoring and control measures including the meeting Commissioners have in the different panels.

On the report on financial misconduct, they have met the target to produce it in quarter three which has already been produced.

Looking at the performance of the anticorruption hotline, all the targets of quarters one to four of the receipt and referral of the cases to relevant agencies within seven days was reached at 100%. On the public administration complaints received, most of them were on appointment irregularities, poor service delivery, maladministration, and human resource-related matters. The hotline has dealt with about 60 thousand calls, of which 966 were of alleged corruption which were referred to the relevant departments for further investigations. Most of the calls were on social grant fraud and corruption from the public.

She added that the Commission had contributed to the Professionalisation Framework. This included assisting the members of the public who were not getting assistance from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for the COVID-19 relief fund.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the PSC, Mr Zweli Momeka, took the Committee through the financial report of the Commission. He indicated that from a budget of R286 million, at the end of December 2021, they had spent R193 million. He said that the underspending of R21.7 million was made up of underspending on the compensation of employees because of vacancies unfilled. He also highlighted that, due to COVID-19, the Commission had saved because some days officials worked from home, thus reducing some costs such as utility bills, telephone, and travel bills. He pointed out that all the audits by the Auditor-General were clean.

On irregular expenditure, he made it clear to the Committee that since January 2019, the Commission had never procured where it incurred an irregular expenditure.

Dr M Gondwe (DA) appreciated the presentation from the Public Service Commission. She wanted to know the number of people working at the finance directorate that were infected with COVID-19 and how many funded posts within the directorate were still vacant. She wanted to know when they were planning to fill the post of an administration clerk, and if the post had been advertised.

On the visibility of the Commission and the topics covered in the media, she wanted clarity on the topic of irregular payments to public servants and the topic of the crisis as an opportunity to review the system.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) welcomed the presentation from the PSC and applauded the Commission on the work done during difficult times. She wanted to check the initial strategy of the Commission to market themselves in communities.

On the vacancy rate, she wanted more detail of the appointment processes, particularly for commissioners.

On the delays of payments, she indicated that the Commission should put pressure to attend to this issue.

She further asked the Commission to highlight their recommendations and the outcomes of the recommendations on inspections that had been conducted, including how they monitor to ensure that they are implemented.

Ms R Komane (EFF) thanked the Commission for their presentation. She wanted to know how far the process of filling the vacancies was and when will they be filled, including the number of posts that will remain unfilled.

On the directorate that was infected by COVID-19, she wanted to know how many people were infected and whether the Department was not functional at that time.

She commended the Commission for eradicating irregular expenditure and she asked them to share the good practices that they have implemented that could be shared with other departments.

On inspections, she wanted to know what were the recommendations for departments such as Home Affairs were; most grieving members of the public are stranded because of the long line. In terms of the grievances, she wanted to know how the complainants were assured that they would not be treated negatively by their seniors after reporting cases.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) welcomed the presentation and appreciated the work the Commission has done. She asked what challenges were faced by the Commission in other provinces, especially in the Eastern Cape and North West. She also asked whether those departments implemented the recommendations put forth previously. 

With the issue of fraud and corruption cases reported on the anti-corruption hotline, has there been any litigation in these processes?

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) also welcomed the presentation from the Commission. She asked when the Department expected to finalise the outstanding targets.

On the hotline reports, she asked how feedback was given to those who reported cases?

In response, Prof Fikeni said that the crisis has presented an opportunity: it forced the government, the private sector and civil society to use internet services. This, therefore, has required them to think of effective and efficient ways to work with different role players on the future of e-governance. He added that they have been studying some weaknesses within the system in response to COVID-19 including the evaluation of progress when work is done at home. Therefore, this presents an opportunity for new training to deal with such issues.

On the filling of posts for commissioners, he indicated that only Parliament could do the appointments of those posts. He reminded the Committee that the Commission as it stands does not have the power to enforce, and thus all matters are referred to the departments concerned which the present reports to Parliament.

DG Dube added that by the end of the current financial year, the Commission will still be at around 9% (below the 10% threshold).

On the total number of employees in the finance section that was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that about 15 of them were impacted, though in the supply chain they have three employees who were affected which delayed payment of invoices.

On the feedback provided to those who report via the anti-corruption hotline, she said that consultants in the courts have the details of the complainants, who are given feedback on the outcome of the case.

She added that in terms of examples of unfair treatment in the workplace, they have received complaints that pertain to, for example, a request for a transfer which, according to the complainant, is being refused and the grounds of the refusal is arbitrary and therefore unfair.

Mr Momeka further highlighted that they have made supply chain processes an organisational matter and have organised workshops for staff members, various committees, including a plenary to ensure that everyone understood the laws and the precepts. Also, they made sure that all the supply chain-related committees are aware of all the laws. The Department has also included taking everyone through compulsory ethical training to ensure ethical behaviour and standards.

Center for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) Q1, 2 and 3 performance for 2021/22
Ms Lydia Sebokedi, Acting Executive Director, CPSI, said that they were in year two of their five-year strategic plan, and they have achieved a clean audit on effective corporate governance, achieving 14 targets of the second outcome indicator for the current financial year.

The innovation research and development initiatives that have been undertaken included the development of the virtual Thusong Centre and a service monitoring system in the Northern Cape.

Other new development initiatives have been related to a forensic mobile app and a patient management mobile app.

On research, in October they concluded a benchmarking exercise against international practices to position the CPSI for the next ten years.  She added that they were working on completing a desktop report informing the implementation of the district development model. She also indicated that in the last financial year, they have conducted a rapid assessment of the state of the CPSI in partnership with the National Advisory Council on Innovation.

She presented the work on the youth digital innovation ecosystem where, during the three quarters, they have supported the project through six engagements where they mentor the youth. It was highlighted that they are committed to replicating some of the innovations that they come across to make sure that CPSI works in more sites. And they have started to engage with rural and township schools in KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo.

She indicated that they have a health innovative solution project at Edenvale Hospital to assist with the improvement of service delivery, including other projects to improve service delivery in other hospitals. They have also digitised the evaluation and adjudication meetings by using Google Forms and Excel which are auditable.

In response to the current water crisis in Hammanskraal, a site visit was undertaken in quarter three to investigate the challenges and assess the possibility of replicating the Vulamanzi Point-of-Use Water Filtering Project, previously replicated in Limpopo. She added that their projects were also focused on environmental preservation.

She highlighted the Public Sector Innovation Conference, a platform that they use to enhance leadership with a focus on this financial year being on the District Development Model to explore how to liberate innovation. This includes the design thinking workshops to enhance the problem-solving skills of public servants. She added that the CPSI continues to engage at the regional and international levels to ensure that it stays abreast with the latest developments in public sector innovation.

Ms Annette Snyman, CFO, CPSI, added that the expenditure from 1 April to 31 December 2021 amounted to R21 million which is 51% of the R41 million adjusted appropriation for the year.

On the compensation of employees, 63.7% was spent up to 31 December 2021. The spending was lower than anticipated due to the five vacant posts in the organisation. The current funded vacant posts not affected by the organisational structure review were advertised in June 2021 to be filled in the current financial year.  

She indicated that R6 million was spent on goods and services for the same period which is 32.6% of the Goods & Services Budget. The lower expenditure is because travel and subsistence remain low due to the current travel restrictions, impacting project site visits and other programmes. Expenditure relating to the final payment for the second phase of the development of innovative real-time monitoring of service delivery solution for the Department of Home Affairs, the final payment towards the development of a new CPSI website and the replication project will only be processed in the fourth quarter of the financial year. The call for entries for the Annual Public Sector Innovation Awards Programme, conference and workshops were hosted online, which resulted in an underspending in administrative fees, domestic travel and promotional material, while projected expenditure for consumables, telephone cost, stationery and printing cost remain low due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

She confirmed that there were no irregular expenditures that have been noted within the period under review and CPSI is maintaining the payment of invoices within seven days.

The Acting Chairperson thanked the CPSI for the presentation and allowed Committee Members to ask questions.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) thanked the CPSI for the presentations. He wanted to know the extent of the work of CPSI in their research, engagements, and information exchanges. Is the opportunity for public-private partnerships being pursued across departments to advance innovation and help improve turnaround in many departments where there are chronic dysfunctions?

Ms Motsepe welcomed the CPSI presentation. Concerning the e-learning solution to schools, what were the selection criteria to identify the schools in the different provinces? She further asked if it would be possible to link the online evaluation and adjudication using existing resources such as online scoring and electronic attendance registers, declaration of interests and signatures to the system of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission to intercept backdoor deals with the state. She asked what was the position of the CPSI within the fourth industrial revolution.

Ms Ntuli also welcomed the presentation. She asked in what form the innovation of the water project was and if they were intending to extend the project to other remote areas. About design thinking, she wanted to know if municipalities were included in such interventions. Is the e-learning innovation bearing fruit on the ground, and what are the outcomes? She applauded the CPSI for the international partnerships as these partnerships were crucial for the development of the country. She also applauded CPSI for eliminating irregular expenditure.

In response, Ms Sebokedi indicated that the strategic partnerships with the private sector were being strengthened. She confirmed that they are in the process of implementing such partnerships with other stakeholders, for example, the innovation around the Vulamanzi is in partnership with one of the universities in South Africa.

In terms of e-learning, she indicated that with the selection of schools, they looked at each of the provinces, identified schools that were not performing well in terms of their results and resources, especially from rural, semi-rural, and township schools. She said that they would provide feedback reports on the impact of e-learning projects.

She highlighted that implementing the water project in more areas was difficult because of the infrastructure required and procurement rules, since it is an innovation that is owned by a particular organisation. But they are trying to expand this project, and this is where other stakeholders will be key. In terms of design thinking, they are willing to get into municipalities with an attempt to move away from offering a mere workshop but will be more practical exercises to solve issues using the design thinking approach.

The head of research and development at CPSI, Mr Pierre Schoonraad, indicated that the matter of evaluation and processes was implemented to work within the constraints of the CPSI therefore they work with the available software. He indicated that this is a solution that will still be developed further, He outlined that the CPSI is exploring several solutions to position itself within the fourth industrial revolution including working closely with various departments, for example, the use of robotics. He reminded the Committee that it is important to start with the challenges faced by citizens then introduce a technology to respond to those challenges. 

National School Government  (NSG) Third Quarter Organisational Performance for 2021/22
In her opening remarks, the Deputy Minister indicated that the two programmes of the NSG have a combined total of 28 performance targets in the annual performance plan of which in the first quarter, 17 targets were achieved, and four targets were not met, whereas seven targets did not have a quarterly milestone. In the second quarter, 22 targets were achieved, and six targets were not met as per the objectives. Seventeen targets were achieved in the third quarter, three targets were not achieved when compared to the set objectives, nine targets were not planned for. On the operational plan, the NSG has 70 targets in the financial year, 50 of the targets were achieved whereas nine targets were not achieved, 11 targets were not planned for as they are demand-driven thus incalculable. The overall achievement for the quarter was 85%.

The principal of the NSG, Prof Busani Ngcaweni, highlighted that the institution has finally been integrated and the restructuring of the school, especially at the senior management level is almost complete. He indicated that they have made strategic shifts towards the type of programme training they have designed to empower public servants to master the art of performing in their responsibilities. On sustainable partnerships, he indicated that this is a key driver as the NSG has limited capabilities thus the importance of entering smart partnerships with higher public education institutions locally and internationally which allows them to expand their ability to make an impact and to diversify the number of their offerings. There is also a training program underway to improve the quality of those performing the training.

Mr Dino Poonsamy, Chief Director: Strategy and Systems, NSG, indicated that the training target of the NSG for the current financial year was 38 460, and as they closed at the end of December 2021, they had exceeded this target by training more than 39 000 learners in different programs.

He highlighted that the issue of revenue generation remains a challenge as the NSG manages a trade account that requires it to generate its revenue. At the end of the third quarter, they have been able to generate R53.4 million which is about 45% of the target. He said that the school had largely built its training around face-to-face instruction, and the COVID-19 pandemic has assisted them to recalibrate the work towards moving to virtual platforms.

There was underspending of R7.6 million in the compensation of employees because of vacant posts. However, they are currently finalising the new structure of the NSG which has already been approved. On the side of the senior management, there are about six posts which they are in the process of filling.

Ms Ntuli welcomed the presentation from the NSG and applauded them for their work. In terms of the ethics courses, she was curious about whether the coverage could go as far as patriotism to ensure the inculcation of a patriotic culture within public servants. She also wanted to know how the NSG could equip lay workers to advance their learning development including the inclusion of gender-based violence in the NSG curricula.

Dr Gondwe congratulated the NSG for generating revenue of R53.4 million. She asked how they were able to generate this revenue.

She also asked for an update on the engagement with Treasury on the development of a sustainable funding model for the NSG.

She further asked that in the presentation they mentioned that there was a low enrollment for the ethics course in five provinces, she requested clarity on which provinces had low enrollment, including the reasons for this and the interventions they have put in place to improve the low enrollment. She asked if the NSG has considered developing a compulsory course aimed at improving compliance with policy and legislation within the public service to improve accountability targeted at senior management.

Ms Kibi welcomed the presentation by the NSG. She wanted clarity on the targets that had not been met especially those that were not planned for, what those targets were, and the reasons they were not planned for.

In response, Prof Ngcaweni pointed out that the NSG has four faculties that are delivering programs according to various occupational bands in the public sectors of which others are specific while others are cross-cutting. He further indicated that there are other opportunities such as bursaries.

In terms of the question about patriotism, he indicated that they have courses on value-based governance and the ethics course which is part of promoting patriotism. He highlighted that they have a course on gender which is one of the flagship courses on championing gender equality in the workplace. He said that they have also been requested to deliver a course on championing anti-discrimination in the workplace with a huge uptake in KwaZulu-Natal.

On the issue of policy and compliance, he indicated that they have a program on policy and regulatory improvement.

On the funding model, he said that there is work underway on the funding model which will be taken to the Minister. He informed the Committee that they are engaging vigorously with National Treasury on this matter.

The CFO of the NSG, Ms Phindile Mkhwanazi, added that in terms of revenue generation, there are tariffs charged for some of the courses that are taught except for those offered for free.

The Acting Chairperson thanked the speakers and gave the floor to the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).

DPSA Q1, 2 and 3 performance for 2021/22
Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake reaffirmed their commitment to serving the public though there are challenges that they were still grappling with. One of the new challenges that they were grappling with now was the Court judgement on preferential procurement that is almost paralysing government operation. However, she assured the Committee that she is confident that in the future they will be able to forge a way forward. Other challenges include fighting corruption, however they have made strides to respond, including the national anticorruption programme, lifestyle audits that will soon be implemented, and the establishment of the ethical integrity and disciplinary technical task team which was launched by the Minister late last year.

She added that on the issue of the unaffordable wage bill, measures were being put in place through negotiations in the Public Service Chamber. She outlined to the Committee the importance of dealing with policies that become an impediment to service delivery.

The Director-General of the DPSA, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, confirmed that the Department was still dealing with unfilled vacancies, but they were working to ensure that they addressed such issues.

She said that they have international partners who were supporting their work to improve the human resource process, ensuring that they are aligned with demands. She also said that they were in the process of reviewing the public service regulations as there have been some complaints, including the challenges in bringing in new skills.

The Deputy Director-General: Administration, Ms Linda Shange, provided an overview of the Department’s performance that has declined over the three quarters from 91% in the first quarter to 65% in the third.

She said that they had two targets which were not achieved: this was about the Public Service Act and Public Administration and Management Amendment Bill, but after there was consultation with the Department of Labour, there was a request to retable the bills for consultation and thus could not proceed with the parliamentary process. She added that they were working on the revised public service job occupational dictionary which is a dictionary that will provide an updated categorisation of jobs within the public service.

Mr Masilo Makhura, CFO of the Department, briefed the Committee on the budget performance of the first three quarters. The Department was allocated a budget of R551 million which by the end of the third quarter, R327 million was spent, which is 62% of the budget.

On the issue of corruption, Ms Motsepe asked if the Department already had the mechanisms to fight corruption.

She wanted to know if the retirement fund was for employees who were due to retire, as they indicated that there are many retirements.

On job evaluation, she asked if there were enough funds to finance it and ensure payments to employees will be paid.

Ms Ntuli welcomed the presentation from the Department.

On the elimination of irregular expenditure, she wanted to know when the bills will be tabled.

On the initiative of 24 hours, she wanted to know if the Department was capable of that and how they were going to go about that. She also wanted to know how much was saved given that they moved some of their work online.

Dr Gondwe wanted to know about the strategic area of fighting corruption and inculcating a culture of accountability, ethics, and professional behaviour, she asked what do they count as an achievement in this area.

She also wanted to get clarity on the lifestyle audits and the reasons for the steady decline in the achievement of the targets.

On the unachieved target of program five, she wanted to know what the impact of the 2021 unrest in KwaZulu-Natal had on the achievement of this target.

Finally, she asked how the Department was going to ensure that applicants for senior management positions have a certificate that they have completed the Nyukela course offered by the NSG.

On unmet human-resource-related targets, Ms Kibi asked why the Department removed the target due to capacity instead of improving capacity.

She asked why there was a developmental plan for the selected districts and metros not developed and what the impediments were and why there have been no follow-ups. She asked for more clarity on the Department’s COVID-19 statistics.

On the issue of fighting corruption, Ms Makhasi indicated that their work of fighting corruption is on building ethics, discipline, and lifestyle audits. She added that as the Department, they do not have investigative powers thus all cases of corruption are referred to the authorities. 

She added that for the JE system, they have enough funds to implement it, but the delays are due to procurement processes. She confirmed to the Committee that there are no payments owed to employees due to job evaluations.

On the question of when the bills will be re-tabled in parliament, she said that they will prioritise this in the 2022/23 financial year. The delay was due to the fact that when Minister Ayanda Dlodlo arrived in August, she requested that the bill be taken to the bargaining council to make further contributions.

She added that for the lifestyle audits, she indicated that from April 2021, they got approval for the lifestyle audits to take place which has included engagements with the provinces and the national departments. There are a few contributors to the steady decline in the achievements of targets, in the third quarter, two of their projects were delayed because of the procurement processes.

She indicated that they are piloting the Organisational Functionality Assessment with the Department of Education amongst other departments, and this was affected during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

On the delays caused by COVID-19, she said that this was caused by the fact that they had face-to-face meetings, but they are gradually adapting to virtual platforms.

She said that they were engaging with communities to ensure that applicants of posts know that they need to have taken the Nyukela course. They are also informing departments about the requirement for enrollment in the Nyukela course for senior management.

She indicated that the target was not removed because of capacity but it was a recommendation that was not approved.

Ms Shange added that on the 24-hour service, they were looking at how to expand their services like in other countries which were normally online and did not require physical contact.

On the savings on travel and subsistence, Mr Makhura said that the original budget for the whole year, at the end of December 2021, the Department had spent R9.1 million on travel and subsistence, which amounts to possible savings of around R12 million. But during the adjustment estimates, they moved around R6 million to other priorities, and therefore the current savings are estimated at around R7 million.

The Acting Chairperson thanked all the presenters and adjourned the meeting.

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