Recruitment and professionalisation in the public service: PSC, DPSA & NSG input; Integrated Public Service Month; with Minister
Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
02 November 2022
Chairperson: Mr T James (ANC)
PSC: Ethics in recruitment and selection processes in the public service
Framework for Professionalising the Public Service
In a virtual meeting, three reports were presented from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Public Service Commission (PSC), and the National School of Government (NSG) respectively, on recruitment and professionalisation in the public service.
The Acting Minister of the DPSA gave a few opening remarks. He indicated that the presentation from the DPSA was a well-researched document. It takes forward the National Development Plan (NDP) and the manifesto of the ruling party, as well as the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The Framework aims to systematically prevent undue political interference and only individuals with the necessary qualifications are appointed to strategic positions.
Implementation of the Framework would further strengthen the management of State-Owned Entities, further prioritising merit in appointing board members. The Minister said that the Framework should be welcomed as an important tool for development and to work towards delivering on the promises made by public servants to the citizens of South Africa.
The Chairperson of the PSC made a few opening remarks before the report was presented to the Committee. Through grievances received on the issues with the recruitment processes, the various studies made, and through observation of the AG report, the PSC concluded that having weaknesses in the Human Resource processes taints the rest of the employment process. The study highlighted some of these concerns. He stated that if the Framework is well implemented and timeously so, it would go a long way in creating a single administration.
Studies conducted by the PSC concerning compliance with the implementation of recruitment and selection found that most of the challenges emanate from unethical practices and conduct by those involved in the process. The PSC found it necessary to conduct a study in this regard, because HR forms an integral part of building a capable, professional, and developmental state.
The NSG indicated that Cabinet approved the Framework and would be shared with the Portfolio Committee. He also reiterated that the Framework requires ownership across all spheres of government.
The Framework is to institutionalise the public sector as a career of choice; establish a career system based on meritocracy and ethical disposition; create a clear vision of where the next generation of Public servants will emanate from, and determine how specialists' skills will be reproduced.
Committee Members noted that although the Batho Pele Strategy was being implemented, they were concerned that the DPSA may not be measuring the impact of the strategy. There were also concerns raised about consequence management.
DPSA took the Committee through the report on Public Service month. The report highlighted some of the developments that transpired in September.
Public Service Month is celebrated annually during September as a part of government’s Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy. To develop the month-long integrated PSM programme, extensive consultation processes were undertaken with national and provincial government stakeholders. The consultations were held with Departments through their respective Batho Pele and Service Delivery Improvement Coordinators to ensure the complete integration of all key national and provincial events hosted during September.
During five weeks (30 August to 2 October 2022), public servants were made aware of what it entails to serve through the various events hosted during the programme. The importance of the ethos of Batho Pele was highlighted throughout the programme.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the meeting.
He outlined the agenda of the meeting, indicating respectively the reports that would be presented.
An apology from Deputy Minister Dr Chana Pilane-Majake was noted.
The Chairperson invited the Acting Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi, to give his opening remarks before the presentation from the Department.
Opening remarks from the Acting Minister
Minister Nxesi introduced the team from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), the National School of Government (NSG), and the Public Service Commission (PSC).
He said that Professor Mashupye Maserumule was invited to be a part of the delegation, as he had been involved in the inception of the document on the Framework for Professionalisation in the Public Service.
The Minister stated that the document was well-researched and the presentation would also provide background on the beginning stages of the document. It takes forward the National Development Plan (NDP) and the manifesto of the ruling party, as well as the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). It implements the recommendations of the State Capture report.
He highlighted that the Framework seeks to systematically prevent undue political and corporate interference and that only individuals with the necessary qualifications are appointed to strategic positions. The Framework will be applicable across all spheres of the public sector. He said that the Framework also outlines clear requirements for recruitment and selection processes, mandatory induction for new public servants, and performance management.
He noted that the Framework prioritises continuous learning so that public servants’ skills are continually improved. The Framework indicates that individuals seeking promotion in the public sector will partake in compulsory courses with the NSG and new employees will be required to complete an induction program before they assume office successfully. Longstanding employees will have to continue attending regular refresher training. He added that the Framework would add greater stability in the senior leadership of the public sector, and the appointment of Directors-General. He stated that the period of five years for an appointment of a DG was quite short and that has caused instability in the Department.
He highlighted that under the framework staff appointed to political office including ministerial advisors, should complete a pre-entry course for middle and senior management, and a competency and integrity assessment within 90 days of their appointment.
He said that implementing the Framework will further strengthen the management of State-Owned Entities, further prioritising merit in appointing board members.
The Framework remains one of the most significant developments in Public Service reform since the advocacy of democracy, which the governing party introduced in Parliament. The Framework provides renewed momentum to build an ethical public sector.
The acting Minister referred to the press conference wherein it was indicated by Prof Maseremula that having an employee that is highly qualified but lacks values such as respect and ethics does no good for the public sector. He further added that the Framework should therefore be welcomed as an important tool for development and to work towards delivering on the promises made by public servants to the citizens of South Africa.
The Framework has followed all the necessary steps and consultations.
He handed over the virtual platform to the DG, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi.
Report from the Department of Public Service and Administration: Integrated Public Service Month
Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, Director-General, stated that the Deputy Director-General, Mr Willie Vukela, would be taking the Committee through the presentation as he was the project manager for Public Service Month.
DDG Vukela said that the presentation would highlight some of the developments that transpired in the month of September. He noted that September was a critical month in Public Service.
Public Service Month is celebrated annually during September as a part of government’s Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy. The DDG outlined that the BPRS seeks to improve public servants' morale; helps identify service delivery challenges through participatory modalities; facilitates improvements in the quality and efficiency of service delivery; seeks to deploy senior government officials to service delivery points through government’s Khaedu programme. Public Service Month has been coordinated across the three spheres of government to encourage service delivery improvement that has been evidenced-based and replicable in a different setting.
Mr Vukela outlined some of the main focuses of PSM 2022. He highlighted that apart from the government’s commemoration of 2022 focusing on the “Batho Pele revitalisation- Walking the Talk”, the 2022 celebrations also had to take into account the 25th Anniversary of the Constitution as well as that of the Batho Pele initiative. The PSM celebrations also focused on building the capability of the State through Public Service professionalisation and the development of effective systems; transformation, reform, and innovations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery through frontline service delivery monitoring. The presentation also outlined more of the focus.
To develop the month-long integrated PSM programme, extensive consultation processes were undertaken with national and provincial government stakeholders. The consultations were held with departments through their respective Batho Pele and Service Delivery Improvement Coordinators to ensure the complete integration of all key national and provincial events hosted during September. The DDG indicated the various events that were integrated into the final 2022 PSM programme, namely Heritage month in the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Police Safety month in the South African Police Service, Tourism Month, National Arbor Week, and Month, Local Government week, and the Thusong Service Week. Provincial events were aligned with the national PSM concept note and implementation plan.
The DDG outlined the communication strategy and media campaign. He indicated that the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) developed an IPSM communication strategy in partnership with the DPSA to support and promote implementation of the 2022 integrated IPSM programme. The same branding on PSM promotional material across departments was encouraged to foster the integration of all the PSM events.
Some of the key messages that were communicated by the government department during the 2022 integrated PSM celebrations included, “Public Service Month is a month to rededicate and improve the morale of public servants through the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy”, ‘’Public Service Charter seeks to professionalise and encourage excellence in the public” and “The Public service is critical in our efforts to rebuild”.
Mr Vukela took the Committee through the value add of the 2022 Integrated PSM programme. He indicated that in the five weeks (30 August to 2 October 2022), public servants were made aware of what it entails to serve through the various events hosted during the program. The importance of the ethos of Batho Pele was highlighted throughout the programme.
The targeted approach of PSM ensures maximum visibility and access to public services, in the end bringing government closer to the citizens of South Africa. The deployment of senior management to frontline service points results in improved service delivery. There is an improvement in access to services and online platforms, increasing accessibility for public servants. The main lesson learned was that public servants are eager to be engaged throughout the year.
The Integrated PSM made public servants aware of the Revised Batho Pele Revitalisation program, which improved service delivery. DGs and Senior officials were exposed to the coalface of service delivery through the DPME monitoring week. There has been enhanced morale, health, and wellness through such initiatives as Batho Pele Walkie Talkie.
Mr Vukela highlighted some of the key findings from the PSM programme. Targeted media campaigns of integrated PSM were vibrant and satisfactory, however, more needs to be done to specifically target provincial government and municipal officials to participate in national PSM events. The low levels of participation by the provincial government and municipal officials must be addressed to ensure that there remains a balanced and meaningful participation of all government employees in the month-long integrated PSM. Shared updates on the progress in dealing with public servants’ ethical conduct, reports on ethics surveys, stakeholder engagement, and training forums.
Ms S Maneli (ANC) welcomed the presentation from the Department. She said the presentation noted that the Revised Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy focuses on evaluating the progress made in transforming the Public Service. She further asked how the Department measures the impact of the Batho Pele strategy, and how often the impact of the strategy is assessed.
Mr R Cebekhulu (IFP) raised concern on whether the Batho Pele principle remains just a slogan, as the reality experienced by South Africans differs. He said that at particular government departments, people are queuing up and staff members lock the citizens out before office closing time. He said that the issue remains a concern because citizens often have to sleep outside establishments to receive the services from these departments.
He asked whether there was an exit plan for older employees to move out of the office and allow younger recruits into various positions, also keeping in mind the value of experience. He made an example of young employees in rural areas being given the roles of caregivers.
Ms R Komane (EFF) stated that the presentation leaves one to raise eyebrows and she indicated that she had a few concerns.
She asked for clarity on the yardstick used by the Department to measure the impact of the Batho Pele principle, and the adherence from employees to the principle. She asked for more information on how DPSA has been able to check whether the principles are being applied in the various departments. She referred to an example of the Department of Labour in Bela Bela which was previously addressed with the Minister, as there remain unmanageable queues outside the Department. There have been cases of women giving birth outside due to closed clinics.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) welcomed the presentation from the Department. She indicated that the Portfolio Committee was happy to hear that the Department has made strides to adhere to Batho Pele because the Committee has reiterated that the principle needs to be implemented in all government offices. She echoed the sentiments of Ms Maneli. There has been minimal monitoring of the impact of the principle in the various departments. She said that while there are citizens queued up to receive services, public servants go out for their lunch breaks while people remain in long queues. She said that the ethical conduct of public servants is very crucial and DPSA should be looking into that sternly.
Ms Komane said that she would like to differ with Ms Ntuli who indicated the Committee’s satisfaction with the report; she said that it was her own view and not of the entire Committee.
Response from DPSA
Ms Makhasi said that one of the challenges contributing to the long queues could be attributed to the functionality of the government systems in the Departments affected. She said there is a challenge of ICT systems going down, and when the systems go down, the Department struggles to service the people. She also indicated that another challenge was the slow-paced digitalisation of the ICT system, and there have been several discussions around the issue. The communication of services to the citizens has always been a critical objective. She also said that the DPSA has had measures put in place to determine the impact of Batho Pele, and indicated that the DDG would highlight more on the discussion.
Mr Vukela thanked the Committee Members for the questions raised. He said the comments speak to the engagements currently happening in the Department.
He referred to the question related to measuring the impact of the Batho Pele principle and said that in the last 25 years, there was no measurement tool; government implemented moral persuasion. Most of the recent reports of the integrated PSM called for a standardisation of measuring tools. The DPSA analysed and tweaked the reports and identified the gaps to formulate standards Cabinet approved in March 2022. The standards become the yardstick used to measure the impact of the Batho Pele principle. The entire Public service is currently undergoing a process of developing its own mini-standards. The DPSA launched the standard nationally on 16 September.
He said that the Department would be able to share with the Committee going forward the level of impact caused to citizens.
Mr Vukela agreed with the point raised by Ms Ntuli; he said that when the Department started its initiatives, the public service had to go back to the basics. He said that the charter implements the standards and the principles. The DPSA has engaged with other Departments around having a strategy to cover a theme outside of the DPSA regarding the services provided to citizens.
He said that the points raised by Committee Members have come up in the level of training. He referred to the issue of ethics, behaviour, and attitudes toward citizens. He said that the strategy has five pillars covering the concerns raised throughout the discussion. He said that the National School of Government had been in the process of developing a training program for public servants on ethical ways to deliver services. He indicated that two weeks ago, the DDM resolved that the DPSA needs to develop a change management strategy to change the attitudes and behaviours of all public servants. He said that another important pillar that was designed for the DBE was the development pillar, which indicates that Batho Pele needs to be taught in the early stages. People should be aware of Batho Pele at the school level so that when they join government, they know that the principle exists. He said that the engagements are ongoing and there may be changes made in the early learning curriculum.
Ms Makhasi referred to the question related to the exit strategy of older employees. She said that currently, South African law stipulates that the pensionable age stands at 65 years and the Department does not have the authority to force people to exit earlier than 65 years. However, she said that at the level of the bargaining council, there had been agreements in the past as part of managing the wage bill to allow older people (55 to 65 years) who would like to exit the public service earlier voluntarily to do so without penalty. The process unfolded as a part of the 2018 wage bill agreement, but it did not manage to get most older people out of public service due to unions not supporting the bargaining council.
The DPSA has continued to table some proposals to the bargaining council, which labour has not agreed on, the proposal of 3% and some unions have not agreed to the proposal. The DPSA continues to go through the necessary processes and uses certain mechanisms to give attention to the issue at hand. Old people cannot be forced to leave because there are laws in place prohibiting this. The DG indicated that, indeed, there are not enough young people in strategic decision-making roles and the DPSA continues to work towards making sure that the changes take place.
Opening remarks from the PSC Chairperson
Professor Somadoda Fikeni, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, , acknowledged all the officials and executives present in the Committee meeting. He said that the PSC was requested to make a presentation on the Ethics in the recruitment selection process in the Public Service.
He said that various studies have been made through receiving grievances on what has gone wrong with the recruitment processes. Through observation of the AG report, the PSC has concluded that having weaknesses in the Human Resource processes taints the rest of the employment process. The study highlights some of these concerns. He stated that if the Framework is well and timeously implemented, it would go a long way in creating a single administration. The implementation would also contribute to the professionalisation of recruitment processes and deal with the weaknesses that have been identified.
He invited the DDG to present the report. He concluded that the PSC makes itself available to Parliament through these reports, and the reports should not end at just being reports but the actioning and implementation could be useful to Parliament. He expressed great pleasure in hearing the reference made in the DPSA presentation to the impact of having PSC reports which led to the standardisation.
Report from the PSC: Ethics in recruitment
Dr Kholofelo Sedibe, Deputy Director–General: Leadership and Management Practices, outlined the key points of the presentation.
She gave a brief introduction and background and took the Committee through the oversight mandate of the PSC, indicating that it covers the administration of the public service; personnel procedures and practices; and public administration practices.
Studies conducted by the PSC concerning compliance with the implementation of recruitment and selection found that most of the challenges emanate from unethical practices and conduct by those involved in the process. The PSC found it necessary to conduct a study in this regard, because HR forms an integral part of building a capable, professional, and developmental state.
The study aimed to examine the nature and magnitude of the ethical dilemmas in the recruitment and selection processes in the public service.
Dr Sedibe outlined some of the qualitative methods used in the study. Primary data was collected through an electronic questionnaire from selected national departments, with a specific emphasis on HR management and Development units. Secondary data included HRM prescripts, R&S policies from selected departments, and a desktop literature review. The second phase of the project entailed engaging national and provincial departments to discuss, validate and enrich the preliminary findings and formulate recommendations for the final report.
The prescripts starting from the Constitution, highlight the importance of adhering to professional ethics, ethical conduct, and behaviour.
The literature indicated that the decision to appoint a person is a human resource, economic, legal, and ethical action for the organisation. Therefore ethical considerations in the recruitment and selection process enable organisations to appoint technically capable people who are also ethical (Murage et al, 2018).
The DDG stated that the PSC anticipated at least 125 responses. However, the overall response was 68 completed questionnaires by HR practitioners, yielding a 54% response rate. There was concern about the inadequate response rate by senior managers.
During the advertisement stage, recruitment and selection, prescripts are followed. However, the challenge begins at the shortlisting and interview stages, where abuse of power by senior managers, including Accounting Officers and Executive Authorities, is witnessed by panel members.
Personal interests by senior managers lead to a selection of friends, relatives, and so on. it also emerged during information sharing and capacity development engagements that the development of vague adverts seems to be rife in some departments.
The overall conclusion from the study was that there is adequate evidence to demonstrate that legislative and regulatory frameworks have been put in place to promote ethical conduct and behaviours, but are often not complied with.
The study also confirmed that unethical practices contribute negatively to the effectiveness of departments.
Ms Maneli highlighted that she was concerned about the inclusivity of the findings because to ensure inclusivity, questionnaires should have been sent to a sample that also involved DDGs and Executives. She asked whether there would be a consideration to taking up the surveys again.
She asked for the PSC’s opinion on the panel members who remained the same throughout the process, and she asked for clarity on what informs the opinion.
She said that the conclusion indicated adequate evidence to demonstrate regulatory and legislative frameworks in efforts to promote ethical conduct. She asked for more information on the measures of recourse should these not be adhered to.
Ms Komane asked the Department for clarity on the lack of consequence management. She asked what measures have been put in place to counter the issue. She said that the discussion on consequence management has been going on for far too long. The report indicated no strides had been made in that regard.
She asked how the PSC could assist in alleviating the fear of victimisation from HR practitioners, in ensuring the freedom of reporting issues.
She asked for clarity on recommendations that the PSC has for the issue of panel members, as raised by Ms Maneli.
Prof Fikeni said that some of the questions raised could be considered advice for the PSC. He referred the questions to the Public Commissioners to comment on and respond to them.
He said that if the reports were written only to be stored away, they would remain theoretical. He reiterated that the reports are made to be actionable, hence working together with the various stakeholders using the reports as a tool for monitoring and evaluation.
Mr Anele Gxoyiya, Public Service Commissioner, echoed the sentiments shared by the Chairperson in saying that the questions are considered more as advice for the PSC.
He said that he would like to emphasise that when research is conducted and recommendations are made, the recommendations are sent to the Accounting Officers to consider the implementation. He highlighted that the challenge was that they do not get implemented in most cases. He therefore suggested to the Committee that it should assist the PSC in following up on the implementation of its recommendations.
He said that the questionnaire was circulated to the DGs and Chief Directors; however, for unknown reasons, the PSC did not receive any feedback, even after follow-ups were made in this regard. He said that the research was ongoing and the recommendations made still needed to be implemented but it does not end there.
The onus to implement the recommendations made lies on the Accounting Officers, and the PSC could only advise those with the power to implement.
He indicated that the PSC has put in place programs aimed at HR practitioners to make them understand their legal and ethical obligations and to have the confidence to address wrongdoing when it occurs.
Ms Lulu Sizani, Public Service Commissioner, said that the space of recruitment and selection remains one of the heavily regulated spaces in the public service. The question looms is why there are so many challenges in this space. She said that the challenge was not that the space lacks regulation but rather the core of the report which relates to the ethical conduct of those in the value chain of recruitment within the public service.
She referred to the question raised by Ms Maneli on the issue of panel members not being responsible for the recruitment process from start to finish. She said that the legislation had regulated the procedure of having consistent panel members since 1994, however, the selection panel members are not the decision-makers in the appointment process. There are mechanisms put in place to ensure that the recommendations made by the panel are accurate. The full accountability lies with the appointing authority as they are the ones that sign on the approval of the candidate. Other parties in the process are there to recommend but could influence the appointment. She indicated that unethical conduct could occur at any stage.
Dr Sedibe emphasised that the process of changing panels is extremely cumbersome. She echoed the sentiments of Ms Sizani that irregularity could occur at any point in the process.
She said that engagements in Parliament have indicated that not every issue can be dealt with from a consequent management point of view. Ethics begins from the top.
Opening remarks from NSG Principal: Mr Busani Ngcaweni
Mr Ngcaweni introduced the team from the National School of Government. He indicated that Professor Mashupye Maserumule, who was part of the Ministerial panel that peer-reviewed the Professionalisation framework was invited by the Minister to join the sitting.
He said that he shared a document through the chat option on the Zoom platform, which outlines the public service reorientation program run by the NSG targeted at older people in the system. The program is currently running with public servants.
He indicated that the previous reports tie in with the NSG report as the entities have been working together. He also indicated that Cabinet had approved the Framework and the DPSA will be writing instruction notes and directives dealing with implementation issues.
Report from the National School of Government
Dr Botshabelo Maja, DDG: Professional Support Services, indicated that the Framework has been approved by Cabinet and would be shared with the Portfolio Committee. He said that the Framework requires ownership across all spheres of government.
He outlined the purpose of the Framework, he noted that it is to institutionalise the public sector as a career of choice; establish a career system based on meritocracy and ethical disposition; create a clear vision as to where the next generation of public servants will emanate from, and determine how specialists' skills will be reproduced.
Priority number one of the sixth administration outlines that there needs to be a capable state that has the required human capabilities, an ethical state driven by the constitutional values and principles of public administration and the rule of law, and a developmental state that meets peoples’ needs through an interventionist, developmental, participatory public administration.
He took the Committee through a roadmap that indicates the progress made to date. Highlighting that on 19 October 2022, Cabinet approved the Framework and the lead departments and institutions should finalise the implementation plans before the January/February 2023 Cabinet Lekgotla.
The objectives of the Framework are to entrench a dynamic system of professionalisation in the public sector; strengthen and enable legal and policy instruments to professionalise categories of occupations in the public sector.
Ms Maneli welcomed the presentation. She indicated that there are currently staff in political offices that were not subjected to pre-entry assessments before appointment. She asked if the review of pre-entry assessments would include senior management staff.
She said the recognition of prior learning helps to retain SMS members. She asked whether it would help to retain SMS members who would not have had NQF eight or nine by 2025 or will they be demoted.
She asked what would happen to the employees that got promoted into positions because of experience and were not fully qualified.
Mr Ngcaweni said that the implementation of the Framework has transitional arrangements. This is a national policy framework that applies to everyone.
He said that there are people in the system appointed prior to a particular dispensation, and the pre-entry exam for people in senior management came into place on 1 April 2020. Anyone appointed without a Nyukela, is an illegal appointment. It applies to individuals who are seeking to move within the system including those joining government. He said that going forward, staff in political offices, including advisers, will have transitional arrangements which are not meant to punish those who have been in the system already but it allows them time to complete the pre-entry requirements.
He said that the Framework does not seek to remove the powers of appointment. For example, a premier cannot be told that they cannot hire a new head of office. That is a political prerogative and once the appointment has been made, they need to be equalised like other individuals in the system. He said it is a developmental intervention and not a form of punishment.
Staff cannot be penalised because they joined the public service in 1985 unless these individuals choose to retire. He also said that many employees are taking advantage of a vast array of bursary programmes in the public sector, and skills development remains a priority for the Department.
Follow up discussion
Ms Ntuli asked what would happen to the public servants who are teachers that entered the position without the degree qualifications and may be well on their way to exit.
Dr L Schreiber (DA) welcomed the presentations made. He said his questions were applicable to all the speakers who addressed the presentation.
He touched on the idea of the competency assessment which will also apply to advisors. He said he was a bit concerned that the assessments take place after the appointments. He asked what happens when an advisor fails the assessment. He asked whether they would lose their job.
He said that the fact that Ministers retain their appointment power is unclear as to whether it is going far enough to remove the scope for political interference. He asked why the selection powers were left with the Minister and not including other authorities in the selection panel.
He said that the elephant in the room was the issue of cadre deployment clearly articulated in the report. He said that a critical question to the Minister was whether the policy directive was in effect and if it was official government policy that cadre deployment must be ditched.
He said that the Framework makes it clear that there are issues around the constitutionality of cadre deployment. Therefore he asked why Cabinet would approve a policy which raised serious concerns about constitutionality, but the Cabinet opposed court action that would enforce the same principles.
Ms Makhasi said that she wanted to address the issue of qualifications. The Department is currently busy with a report that would be taken to the Forum of South African Directors-General. The PSC has indicated that they will be investigating in terms of the people who do not qualify. She said there are still a number of colleagues who are classified as not qualifying for pre-2016 regulations and those who were appointed but still not qualified after 2016 regulations. She said that most of those employees are old and approaching retirement age and that the Department does not need to invest much in that regard in terms of the improvement of qualifications. Greater attention is given to those appointed after 2016 without the qualification. She said that the DPSA could bring a report to the Committee as more clarity on the data is acquired.
She said that the issue of cadre deployment consists of a political aspect that she will not be going into. She indicated the technical aspect. When Cabinet had engagements concerning the Framework they approved that there are areas that need to be improved and cleaned up in the Framework concerning cadre deployment. The papers submitted to the court on the matter clearly state that the recruitment process in government clearly stipulates how panels are put together. She said that there is nowhere in government that outlines that the recruitment process must be stopped.
Mr Ngcaweni said that Cabinet had approved the Framework subject to legal and regulatory instruments being finalised by DPSA and other authorities. A directive will go to all Ministers, MECs, and Premiers stating that the contract should be five years if an appointment is made in January. After the agreement has been made concerning the bargaining system, the DPSA will send out a directive stating that in the next 12 months, there will be a pre-entry course/ examination for MMS.
In response to Dr Scheiber, Professor Fikeni said that the real work comes with the design of the implementation plan. When it comes to designing specific regulations and policies that enable the Framework to work, noting with importance that the Framework needs to move the needle in the direction of making sure that there is a competent meritocratic professional system. This would be achieved through a single administration that standardised certain practices, because the issue has been with the fragmentation itself.
Dr Schreiber thanked Professor Fikeni for the important points that he raised.
He said his follow-up question was very critical in relation to the implementation of the Framework. He referred to the directive on page 64 to ditch cadre deployment, and he asked whether the directive was official government policy and it required a yes or no answer.
Mr Ngcaweni said that the answer was “no it is not,” until the instruments to implement all the proposals are in place. He said that no one has the authority to impose what is in the Framework currently until the legal instruments are published. He asked the DG of the DPSA to give the specific names of the directives and instruction notes.
Ms Makhasi agreed that directives need to come out of the Framework. Cabinet has approved the Framework subject to corrections, and legal instruments are being put in place. She said that the process is still underway. A circular will be taken out on the Framework in consultation with the NSG.
The Chairperson of the Committee thanked the Acting Minister, and all the presenters in the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
James, Mr TH
Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN
Gondwe, Dr M
Kibi, Ms MT
Komane, Ms RN
Malomane, Ms VP
Maneli, Ms ST
Mbhele, Mr ZN
Mgweba, Ms T
Motsepe, Ms CCS
Nothnagel, Dr J
Ntuli, Ms M M
Nxesi, Mr TW
Schreiber, Dr LA
Sibisi, Mr CHM
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