DPSA, PSC, NSG & CPSI 2023/24 Annual Performance Plans; PSC Vacancy Report; with Ministry

Public Service and Administration

02 May 2023
Chairperson: Acting: Ms T Mgweba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


Public Service Commission

Public Service and Admin                                                                                                         

Centre for public service innovation

National school of government

The purpose of the virtual meeting was to afford the Department of Public Service and Administration, the Centre for Public Service Innovation, the Public Service Commission and the National School of Government an opportunity to present their annual performance plans for the 2023/24 financial year.

The Public Service Commission stated that it had obtained clean audits for the past three years consecutively. There had been over 700 grievances finalised, and recommendations submitted to the relevant departments. The response to the recommendations was going well. The Commission had taken the advice of the Portfolio Committee to improve community engagement and visibility. This was being done through the citizen's forum, which was a prized exercise in the Commission. The forum encouraged active citizenry, held government accountable, and brought mobile services to marginalised communities.

Members questioned whether the Commission had sufficient capacity to monitor and support the implementation of the recommendations in its various reports, or to generate innovation and expedite the transformation to an electronic government.

The Minister said the Department had identified areas known as 'burning platforms,' which related to issues that needed immediate attention. These included the long and drawn-out precautionary suspensions in the public sector, vacancy management in the sector, and the implementation of the professionalisation framework.

The National School of Government pointed out that the past two years have been critical, as it had been essential for it to survive the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This had resulted in it exploring other online means, while being cognisant of government employees who did not have access to electronic devices, and as frontline workers may not be able to participate in training activities during office hours. The School was using this year to improve and sustain its capacities by attracting younger and more specialised talent.

The Centre for Public Service and Innovation said it had achieved a clean audit outcome for the past six years and intended to maintain this. Members asked how it was working with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and what its plan was for streamlining innovation in the state, working with the National Advisory Council on Innovation.

Meeting report

Public Service Commission 2023/24 Annual Performance Plan

Ms Zuki Mqolomba, Acting Chairperson, Public Service Commission (PSC), said the Commission had obtained clean audits for the past three years consecutively. There had been over 700 grievances finalised and recommendations submitted across the relevant departments. The take-up on recommendations was going well. The Commission had taken the advice of the Portfolio Committee to improve community engagement and visibility, and this was being done through the citizen's forum, which was a prized exercise in the Commission. The forum encouraged active citizenry, held the government accountable, and brought mobile services to marginalised communities.

The promulgation of the Public Service Commission Bill was one of the key focuses this year, as it would establish the Commission's independence and establish a secretariat. The hope was the Bill would receive attention in Parliament and that the Portfolio Committee would ensure the Bill was promulgated, as it was a progressive bill. In line with the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the PSC was amending legislation to strengthen the role of the Public Service Commission to ensure that qualified people were appointed to senior management positions, and to move towards creating a single, harmonised public service was a key priority for 2023/24.

The vacancy rate at the PSC was below ten percent, and everything was being done to ensure the vacancies for Commissioners were filled.

Adv Dinkie Dube, Director-General, PSC, said the Commission had 30 performance indicators -- nine in programme one (administration), six in programme two (leadership and management practice), eight in programme three (monitoring and evaluation), and seven in Programme Four (integrity and anti-corruption).

Programme One provided the overall management of the Commission and centralised support services. The key new indicator in this programme was the automation of the system, set to have at least two of the processes automated -- performance management and reporting processes. This had started in human resources management, whereby the leave system was no longer on paper, as well as an electronic recruitment process. Another indicator was the submission of the Bill to Parliament.

Programme Two promoted sound public service leadership, human resource management, labour relations, and labour practices in the public service. The Commission was looking to achieve an 85 percent finalisation of all registered level two to 12 grievances within 30 days of receipt of all relevant information, and had also set an 85 percent target for the number of reports produced on leadership and human resource management practices, public sector reform, and professionalisation. The Commission further seeks to produce at least three reports on their own accord, as contemplated in section 196(4)(f)(iii)(iv) of the Constitution, and not wait for grievances to be received. Three annual reports on grievance management and efficiency of the grievance procedure in the Public Service would be produced, as this was found to be one of the areas requiring attention.

Programme Three sought to improve the functionality of the Public Service through institutional and service delivery evaluations. The number of reports on service delivery inspections approved should be ten. The PCS wants to spearhead the approval of the implementation plan for the national framework towards the professionalisation of the public sector. Nine citizen forums would be conducted, and two position papers on public administration practices compiled to ascertain to what extent there was compliance with constitutional values and principles. One of the biggest projects for 2023 was a national advocacy campaign focusing on constitutional values and principles, for which the Commission had identified key strategic partners.

Programme Four was responsible for undertaking public administration investigations, promoting a high standard of professional and ethical conduct amongst public servants, and contributing to preventing and combating corruption. The first indicator seeks to ensure 85 percent of complaints are finalised within 90 working days upon receipt of a valid complaint by an investigating officer. It planned to produce and finalise at least ten own accord investigation reports as contemplated in section 196(4)(f)(i), (iii) and (iv) of the Constitution. There would be one oversight report on the implementation of the ethical framework. The reports would cover the financial disclosure framework, complaints management, and financial misconduct issues.

Mr Zwelinjani Momeka, Chief Financial Officer, said the baseline allocation for the PSC for the 2023/24 financial year was R292.1 million. R220.1 million (75%) was allocated to the compensation of employees, as the Commission was primarily a knowledge-based institution, and did not outsource its functions. The goods and services were mandatory, and their budget was R69.8 million (24% of the overall budget), of which 82% (R57.4 million) was for mandatory costs, whilst 18% (R12.4 mil) was for the implementation of the mandate of the Commission. 

The budget for operational costs provided for the PSC's national, parliamentary, and nine provincial offices -- a total of 11 offices. It had centralised its support function. As a result, the budget for administration was high, as it included the budget for centralised support services such as accommodation costs, training, internal audit, operation lease payments, Auditor-General’s fees, etc.

The administration programme was budgeted for R140 million, covering leadership management practices (just below R50 million), monitoring and evaluation programmes (R44 million), and Integrity and anti-corruption (R57 million). 

See attached for full presentation

Department of Public Service and Administration Annual Performance Plan 2023/24

Minister’s remarks

Ms Noxolo Kiviet, Minister of Public Service and Administration, reflected on the transition from April --known as Heroes Month -- to May, Workers Month and Africa Month. She reflected on the past historical and political events reflected on Freedom Day and Workers Day, which had recently been celebrated and observed in South Africa. She highlighted the need to use time to reflect on the past so it could inform the future, and quoted the Brazilian writer and educator Paulo Freire who said:

Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who you are. So you could more wisely build the future.”

The Department was in the process of building the future and ensuring the commitments and rights brought about by the Constitution gave meaning to their freedom. The presentation of the Department would therefore tell a story that came out of a strike over a month ago. It was a wake-up call for them to strengthen their resolve and build a capable, ethical and developmental state, as enshrined in the National Development Plan of 2030. There was a need to revolutionise public service, and in so doing, the Department had recently tabled before Parliament two bills that talked to this need as they sought to infiltrate the public service and strengthen the relationship between the three spheres of government, as well strengthen the area of the politico-administrative dichotomy. This meant that the relationship between the administrative and political heads of departments needed to be strengthened. Therefore, these bills talked about the actions that needed to be taken to realise this goal.

The recent strike also pointed to the need to pay particular focus to areas that needed strengthening. One such area was the need to develop and agree on what minimum standards were needed in areas of essential services, particularly in hospitals. To reinforce this point, Minister Kiviet reflected on strikes organised during the apartheid era that would only allow doctors, nurses, and hospital staff to work, as these officials were the essence of the right to life. It was unthinkable in this democracy to see people taking away the right to life by forbidding people access to primary healthcare. It was in this light that these standards were going to be regulated to ensure people's lives and rights were protected. Moreover, in this need to revolutionise the public service, the Department was working with other government departments that were in the governance cluster to work on the wage management strategy and to ensure the coordination of actions on how to manage the issue of salaries in the public service, which was taking place in the next few days.

In professionalising the public sector, as directed by the President in the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Department worked with the National School of Government (NSG) to realise programmes that would address this. It was important to understand that the NSG not only provided education and training, but was also involved in the revision of the disciplinary code and handbook, as well as instilling a sense of responsibility in senior government officials to belong to professional bodies, as well as the need to protect public servants who were whistle-blowers, as they tended to be vulnerable in acts of misconduct which often resulted in curbing corruption becoming a fruitless exercise. The Department was also conducting lifestyle audits and making extensive initiatives to strengthen the pillars of government.

Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, Director-General, DPSA, said public administration ought to be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, which include:

·         A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained;

·         Efficient, economic, and effective use of resources must be promoted;

·         Public administration must be development-oriented;

·         Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably, and without bias.

Government was experiencing challenges in introducing its electronic strategy which was meant to be implemented by 2024 to digitise government services. The key challenges, as discussed In the Portfolio Committee, were the high numbers of duplication, no integration, and lack of support for the rollout by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). As a result, the President established an inter-ministerial committee to look at digital transformation issues, which ought to help coordinate information communication technology (ICT) work in the public service.

The Department had identified areas known as 'burning platforms.' These related to the issues that could not wait, and included long drawn-out precautionary suspensions in the public sector; vacancy management in the public sector; and the implementation of the professionalisation framework.

There were 315 precautionary suspension cases at the national government level and a further 292 precautionary suspensions across provincial departments. In the short term, a policy directive would be issued to address:

  • Postponements and delays;
  • "Forum shopping" by employees undergoing disciplinary action – forum shopping refers to employees jumping from one public sector institution to another;
  • Review and alignment of turnaround times for disciplinary processes;
  • Consequences for employers and employees who delay the conclusion of cases;
  • The need to strengthen the role of labour relations offices in discipline processes – including capacity building and training;
  • Categorising the type of cases that could be chaired internally/externally (lawyers).

The Department wanted to establish an independent panel (ministerial committee) to review and make recommendations to officials and accounting officers on long-term suspensions in the system.

In the medium term, from April 2023 to March 2024, plans include establishing a centrally coordinated mechanism for senior management service (SMS) member suspensions through introducing an automated/online reference system/workflow, and a review of the disciplinary code

In the long term, from April 2024 to March 2025, the Department aimed to have a fully automated system and online library of all disciplinary cases.

Ms Makhasi said the implementation of the professionalisation framework sought to:

  • Ensure there would be an integrated public services handbook that seeks to promote common interpretations and understanding, as contemplated in Section 42 of the Public Service Act 103 regarding professionalisation standards development;
  • Devolve operational matters from executive authorities (EAs) to heads of departments (HODs), to promote administrative efficiency and to improve the political-administrative interface in the current legislative amendments;
  • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) across government. Government processes were increasingly dependent on individuals, which led to a lack of institutionalisation and sustainability of interventions. Departments must ensure that all identified professionalisation interventions were institutionalised through SOPs; and
  • A psychometric integrity testing tool was being developed.

The work of the Department was structured around the annual performance plan, and the programmes were structured as follows:

Programme One – Administration

This seeks to reduce cases of fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure by 70 percent, obtain 50 percent representation of women in senior management service (SMS), and to increase youth representation of youth by 19 percent and people with disabilities to 3.5 percent in the Department’s staff establishment.

Programme Two – Human resources management and development

This seeks to implement the directive on mandatory in-service training to the 161 departments that were supported, and to gain approval on the public service human capital strategy.

Programme Three – Negotiations, labour relations, and remuneration management

The Department would be monitoring the implementation of the collective agreements as compiled, with a special focus on the monitoring challenges. The Personnel Expenditure Review (PER) would be conducted to inform the remuneration dispensation for the public service. The Department seeks a job evaluation system for the public service, and a tender had been re-advertised for the system so that it could be tested out in some departments, with the hope that it would be approved.

Programme Four – E-Government services and information management

This programme seeks to develop four digitisation solution proposals for the Business Process Mapping (BPM) programme. All national and provincial departments had to support the implementation of the DPSA's ICT-related directives. It would develop an online compliance monitoring system for the Department’s ICT policies and directives.

Programme Five – Government services access and improvement

161 departments would be supported to implement the Public Service Charter, and three state institutions would be supported to implement the African Peer Review Mechanism's (APRM's) national plan of action. The Department would seek approval for an integrated service delivery improvement policy.

Mr Masilo Makhura, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), DPSA, said the Department's total budget allocation for the 2023/24 financial year was R553 million, with the administration programme taking the biggest chunk of the budget at 48 percent, and with the E-Government Services and Information Management account for the least in the budget, at five percent. In the economic classification, the compensation of employees would take up 54 percent of the budget, followed by 35 percent on goods and services, 10 percent on transfers and subsidies, and lastly, the payment for capital assets comprising one percent of the total budget.

See attached for full presentation

National School of Government Annual Performance Plan 2023/24

Mr Busani Ngcaweni, Principal, National School of Government (NSG), said the past two years had been critical for the NSG, as it was essential for the School to survive the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This was because prior to Covid-19, the School had over 95 percent of its interventions done face-to-face. This resulted in the School exploring other online means, whilst being cognisant of government employees who did not have access to electronic devices and may not be able to participate in training activities during office hours as they were frontline workers. There were over half a million staff members. In the current financial year, the School would consolidate and finalise interventions to outlive the pandemic's negative impacts. This included a loss of R10 million per year as a consequence of the cancellation of face-to-face courses.

The School was also using this year to improve and sustain capacities by attracting younger and more specialised talent. Moreover, the NSG was submitting applications for accreditation for certain levels. This was to allow for the fulfilment of the Public Service Act of 1996 which seeks to have the NSG provide full qualifications.

The School was focused on training public servants on practice and know-how, as benchmarked with other global schools of governance that focus on building the capabilities of officials.

Mr Dino Poonsamy, Chief Director: Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy, said 2023 marked the NSG's tenth year of operation.

The School's strategy was based on the service delivery model, which placed the core focus on the learner, state and citizen. The School intended to work towards a public servant that was diligent in the execution of national priorities, committed to the course of national development and transformation, was ethical and accountable to the people, prudent in the deployment of public funds, masterful, and knew what they were doing, and was innovative by always seeking new ways of doing things with precision. In this light, the School ensured its offering built these aspects in its teachings.

There were programme offerings ranging from areas in inclusion and transformation; induction and onboarding; effective management and leadership; culture and change management; managing procurement and public finances; and policy and regulatory improvement. Private partnerships were also continuing, and a highlight was the six-year funded programme by the European Union (EU) that had recently been completed. The building of depth and expansion through higher education institutes continued.

The five-year strategy between 2020 and 2025 had key strategic interventions and was on track. The interventions were:

  • Leadership development: Senior & executive leadership in organs of state; institution of traditional leadership; master classes, School on economic governance);
  • Implementation capabilities of public servants: Entry-to-exit approach to public service career management; compulsory programmes to address systemic challenges;
  • Professionalisation: National framework; partnerships with professional bodies and schools of public administration;
  • Empowerment: Cadet programmes; the art of facilitating engagement in communities;
  • Quality management: Quality assurance and accreditation of programmes; trainer professionalisation; total quality management.

The APP had the following strategic priorities:

  • Skills audit in the public service  -- a joint initiative with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC);
  • Implementation plans for the national framework towards professionalisation in the public sector
  • Productivity in the public service  -- a joint initiative with the Presidency;
  • Targeted training of 46 480 learners in all forms of offerings -- synchronous, asynchronous, and physical;
  • Projected revenue generation of R101 million;
  • Funded compulsory program rollout;
  • Continued focus on the niche programmes -- economic governance, anti-discrimination, state-owned entity (SOE) board induction, traditional leaders;
  • Institutional interventions, such as strategic planning workshops.

Programme One - Administration

In seeking to have functionally integrated institutions, the School aims to implement 100 percent of total quality management, whilst having four mapped business processes in line with the operations management plan being implemented. The School further seeks to resolve 100 percent of material audit findings by the financial year's end.

Programme Two – Core business

In improving the capacities of the School, some of the targeted outcomes for this year include producing a status report on the accreditation of the postgraduate. A skills audit for the public service departments would be conducted, and the Nyukela programme for middle management services would be developed. It was planned to implement eight compulsory programmes and ensure a ten percent increase of public servants in the public sector to be trained on dealing with all forms of discrimination.

The total budget for the 2023/24 year was R229 million, spread almost equally amongst both programmes.

The School was also undertaking work to train a range of provincial and local government structures to further strengthen its efforts. These interventions include:

  • Work with Western Cape CoGTA to engage municipalities at quarterly meetings and provide support and advice in terms of capacity-building interventions;
  • NSG would assist provincial governments, through the Offices of the Premiers, with the rollout of funded programmes;
  • Training of municipal officials on avoiding irregular and fruitless expenditure, as well as citizen-centred service delivery training programmes in KwaZulu-Natal;
  • Training interventions for traditional leaders in the art of facilitation in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

See attached for full presentation

Centre for Public Service Innovation Annual Performance Plan 2023/24

Ms Lydia Sebokedi, Acting Executive Director, Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), said the mandate of the CPSI derived from the Public Service Act, locating the responsibility for public service innovation in the Minister. The mandate was further expanded on in the Government Notice 700 of 2 September 2011. The Centre had two programmes.

Programme One: Administration

This had the purpose of providing strategic leadership, management and support services to the Centre. The three sub-programmes were executive support, corporate services, and the office of the chief financial officer.

Programme Two: Public sector innovation

This programme aimed to drive service delivery innovation in the public sector in line with government priorities. There were three sub-programmes -- research and development, institution support and replication, and enabling environment and stakeholder management. To date, 46 public sector innovation initiatives have been enabled. The Centre seeks to have a target of nine knowledge platforms sustained to nurture an enabling environment for innovation in the public sector.

The CPSI achieved a clean audit outcome in the 2021/22 financial year, and there have been clean audit outcomes for the past six years. The intention was to maintain this. The employee profile was made up of 63 percent of females in the organisation, 7.4 percent of people with disabilities, and 13 percent comprised of youth. The Centre complied with the 30–day payment rule for service providers.

The budget allocation for the current financial year was R45 million, spread evenly between the programmes. Corporate services were the biggest cost driver.

See attached for full presentation


Dr M Gondwe (DA) asked the PSC for an update on the Public Service Commission Bill, as it was an important piece of legislation that would capacitate the Commission’s mandate. One of the output indicators for Programme One referred to the submission of the Bill to Parliament. This was concerning, as the activities of Parliament would be slowing down ahead of the upcoming 2024 national elections. What work had been done to date with the NSG and the DPSA to oversee the implementation of the framework for the professionalisation of the public service, and when could the Committee expect it to be rolled out in the entire public service? How did the Commission ensure that government departments abide by the framework? Programme four deals with integrity and anti-corruption, and the report issued by the Commission estimated financial misconduct to be at R1.2 billion, yet there was a failure to name the relevant national departments that were responsible. Why were these departments not identified?

Addressing the DPSA, she said it was her first experience as a Member of the Portfolio Committee that the Department's APP was viewed in a favourable light, as previously it had been known for saying the responsibility for interventions on findings was the prerogative of the management of individual departments, yet they had a responsibility to ensure norms and standards were adhered to. Of concern, however, was how the interventions would be applied to ensure they yielded results and the appropriate consequence management for the delay in disciplinary measures. As a suggestion, it may be worthwhile for the Department to set measurable targets in this regard. Some of the proposed interventions on vacancy rates were circular, and it seemed the circulars and directives were ineffective. The Commission was encouraged to come up with effective interventions. The outsourcing of lifestyle audits by some government departments, in accordance with Department's presentation, had been confirmed on an oversight visit to the DPSA's Northern Cape office. How was the Department faring in leading these lifestyle audits?

Turning to the NSG, she asked what progress had been made by the School in establishing its sustainable funding model. The Committee would like a finite date, as it had on numerous occasions highlighted the importance of the School securing sustainable funding. Which arm of the Presidency would be responsible for the rollout?

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) asked the PSC what measures and systems the entity had to ensure compliance with its recommendations, and whether it used its legislative authority to effect consequence management.

She asked the CPSI how it worked with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and how it aligned with the Decadal Plan so far.

She said that while some of the frustrations faced by the DPSA were understood, what was its plan to enforce compliance with its recommendations in departments and entities in a timeous manner?

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) raised concern over the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), which sits back when government departments do not perform satisfactorily in areas of standards and norms, that were the DPME's prerogative. Did the Department think it had made enough efforts to ensure the departments that failed adhered to the standard codes of practice?

Dr J Nothnagel (ANC) asked if the Public Service Commission had sufficient abilities and capacities to monitor and support the implementation of the recommendations of its various reports. Did it have a digital transformation strategy? Did it have the capacity to generate innovations and expedite the transformation of an electronic government?

She asked the DPSA what the impact of automation and electronic government would be on low-level jobs, and how government was training staff on digitisation.

She wanted to know how the NSG ensured it expanded online learning for persons not part of the public service, and what the enrolment targets were.

Mr M Kibi (ANC) asked the PSC if it had sufficient capacity to monitor and support implementing the recommendations in its various reports.

What was the CSPI's plan for streamlining innovation in the state, working with the National Advisory Council on Innovation?

She asked the DPSA what the impact of automation and electronic government would be on low-level jobs, and how the Department was training its staff on digitalisation. Were there norms and standards for the disciplinary process coherently applied in the public service? What effective mechanisms were in place to ensure disciplinary processes were undertaken without delays?

She wanted to know how the NSG was in ensuring it expanded online learning for persons, not in the public service, and what the enrolment targets were.

The Chairperson asked the CPSI what their strategy was to leverage the increased levels of connectivity and access to digital devices to innovate solutions and improve government service provision. On the replication of innovation that was largely at a small scale, what was the CPSI's plan to leverage the development model to massify innovative solutions?

Lastly, she asked the National School of Government if it had the resources and the practices-driven learning to improve the skills of the public service.


National School of Government

Dr Botshabelo Maja, Deputy Director-General (DDG), NSG, responded on the skills audit issues, and said that the NSG, jointly with the Human Sciences Research Council, had been given nine months by the President to address the first phase of the intervention of the skills audit. The School hoped to complete at least the first six steps within nine months. The President had requested the focus to be on infrastructure and frontline service departments in this regard.

The productivity work done by the NSG, alongside the DPME, was complex in nature, as the conversation about productivity in the public sector had not been at the forefront. For government to talk about productivity, there would need to be sensitivity in ensuring it went hand-in-hand with service delivery. The project sought to establish the efficiency and effectiveness of issues that should be looked at in the delivery of public services. This should help in understanding how issues of accountability and transparency would strengthen service delivery and efficiency in the public sector.

The NSG was working on a repositioning document on matters surrounding clarity on the elements and meaning of fully resourcing it in the context of constrained public resources, the challenges facing the country, and how the School could be repositioned to be properly resourced without placing the fiscus under a deeper debt burden. Hopefully, within this sixth administration, the School could get Cabinet approval to be fully resourced.

In closing, he reminded the Committee that the core mandate of the NSG was to serve public service officials, so there had been slowness in exploring offerings to those outside the public sector.

Centre for Public Service Innovation

Ms Sebokedi admitted that the Centre had limited capacity to address issues of innovation, citing the budget of R45 million for everything as being a challenge. However, there was an internal plan to undertake innovation initiatives.

Mr Lindani Mthethwa, Head: Solution Support and Incubation,CPSI,  said loadshedding was a national issue being dealt with by the relevant responsible government departments. The Centre had identified a project that assists with unidentified deceased bodies receiving quicker identification turnaround times, as this had been a huge cost to the government. A civil servant had discovered that scanners could be used to identify bodies within two hours, rather than the traditional manual route which could take between a week to three months. The Centre replicated this project in five cycles in Gauteng in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which was developing the software to assist with the project.

The Centre would like the project to be replicated throughout the country, but resources were a challenge. The Department of Health in Gauteng had been informed and encouraged to take this up as a province.

Department of Public Service and Administration

Mr Zaid Aboobaker, Chief Director: E-Government, DPSA, addressed the impact of digitisation being felt mainly in low-level jobs, stating that online portals would reduce the need for customer service representatives on the front line. While the Department has not done any studies in this regard, digitisation may create jobs for software developers, cyber security, data analytics, and similar fields. Whilst there may be a reduction in low-level job tasks, other roles in the technology space would increase as digitisation increases.

Ms Makhasi highlighted that while the Department may face non-compliance issues, there had been an improvement, particularly in compliance with certain policy directives. Circulars were a way of communicating and sharing best practices with other departments, therefore it was the reason the Department continued using this means of communication. The Department did not just communicate for the mere sake of communication -- there were engagements taking place with Directors-General (DGs), and at an inter-ministerial level when there seemed to be no indication of communication made with the departments.

The DPSA had already ensured that the bills brought to the Committee were aligned with the frameworks.

The Committee should also consider calling DGs and the ministers of the departments that were struggling with compliance issues. Perhaps it could target an area such as compliance, vacancy management, or suspension, and call the departments struggling to comply. It was the Minister of a non-complying department that could call its management to account, not the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

The Department did intervene in areas of monitoring and evaluation, and offered support to departments to implement standards. There were limitations in terms of legislation, however.

Public Service Commission

Ms Irene Mathenjwa, DDG: Monitoring and Evaluation, PSC, said that as far as the public service professionalisation framework was concerned, the Commission provided support to the Head of Public Administration and the Head of Department (HOD) evaluations. The support was related to the appointment processes of directors and DDG and HOD evaluations to streamline processes and establish an approach to implement the Commission’s mandated requirements. The Commission needed to come together with role players to forge a way forward to establish the framework.

Adv Dube said work on the Bill had been concluded, and it would be submitted for tabling to Cabinet for approval.

The Commission had started an assessment of its information technology infrastructure, and had concluded that it was ageing and needed modernisation. The modernisation strategy was underway. It would be a five-year strategy that would look at short-term automation strategies. This had been done, and they were awaiting approval for the internal structure. The Commission anticipated having an approved strategy by the end of this quarter.

Minister' closing comments

Minister Kiviet acknowledged the work and influence of the Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake, in the DPSA and its entities. She went on to acknowledge the enormous amount of work by the Department as "the feet of the government of South Africa."

The answer to the persistent resource question posed by the Committee was that there could never be enough resources. The Department and its entities were taking an approach of maximising the impact of the key tasks with the resources at hand. More emphasis was placed on working together to amplify the impact of the Department’s work, as other departments needed to understand why certain directives were issued. Therefore the approach of working with multiple stakeholders was to ensure that when one arrived at a decision, all the parties had an in-depth understanding and buy-in. This would ensure more influence by the Department in carrying out its mandate.

Committee report: PSC Vacancy

The Committee went through the report.

The sub-Committee of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration expressed support for Mr Vincent Magerman as its preferred candidate for the Public Service Commission (PSC) vacancy. In line with Section 196 8(a) of the Constitution, his name will be forwarded to the National Assembly, which will then submit it to the President.

Dr Gondwe expressed her dissatisfaction with the candidate recommended. Her opinion was that he was not the strongest candidate – his presentation was too broad and general. She felt his points were irrelevant to the work of the Public Service Commission and did not speak to the issue of officials doing business with the state as a form of corruption.

Ms Kibi raised a point of order – she did not think it was fair for Dr Gondwe to raise these issues now when she already expressed them in the subcommittee.

Dr Gondwe replied that she wanted to raise her objections to the candidate before the full Committee. The Chairperson said Dr Gondwe would be able to do so.

The Chairperson noted Dr Gondwe’s reservations.

Dr Gondwe added that she felt the candidate’s qualifications were not the correct fit for the PSC. She was concerned by his ANC background. She felt he did not answer questions adequately. She objected “in the strongest possible terms” to the candidate.

The Chairperson noted the objection.

Ms V Molamane (ANC) supported adoption of the report. She did not feel Dr Gondwe should raise her objections now when it was already noted in the report.

Mr C Sibisi (NFP) seconded the adoption and supported the nomination of the candidate.

The report was adopted and would be tabled in the National Assembly.

The meeting was adjourned.









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