Question NW394 to the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

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19 March 2021 - NW394

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Ms SA

Buthelezi, Ms SA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

In light of her department’s most recent available Annual Report 2018-19 on its official website, which indicates that her department employed 35 professionals and managers who were foreign nationals, what (a) total number of foreign nationals currently fill the positions and (b) are the reasons that the roles are not filled by South Africans?


Department of Human Settlements:

(a) Only one foreign national is employed by the Department of Human Settlements and the appointment was done in terms of Regulation 66(1) (a) of the Public Service Regulations, 2016.

(b) The official was recommended on consideration of her previous working history. The official has the requisite expertise, experience and reliability required for the post.

Department of Water and Sanitation

(a) As of the end of the 2019/20 financial year, the total number of foreign nationals within the Department of Water and Sanitation was 29.

(b) Reasons for the department to employ the employees referred to in (a) include:

  • Scarcity of qualified and experienced persons available locally or they are available but do not meet the applicable employment criteria
  • Technical areas of work in the department for which persons require advanced knowledge in a specified subject area or science
  • The department has also entered into a bilateral agreement with the government of the Republic of Cuba on 6 February 2020 on cooperation in water resources management and water supply which will run up to 2024. The Cuban Specialists employed in various engineering and scientific disciplines are deployed in infrastructure operation clusters, regional offices and the Department’s Head Office. Among the areas of cooperation agreed upon by the parties are:
  • Capacity building through training and skills transfer to officials responsible for operation and maintenance of water infrastructure throughout the water value chain at national, regional and local government levels;
  • Operations and maintenance of water infrastructure in various clusters and provinces, where there is a dire shortage of technical skills.
  • Provision of training and mentoring to local candidate engineers and artisans


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