ATC200612: Report of the Select Committee on Transport Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure on Budget Vote 7: National School Of Government And Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans 2020-21 of the Department of Transport and Entities Reporting to the Minister of Transport, Dated10 June 2020

NCOP Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure


The Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure, having considered Budget Vote 7: National School of Government and the Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans of the National School of Government, reports that it could not reach a decision on the Budget Vote.


  1. Background

The Select Committee on Transport Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure (hereinafter referred to as the Select Committee), having considered the directive of the National Council of Provinces to consider and report on the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget allocations of the National School of Government tabled by the Minister, reports as follows:

  1. Introduction

Parliament plays an important role in overseeing planning and performance of government departments and public entities as well as Chapter 9 and 10 institutions. In considering the strategic and annual performance plan, the Committee ensured that the National School Government’s plan and budget allocation serve the needs and aspirations of the public servants. Budget allocation serves as a key instrument for government to promote socio-economic development. Budget allocation plays a critical role as an economic instrument of the government to reflect on the country’s socio-economic policy priorities by translating priorities and political commitments into expenditures. Budget serves as a vital tool to operationalise government activities towards the achievement of its intended priorities. Furthermore, the budget highlights the constraints and trade-offs in policy choices.

On 6 May 2020, the Committee considered the presentation on the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans and budget allocation of the National School of Government (NSG). This report summarises the presentation received from the NSG, focusing on the 2019/24 Strategic Plan and 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan and Budget as well as allocations over the MTEF.


  1. Overview of the National School of Government(NSG)

The NSG draws its mandate from the Constitution, and with particular reference to section 195(1)(h), which stipulates that: “good human resource management and career-development practices, to maximise human potential, must be cultivated”. The applicability of this, and the other values and principles to the three spheres of government, organs of state and public enterprises indicates the requisite depth and the reach of the NSG in order to fulfil this constitutional mandate.


The NSG has to ensure that all of the basic values and principles are inculcated into the value system and performance of all public servants and representatives through education, training and development (ETD) initiatives. It does so through its curriculum design, development and delivery approach with the practical application of participatory, people-centred methodologies and the application of indigenous facilitation and learning techniques during the ETD initiatives, in building a caring ethos and citizen-centred service delivery focus amongst public servants. This approach consciously focuses on the application of the principles and values of the Constitution and the realisation of the public administrative justice to all whom we serve.


  1.  Legislative Mandate

Section 197 of the Constitution provides for a public service within public administration, which must function, and be structured, in terms of nationallegislation, and which must loyally execute the lawful policies of the government of the day.  The NSG, as a national public service department, thus draws its mandate from national legislation – the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation 103 of 1994), as amended. This is the core mandate which establishes the NSG for it to fulfil a function of providing training or causing the provision of training to occur within the public service. Accordingly, section 4 of the Act provides the following mandate:


  1. There shall be a training institution listed as a national department (in Schedule 1 of the Act).
  2.  The management and administration of such institution shall be under the control of the Minister (Public Service and Administration).
  3. Such institution, shall provide such training or cause such training to be provided or conduct such examinations or tests or cause such examinations or tests to be conducted as the Head of the institute may with the approval of the Minister decide or as may be prescribed as a qualification for the appointment or transfer of persons in or to the public service. The School may issue diplomas or certificates or cause diplomas or certificates to be issued to persons who have passed such examinations.


Whilst this piece of legislation empowers the NSG to fulfil its mandate, the limitation of the Public Service Act is that it is applicable to the national and provincial spheres of government. Another piece of enabling legislation - Public Administration Management Act, 2014 (Act No. 11 of 2014) - gives effect, inter alia, to the progressive realisation of the values and principles governing public administration across the three spheres of government.


  1. Strategic Goals of the NSG

The NSG responds to outcome 3 (professional, meritocratic and ethical public administration), and its contribution will be measured by the following outputs:

•    A compulsory in-service training framework that is approved by 2020 and 8 compulsory programmes rolled out by 2022.

•  The recognition of professionals in the public sector by a professional body by 2023 (working in partnership with the Department of Public Service and Administration).


  1. Budget Analysis

The School’s overall budget allocation for 2020/21 is R206.6 million compared to R187.9 million in 2019/20. This represents an increase of 10.0 per cent in nominal terms. However, in real terms the total budget for the Department increased by only 5.32 per cent between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years. The budget of the School is divided into two programmes. Both programmes are cost drivers, namely; Programme 1: Administration (R112.9m); Programme 2: Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development (R93.7million).


The School aims to continue to revise its funding model to ensure it generates more revenue through its training projects. The revised funding model will propose that a portion of national departments’ training budgets be redirected to the school to fund the mandatory training it provides. The School planned to conclude its consultation with key stakeholders on the revised funding model in 2019/20 financial year. The School plans to implement revisions to the trading account’s tariff structure to ensure that the School generates more revenue.


Table 1: National School of Government budget

Programme R'000




Medium Term Expenditure Estimates




1 Administration





2. Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development










Estimates of National Expenditure (2020)

  1. Programme Performance

The NSG has two programmes whose budget and activities are as follows:

  1. Programme 1:  Administration

The purpose of this Programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the School. The budget for Programme 1 increased from R108.1 million in 2019/20 to R112.9 million in 2020/21. This represents 0.04 per cent increase in real terms in the budget allocation between 2019/20 and 2020/21. The programme is one of the two major cost drivers under this Vote, consuming 54.64 per cent of the overall allocation. It is also one programme that experiences minimal real percentage increase. The main cost drivers are Corporate Services at R95.2 million and Management at R17.0 million. The School reduced the average number of days for debt collection to 60 days. All disciplinary cases were resolved within 60 days from the date of receiving the case.  The School facilitated three agreements supporting international exchanges and capacity building initiatives. 

The School projected to collect cumulative revenue of R132 million generated through Training Trading Account and other funding sources. The School will develop 12 communication interventions aimed at promoting its services across the public sector including the State Owned Enterprises. Moreover, the School targets 50% of business development interventions resulting in uptake of the NSG services in the public sector including State Owned Enterprises. The School will develop a repository for information and knowledge management in this financial year. It will further undertake two research reports informing Education Training Development (ETD) discourse.

  1. Programme 2: Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development

The Public Sector Organisational and Staff Development (Programme 2) is responsible for facilitating transfer payments to the Training Trading Account, which provides education, development and training to public sector employees.

The budget allocation for Programme 2 increased from R79.8 million in 2019/20 to R93.7 million in 2020/21. In real terms the budget allocation of Programme 2 increased by 12.47 per cent between 2019/20 and 2020/21. This programme consumes 45.36 per cent of the overall budget. The Programme’s budget (R93.7 million) is allocated to the National School of Government Training Trading Account sub-programme, which provides education, development and training to public sector employees. The School introduced the use of the e-Learning modality that enables it to offer 22 e-Learning courses and to establish communities of practice, as well as open online courses. The School undertook ten training needs analyses with public sector institutions. The School completed six research projects to inform training needs and opportunities.    

The National Development Plan emphasises the importance of professionalising the public service. The NDP highlights that building a skilled and professional public service requires a vision on how public servants experience and expertise develops during their careers. Therefore, the NSG plays a fundamental role in ensuring that public service is professionalised by providing compulsory induction to all public servants. The School intends to complete ten skills assessment reports to inform ETD needs and analyse report of Workplace and Sector Skills Plans to inform ETD interventions. Among the targets to be achieved in this financial year is to develop or review eight courses/programmes/ interventions responsive to identify skills gaps and government priorities.

The School will report on the progress of six evaluation studies and further scope two areas of professionalising functional areas of public servants. This financial year, the School will scope the full post graduate qualification to be offered by the NSG. The School will further enter into 50% of the partnership facilitating the uptake of the NSG ETD interventions. Moreover, it will establish thought leadership platforms and two thought leadership platforms hosted. The School intends to implement Performance Management Systems for Training and Development Practitioners.     

The School will train 7 900 on compulsory category 2 programmes.  Over 15 000 public servants to attend public service induction programme. A total of 20 700 public servants to attend demand-led ETD interventions in three spheres of government and SOEs. The School will develop an online course/programme on how to deal with all forms of discrimination. Furthermore, it will develop and pilot the online curriculum and case studies in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and 34 active online learning ETD intervention available.

  1. Observations and Findings

The Select Committee identified the following matters in relation to the Budget Vote 7:

  1. The Committee noted and considered the Strategic Plan (2019-2024) and Annual Performance Plan 2020/21 financial year of the National School of Government. The NSG’s strategic plan fully reflects the mandate from the Constitution,and with particular reference to section 195(1)(h), which stipulates that “good human resource management and career-development practices, to maximise human potential, must be cultivated”. The Committee was satisfied with the tabled strategic plan and annual performance plan of the School.
  2. The Committee noted the impact of the pandemic caused on the attainment of annual targets and funding of the National School of Government. The NSG revenue on the Training Trading Account has been severely affected and might impact programme 2 of the School, which fully funds its activities including Compensation of Employees. Therefore, the NSG would have no options but to approach the National Treasury to assist with funding to address possible budget shortfall if the pandemic does not end soon.


  1. The Committee noted that an estimated R10.5 million monthly on training fees has been lost since April 2020 due to the COVID -19 pandemic. This was caused by the fact that the NSG was no longer able to offer face to face learning due to the lockdown and social distancing as a result of COVID-19.
  2. The Committee welcomed the initiative of introducing compulsory training programmes in the public service. Among the programmes is the compulsory online Nyukela Pre-Entry into the Senior Management Service (SMS) ranks launched by the Minister together with the School.
  3. The Committee further noted that the NSG will be partnering with Legislatures to offer training courses to legislature staff particularly researchers, content advisors and committee staff in general. The NSG will be launching partnership with five universities, which are Tshwane University of Technology, the Free State, the Western Cape and the North West with the aim of offering quality-assured courses by these universities. The School’s training programmes have to be on par with university training standards, if the School has to remain competent, relevant and be considered as a School of choice by the public servants.
  4. The Committee welcomed the announcement by the School that it will in future provide National Diplomas for officials enrolling for accredited courses. However, the NSG emphasised that its ultimate goal is to impart knowledge to students rather than awarding more certificates without prerequisite knowledge gained. 
  5. The Committee noted that the School will be partnering with professional bodies such as engineering fraternity to train and accredit government engineers to practice and be able to undertake certified government projects rather than outsourcing most of the work of government to private professional bodies.  
  6. The NSG reviewed its organisational structure in order to respond effectively to the public administration’s demand of education, training and development since its mandate includes the local government level. Review of the organogram has resulted into a decision to recruit more women to senior management and youth in the School.
  7. The Committee noted that the world is moving towards the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The NSG finds itself being pushed into implementing e-Learning training as a result of 4IR and outbreak of the COVID-19, therefore the School has to change its business operations, modernise business process and be able to adapt to this technological development.        
  8. The Committee urged the School to play its role of training and development during the piloting of the District Development Model so that relevant training needs are identified and tailored for a curriculum that fits well in addressing administrative service delivery bottlenecks in all spheres of government.


  1. Recommendations

The Committee recommends that the National School of Government undertake the following:

  1. The School should devise a long-term plan to recover self-generated income loss caused by suspension of activities due to the pandemic, within twelve months after the lockdown.
  2. The School should develop a fully-fledged Funding Model to maintain the self-generated income through the Training Trading Account.
  3. The School should offer only accredited courses so that full recognition is afforded to employees being trained, so that they have opportunities for development and promotion.
  4. The School should design a generic curriculum on Crisis Management to deal with unexpected pandemics to empower public service employees during national crises.
  5. The School should consider, where possible, to offer most of its training courses through e-Learning platforms, as part of modernising its business and saving cost on the logistics such as venues.
  6. The School, in consultation with the Minister, should encourage employees already appointed to Senior Management Service to also enrol through compulsory online Nyukela Pre-Entry SMS programme for the public Service as part of reskilling and retraining. The Nyukela online Pre-Entry programme should be designed in way that it complements Competency Assessment managed by the Department of Public Service and Administration towards promotions.
  7. The School should ensure that experienced and highly educated senior public servants with knowledge on subject matters are considered as facilitators and volunteers for training public servants. Quality training should be the main priority of the School.


Report to be considered.



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