Minister Noxolo Kiviet gave a speech during the 2023/24 Budget Vote for the National School of Government, Department of Public Service and Administration, and Public Service Commission, highlighting the theme, “Taking care of public servants to care for South Africans.” The speech emphasized the importance of public servants in improving the quality of life for all South Africans.
Constitutional Duty to Serve
Minister Kiviet stressed the constitutional duty that public servants have to unlock the potential of every individual and improve the quality of life for all South Africans. The professionalization framework for the public sector is crucial for building an ethical, capable, and developmental state.
Implementation of the Professionalisation Framework
The full implementation of the professionalization framework requires the issuance of a Directive that covers various aspects, including abolishing experience requirements for entry-level posts, extending pre-entry tests and competency assessments, revising Performance Management and Development Systems for Heads of Departments, and tenure of Heads of Department.
The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) received a budget allocation of R553.46 million for the 2023/24 financial year. Meanwhile, the National School of Government (NSG) and Public Service Commission (PSC) received budget allocations of R229.018 million and R292.1 million, respectively.
Key Priorities and Deliverables
The key priorities and deliverables for the 2023/24 financial year include conducting a skills audit throughout the public service, establishing a single register for disciplinary cases and processes across all spheres of government, and completing lifestyle audits for members of the Senior Management Service across the Public Service. These audits aim to ensure transparency and combat corruption within the public sector.
To modernize the public service and enhance its efficiency, the Minister highlighted the necessity to fast-track digitization, roll out eGovernment and eServices, and address the aging public service by increasing youth representation through graduate recruitment programs and specialist skills recruitment.
Promoting Labor Peace
The government is working with organized labor to establish Minimum Service Level Agreements for essential services to promote labor peace and collective bargaining in the public service. This collaboration aims to ensure that critical services remain operational and accessible during labor disputes, ensuring that South Africans continue to receive the necessary support.
The Department of Public Service and Administration is committed to playing a critical role in building state capacity, government performance, ethics, and integrity. By focusing on the implementation of the professionalization framework, addressing challenges, and promoting labor peace, the South African government is taking essential steps towards advancing the public service sector and ensuring that it serves the needs of the country and its people effectively.