SPEECHES: Budget Vote Speech by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Faith Muthambi, MP

Date: 24 May 2017

Old Assembly Chamber,


Cape Town

Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba

Honourable Members

Chairperson of the Presidential Remuneration Review Commission, Jus-tice Kenneth Mthiyane

Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Adv. Richard Sizani

Chairperson of the Government Employees Medical Scheme – Ms Non-tobeko Ntsinde

Director-General of the Public Service Commission

Director-General of Department of Public Service and Administration

Director-General of the National School of Government

Executive Director of the Centre for Public Service Innovation

Principal Officer of the Government Employees Medical Scheme

Distinguished guests

Fellow South Africans

Honourable Chairperson, we stand here today with much humility to present to this august house Budget Vote 10, with which we hope to deepen our transformation of the broad public service, so that it may correctly be wired to address the pressing problems confronted by the masses of our people. We present this Budget Vote with the view of following in the footsteps of the longest serving President Gen-eral of our revolutionary movement, the African National Congress. In honour of President Oliver Reginald Tambo and during the cen-tenary since his birth, we dedicate this Vote to the hundreds of thou-sands of public servants who have chosen the path to emulate his selfless life of service.

Honourable Members, It is common knowledge that Presidents Tambo and Mandela chose a life of selfless service despite the attrac-tions and full potential of a more prosperous and self centred life.

Reflecting on this chosen path, in the seminal life story of President Nelson Mandela in the Long Walk to Freedom, years later, President Tambo said:

“For years we worked side by side in the offices near the Courts. To reach our desks each morning, Nelson and I ran the gauntlet of patient queues of people overflowing from the chairs in the wait-ing-room into the corridors… when we started our law partnership, we had not been rebels against South African apartheid, our expe-riences in our offices would have remedied the deficiency. We had risen to professional status in our community, but every case in court, every visit to the prisons to interview clients, reminded us of the humiliation and suffering burning into our people.”

It is this selfless dedication, we wish to deepen and promote in the public services of today. It is this type of dedication, vigour and hu-mility we intend to ignite further in our public services. We do so con-scious that the majority of our people remain without a means of con-trol over their own lives as they continue to be exploited only to fuel the engines of profit in servitude to white monopoly capital and global iterations. Consequently, as we dedicate this vote to the thousands of public servants dedicated to changing the material conditions of our people, we do so conscious that unless a radical socio-economic trans-formation path is undertaken those conditions will not improve. To paraphrase President OR’s address to the International Labour Or-ganisation (ILO) in 1986 our economy cannot be reformed, our struggle has entered a phase which marks the final days of the white monopoly dominated system.

To move us further in that phase we require a new, innovative, self-less and inspired type of public service, in the mould of OR Tambo. All of which are in line with the principles of Constitution of the Republic to “provide [an] effective, transparent, accountable and coherent gov-ernment”.

Although this Budget seeks to address our radical socio economic transformation agenda in the longer term, it does adhere to our me-dium term aspirations as contained in the National Development Plan. The National Development Plan builds the foundation for an efficient, effective and development oriented Public Service as part of a capable and developmental state, which can facilitate and implement a Radical Socio Economic Transformation. In this regard, our strategic mandate as a portfolio is to create an enabling policy environment for the rest of the Public Service and to support the effective implementation of these policies, through among others, monitoring, training and the promotion of innovation.

Honourable Chairperson: This year, in September, also marks twenty years since the adoption of the Batho Pele Principles and the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery. During the adoption of these principles the then Minister of Public Services and Admnistration, Dr Zola Skweyiya, reflected that:

“Government’s most important tasks is to build a public service capa-ble of meeting the challenge of improving the delivery of public ser-vices to the citizens of South Africa. Access to decent public services is no longer a privilege to be enjoyed by a few; it is now the rightful ex-pectation of all citizens, especially those previously disadvantaged… The transformation of our Public Service is to be judged, rightly, by the practical difference people see in their everyday lives.”

During this financial year we will therefore adhere to these principles and related public policies to this test presented by the first demo-cratic Minister for Public Service and Administration with a view of improving on them and aligning them to our reinvigorated agenda. As we review these we will also take lessons from hard working public servants such as the winner of our fourth An-nual National Batho Pele Excellence Awards, Ms Thulisile Mathenjwa (may you please rise). We take this opportunity to thank and appreciate Ms Mathenjwa for walking in the footsteps of President OR Tambo and being an embodiment of a public servant that South Africa deserves. Ms Mathenjwa works in one of our most important, but neglected sectors which can accelarate our radical economic transformation agenda --- that is the Agriculture sector. Millions of women occupy this sector and go unnoticed, we must find ways to further empower such women whilst ensuring a shared and inclusive growth in that and other sectors in our economy.

Inclusion, participation and empowerment will require an in-novative public service which is accessible to all its citizens.

The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) is a cross-cutting facili-ty of government aimed at entrenching and driving the culture and practice of innovation in the public sector to address service delivery challenges. Consequently, the centre “is responsible for establishing norms and standards relating to transformation, reform, innovation and any other matter to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service and service delivery to the public”.

In advancing this the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI), will partner with various institutions within the health, safety and security and education spheres in order to collaborate on the development of prototypes as well as nurturing and sustaining a public service innova-tion and learning culture. These collaborations will include the devel-opment and implementation of the multi media innovation centre as well as an innovation journal. Work will also continue in relation to the ever-popular Public Sector Innovation Awards as well as the Annual Public Sector Innovation Conference. Chairperson allow me to recog-nise Ms Ramadimetja Cathrine Masekoameng who represents one of the sixteen 2016 awardees of the Public Sector Innovation Awards. She comes from the Limpopo Provincial Treasury’s Revenue Enhancement Strategy Project which was awarded the coveted 2016 Innovator of the Year title (may you kindly rise). This project is an example of how government departments can refocus to revenue generation in the current dwindling equitable share.

Going forward, we will also pay greater attention to the governance and accountability measures at the Centre for Public Service Innova-tion (CPSI) with the aim of rendering greater effectiveness and broad-er participation, an area of work the Deputy Minister shall elaborate on.

Honourable Chairperson:

Our ethos is one guided by the Constitution and it implores us to demonstrate that We Belong (to our communities), We Serve (our communities) and We Care (about our communities). In the end we must ensure that our government belongs to all our people and it is in service to our people, wherever they are.

It is against this background that during January 2017, we embarked on the Back-to-School Campaign where we visited a number of schools in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. We were accompanied by strategic partners from the private sector, as part of the Public-Private Partnership, who sponsored different items which were donated to the identified and deserving historically disad-vantaged learners in these different schools.

Through the SABC Foundation, we awarded two top matriculants with bursaries. In Mpumalanga province, in partnership with the MTN Foundation, we donated 11 Multi-Media Centres; 100 bicycles and re-lated accessories and 1 000 talking books to schools. The MTN Foun-dation has also signed an agreement with the contractor to construct an ICT laboratory at Tshimbupfe High School this financial year. I would like to acknowledge Mrs Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi (General Manager: MTN Foundation) (May you please rise). We also donated school shoes for identified needy learners at Nine (9) schools in Limpopo province through the Professor Alfred Nevhutanda Foundation. In absentia, we would like to appreciate Mr Khwezi Ngwenya, who is model public servant and an employee of the Estate Affairs Board, an entity under the Department of Human Settlements, who donated out of his own pocket a sizeable number of pair of shoes to schools in the KwaZulu Natal Province. We can upon other public servants and other prominent persons to emulate these exemplary citi-zens. We also encourage other corporate citizens and foundations to partner with us in our initiatives.

We hope these contributions will go a long way to assisting those in need to make their lives better. We have the responsibility to inculcate the ethos of service and volunteerism as a way of life for all public servants. Everyday must be filled with service and care for our people let us not wait until the next Mandela Day or any other calendar day for us to encourage an active public service and citizenry.

Working Together, We Move South Africa Forward.

Honourable Chairperson: In moving South Africa forward together we amended the Public Service Regulations on the 1st of August last year, so that we put in place policies and regulations to curb corrup-tion in the public service.

Through these amendments these Regulations stipulate clearly that Public Servants must not conduct business with any organ of state or be a director of a public or private company conducting business with an organ of state. Public Servants were informed accordingly that they should cease doing business with organs of state or resign from the public service.

The Regulations introduced transitional arrangements for the imple-mentation of Regulation 13(c), which provided public service employ-ees with a period of six months - which ended on 31 January 2017 - to relinquish their interests in businesses involved in conducting business with an organ of state, or to resign from the Public Service. Employ-ees who opted to resign from such businesses were required, in terms of the transitional arrangements, to provide proof of resignation to their Heads of Department by the end of February 2017.

In this regard, the National Treasury manages the Central Supplier Da-tabase (CSD) empowered centrally register suppliers who want to con-duct business with the State. As such, it provides a list of names of individuals and businesses conducting business with the State to the Department. By comparing data from PERSAL with that on the Central Supplier Database, public service employees intending to conduct business with the State, as well as those conducting business with the State, are identified. In January 2017, we forwarded letters to Execu-tive Authorities, identifying those officials that are registered on the Central Supplier Database and those who are conducting business with an organ of state, to create awareness on the transitional ar-rangements.

In March this year, we matched the Central Supplier Database infor-mation with PERSAL data. A total number of Eleven Thousand Five Hundred and Sixteen (11 516) Public Officials were found to be registered on the Central Supplier Database and were therefore in a position to perform business with an organ of state. As at the end of February 2017 and for the period 1 October 2016 to 28 February 2017, a total of Two Thousand Five Hundred and Thirty Six (2 536) employees, who were registered on the Central Supplier Database, have resigned from the Public Service. We are currently following up with departments to assess if there are any remaining public servants have not resigned from the companies they were associated with.

To assist with implementation of Regulation 13 (c), we approved two directives:

    • On 13 September 2016, a Directive on Other Remunerative Work Outside the Employee’s Employment in the Relevant Department as contemplated in Section 30 of the Public Service Act, 1994, was ap-proved. This Directive came into effect on 1 November 2016. The Directive clarifies that although employees may obtain permission for remunerative work outside their employment, such permission shall not be used as a basis for conducting business with an organ of state.

    • In January 2016, a Directive on Conducting Business with an Organ of State was approved to clarify the definition of an “organ of state,” and excluding certain activities that are not considered to be con-ducting business with an organ of state; for example, teaching ac-tivities at universities.

Honourable Chairperson: With effect from 1 February 2017, Na-tional Treasury amended the registration process for prospective sup-pliers to be registered on the Central Supplier Database, to prohibit public service employees from being registered. During the registra-tion process all suppliers are matched against the PERSAL system, to establish if they are Public Service Employees or not. If a match is obtained, the person is flagged and is then required to provide proof that he/she is not a public service employee.

We view misconduct in a serious light and will continue to strengthen measures for effective consequence management in the Public Service.

Honourable Chairperson: As part of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (Outcome 12) Government has identified the management of discipline as one of the priority indicators. The intention is to reduce the period it takes to resolve disciplinary cases from the baseline of 134 days in April 2015 to 90 days by April 2019. Of the Ten Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Four (10 754) cases analysed, as at 31 March 2017, the median number of days taken to resolve disciplinary cases was 61 days. Notably Six (6) of the nine (9) Provincial Admin-istrations were below 90 days. The median for National Departments was 91 days.

Work will continue to support departments that are above the median. Further, the Department has established a pool of experts to support departments by making available chairpersons, investigators and em-ployer representatives to be used in disciplinary hearings. In this re-gard the Department has received 38 request for assistance and 97 experts were assigned.

A major concern for Government is the role of departments in captur-ing, updating and maintaining the required information, with regard to discipline management, on the PERSAL System. Steps will be put in place to ensure that all departments capture and regularly update in-formation on PERSAL.

These are among the critical initiatives through which we seek to pro-mote an intregrity-driven public service, in the footsteps of OR Tambo. To complement these efforts, on Friday, 19 May 2017, we revived the National Anti-Corruption Forum, which is duly constituted by Govern-ment, Business and Civil Society to co-ordinate sectoral strategies in the fight against corruption. The Public Service Commission is as-signed the Secretariat responsibility of the Forum.

These efforts will be complemented by further actions in relation to the vexing challenge of non submission of financial disclosure forms by the due date of 31 May. We are pleased to note the progress recorded during the 2016/2017 financial year, wherein five provinces and 35 na-tional departments achieved 100% submission rate of financial disclo-sure forms. This is the highest submission rate by both the national and provincial departments since the inception of the Financial Disclo-sure Framework in 1999. For the financial year ending 30 April 2016, 92% of Senior Managers filed their disclosures on time. The introduc-tion of the eDisclosure, an electronic format of submitting financial dis-closures, has assisted in increasing compliance rate.

Honourable Chairperson: The Public Service Commission (PSC) is entrusted to promote the constitutional values and principles in the public service, especially those in Section 195.

The Commission finalised a Framework for the promotion of the consti-tutional values and principles and evaluation of the performance of the public service against these values and principles. The Framework de-fines each principle, set out the scope and content of each principle and proposes a number of performance indicators for each principle.

The Public Service Commission has also developed an evaluation tool to assess compliance with the values in the public service. The tool will give a unique perspective on the public service, on whether we are adhering to and achieving the intended goals of the values on an out-come level, and not merely ticking the compliance boxes with legisla-tion.

In the 2016/17 financial year, the Public Service Commission finalised 80% of the 651 grievances and 77% of the 355 complaints lodged with it and made recommendations to Executive Authorities. Most of the outstanding cases were received in March 2017. The rate of finalisation can be ascribed to improved business processes implemented by the Public Service Commission.

Over the years, the PSC has actively monitored the extent to which the Public Service has succeeded in meeting the required employment eq-uity targets.

The PSC found that significant progress has been made in ensuring equity in terms of race and gender. Despite this it is our firm belief that more still has to be done in securing gender parity and women’s leadership at all levels particularly at the highest levels of the public service. We have also noted the limited progress in achieving the dis-ability equity target of 2%. To advance this target we will seek active partnerships with organisations operating in the disability sector, par-ticularly the civil society and the labour movement, in line with the Dis-abled People South Africa motto of “Nothing About Us, Without Us”.

These efforts will be complemented by the recommendations of the Portfolio Committee that the PSC conducts a followup study to deter-mine factors impeding government departments in achieving 2% of people with disabilities and 50% of women in senior management in the public service and make proposals for improvement. Without meeting these targets our agenda for a radical economic transfor-mation and inclusive growth are under serious threat.

As we conduct this analysis and head count and determine where and at what level are the women and people with disabilities located, we will also pose the fundamental question of whether our Department and indeed the entire public service is appropriately wired and de-signed to meet the Department’s specific mandates and our urgent objective for a radical socio-economic transformation.

In doing this we also continue with the ongoing engagements we have had with all our unions and stakeholders so that we may ensure a smooth and progressive process of capacitating the public services, whilst also taking on board (as far as possible) the concerns of labour, the stakeholders and most importantly our citizens to whom we owe our very existence.

Honourable Chairperson: A fundamental consideration in the pro-motion of ethical conduct in the Public Service is the extent to which conflicts of interest that may exist between the public servants’ private interests and public duties are managed. Potential conflicts of inter-ests are managed proactively through the Financial Disclosure Frame-work so as to avoid these from becoming actual conflicts of interest which can easily lead to corruption.

A primary function of the Public Service Commission is to scrutinise the financial disclosure forms received and advise Executive Authorities on the prevalence of potential and actual conflicts of interest. In this re-gard, the Public Service Commission will scrutinise 100% of all submit-ted financial disclosure forms and will extend its focus from partner-ships and properties to the acceptance of gifts.

The Public Service Commission will also conduct public administration investigations into complaints lodged with it. Apart from the hosting of departmental workshops on professional ethics, the Public Service Commission will also host an event in partnership with the Moral Re-generation Movement on building an ethical Public Service.

The Public Service Commission will continue its programme of inspec-tions of service delivery sites. The purpose of inspections is to evaluate service delivery from the perspective of citizens and identify service delivery challenges that can be addressed immediately.

Inspections are successful because they give the Public Service Com-mission quick insight on how administrative arrangements impact on service delivery. The Public Service Commission will continue to im-prove the quality and impact of this work, specifically regarding the rigour of its methodology; the specific role of the Public Service Com-mission in inspecting functional standards, for example health and ed-ucation standards, in which it does not have specific expertise; its co-ordination and collaboration with other bodies like the Office of Health Standards Compliance; and the usefulness of its recommendations.

Honourable Chairperson: The National Development Plan (NDP), in prioritising the “Building [of] a Capable and Developmental State," ob-serves the importance of delegations and proposes more consistent delegations supported by appropriate systems of support and over-sight.

To advance the proposals in the National Development Plan (NDP), we have issued a Directive on Public Administration and Management Del-egations in August 2014. The Directive on Delegations applies to all national and provincial departments as well as government compo-nents listed in the schedules to the Public Service Act. Since the issu-ing of the Directive, the Department has provided ongoing support to departments to implement the Directive.

We reported to this House last year that by 31 May 2016, the Depart-ment would have compiled a report on compliance with the Directive on Delegations. We are happy to report back to the House that the report has indeed been compiled which reflects on the overall compli-ance by departments.

The overall compliance by departments, as at 15 March 2017, was rat-ed at 63% for all departments - 68% for national departments and 61% for provincial departments. Of the 158 Departments assessed, 100 de-partments complied with the Delegations - 30 national and 70 provin-cial departments. The implementation of the Directive is closely moni-tored through the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) process of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

As part of Phase Three (3) of implementing the Directive, in February 2017 we have issued the Guide on Administrative and Operational Del-egations. The Guide provides delegation principles and a toolkit for assessing and developing discretionary decision-making at an opera-tional level.

Honourable Chairperson: The establishment of the Govern-ment Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), in 2006 was aimed at introducing an accessible and affordable medical scheme to public service employees and their dependants. Despite the fact that since its inception, GEMS has grown to become South Africa’s second-largest medical scheme, we may have to frankly evaluate the possible existing barriers to participation which have been raised by some em-ployees, with a view of improving efficiencies and effectiveness of the scheme. Such an evaluation would have to be in line with our radical economic transformation agenda and in lieu of the ongoing discus-sions and support we have provided to the implementation of the Na-tional Health Insurance (NHI) and the Competition Commission Health Market Inquiry.

We are pleased to announce that, the Scheme’s cost containment measures again yielded good results and the Scheme’s non-healthcare expenditure remains one of the lowest in the healthcare industry at 5.70%. The GEMS specialist network was expanded in re-spect of the number of disciplines covered and the total number of specialists on the network was 1 055.

Honourable Chairperson: The National School of Government (NSG) is mandated to provide or facilitate the provision of training to public servants. As a national training provider, the National School of Government must act as such and intensify training and provision of required skills to the public service to deliver on the National Develop-ment Plan goals.

The Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration will elaborate more on the role of the National School of Government short-ly.

We therefore present to this House our Budget Vote, with overall allocations as follows:

    • Department of Public Service and Administration-R456 919m (Four Hundred and Fifty Six Million)

    • Public Service Commission - R245 664m (Two Hundred and Forty Five Million)

    • National School of Government - R160 506m (One Hundred and Sixty Million)

    • Centre for Public Service Innovation - R34 055m (Thirty Four Million)

This vision is our guiding star and will be at the centre of our approach as we reenter our multi year salary negotiations after the three-year agreement came to an end on 31 March 2017. We are also alive to the fact that we have not performed to the optimum and in full accordance to our agreements in the previous three year agreement, and will en-deavour to do more and do better, to our mutual benefit and as far as possible. Once we agree we will also put in place a joint and continu-ous monitoring system with labour, for we believe that it is imperative we work for a productive and stable public service. We have to collab-orate with our labour partners and ensure that the public service ma-chinery functions with the ultimate goal of delivering efficient services to the people.

On behalf of the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, we commit to ensuring that the mandate of this Portfolio is carried out. We will continue working with government departments in all spheres of government as well as our social partners, because Together, We Move South Africa Forward. We have the singular and honourable pleasure to present Budget Vote 10, which we believe to be the basis of a radical, transformed, and service oriented Department of Public Services and Administration, during the year in which we celebrate 100 years since the birth of OR Tambo. Which allocation is just over 897 million rands and will lay the foundation for the urgent transformative tasks and implementation of our radical socio-economic transformation. Such a transformation will benefit all our people and most importantly place at the centre of all of our efforts since We Belong to our people, We Care about our people, We Serve our people.

Honourable Members: This Budget Vote Speech also occurs a day before Africa Day, which marks 54 years since the founding of the Or-ganisation for African Unity (OAU) which has been transformed to the African Union. We dare not forget the founding principles such self-determination which are the foundation of our prime continental union. We also dare not remain complacent in implementing key and volun-tary instruments of our beloved Union, amongst them being the Afri-can Peer Review Mechanism. In marking this grand day for Africa’s journey towards political and economic liberation let us place at the centre those on our continent who continue to face oppression, such as those women, children and men in the Western Sahara and Ma-yotte. Let us also recall that it was African daughters and sons, in the main, who provided refuge to our beloved OR Tambo and thousands so that we may realise President Tambo’s vision “of a South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in condi-tions of peace and prosperity”.

With that I urge honourable members to give support to this important budget vote which will accelerate service in the name of the millions who desire quality, efficient and effective services.

I thank you.

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