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Restructuring delays filling of posts in the public service-Min Dlodlo

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Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo singled out the restructuring within departments as one of the factors leading to the delays of filling of vacant posts.

On her Parliamentary oral reply, Minister Dlodlo said the DPSA plays a critical role in terms of policy development, setting norms and standards with regard to the configurations of the departments.

“The DPSA assists the departments with the alignment of organisational structures to their core mandate. Prolonged reorganisation or restructuring within a department delays the filling of posts. The reprioritising of posts to be filled is based on the available budget.

“The DPSA also conducts continuous compliance monitoring exercise on the implementation of organisational design function in the public service, with a specific reference to monitoring the changes to the organisational structures by departments, while ensuring that the organisational structure address the service delivery challenges,” she said.

The Minister said the aim is to ensure that departments are implementing the approved organisational structures that are aligned to the Constitutional mandates, strategic plans, Service Delivery Model and the allocated budget.

Furthermore, Minister Dlodlo said it is also to ensure that the information on Persal system is aligned to the approved organisational structure of departments.

“Due to budgetary constraints or budget cuts, departments are advised to redirect funding to create critical posts where they are needed most, more especially within the core/line functions in order to enhance service delivery,” she said.

Resilient public service

Through the development interventions that are prioritised, Minister Dlodlo said the DPSA is definitely witnessing a resilient public service.

“One of the clear factors shaping the performance of the public service, is the broader education and training environment that is currently in place. Over the years, the DPSA has been assisting departments in the development of their employees in a coordinated manner through the implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategic Framework for the public service, supported by the associated determinations, directives, guidelines,” she said.

Other related subordinate legislations provided for under the Public Service Act, No.103 of 1994 as amended, to guide them on how to:

  • Plan and conduct education and  training for employees;
  • Conduct needs assessments for both the employees and the organisation; Formulate and align the strategy with national development agenda;
  • Alignment of Human and Capital resources.

“In this regard, departments develop and report on the implementation of departmental human resource development plans referred to in the Public Service Regulations (2016) in order to ensure that the supply of skills is directly managed to maintain a sufficient and capable skills base necessary to perform the public service functions.

“The implementation of these development initiatives within the public service contribute towards the implementation of the National HRD Strategy–South Africa towards 2030 and the National Skills Development Plan 2030 (2019), both of which are aimed at ensuring that South Africa has adequate, appropriate and high quality skills that contribute towards economic growth, employment creation and social development using a combination of measures,” she said.

The National Development Plan (NDP) suggests that in order to achieve high quality public service, improving and maintaining infrastructure as well as conditions for economic development, all require a professional public service and a capable state.

“One observation made by the NDP is that the public service faces a severe shortage of staff and specialised skills, especially in health, policing, infrastructure planning, and engineering, finance and information technology.

“This adversely impacts not only front-line service delivery, but also the long-term planning and co-ordination. In line with the plan for building a capable, effective and professional public service, the DPSA has identified interventions which will contribute to the achievement of the above agenda,” she said.

These interventions are to contribute to the professionalisation of the public service by:

  • Improving skills levels of the existing employees by assisting them to acquire the requisite professional and technical qualifications in order for them to undertake their responsibilities in a professional and competent manner and;

Strengthening the talent pipeline by investing in youth and undergraduate students studying towards occupation considered scarce with the view to channel and retain them in the employ of the department, thereby increasing the capacity of the departments.