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Wage Bill under pressure-Minister Nxesi

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The public sector wage bill is under pressure due to the general constraints faced by the South African economy, says Acting Public Service and Administration Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi delivering his Budget Vote Speech in Parliament on Thursday.

“This situation has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is becoming increasingly important to develop a new remuneration framework for the public sector, including a wage setting mechanism, to better manage the public sector wage bill and ensure a greater degree of uniformity and alignment in remuneration between the various parts of the public sector.

“We convened, with unions, a timely Public Service Summit on collective bargaining on the 28-31 March 2022, where all parties engaged in a frank exchange, but were able to agree on a number of areas in the final declaration in regard to resourcing, reconfiguration (allied to job security), anti-corruption, the fight against poverty unemployment and inequality, and the principle of centralised collective bargaining,” he said.

DPSA’s five priorities

Flowing from the 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework, the Department adopted five priority programmes to realize the MTSF: Minister Nxesi announced that the DPSA adopted five priority programmes in order to realise the current administration’s 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

The five priorities are:

  • The revitalised implementation of Batho Pele
  •  Full implementation of the Public Administration Management Act
  • Stabilising the Public Service
  • Fighting Corruption, and
  • Effective implementation of public service policies.

Earlier this year, Cabinet approved the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy to promote a people-focused public service. According to the Minister, the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA) is aimed at harmonising all three spheres of government to ensure uniformity and synergy and its implementation will go a long way towards the realisation of a capable state as envisioned by the National Development Plan (NDP).

He further said that central to the stabilisation efforts will be the effective and efficient management of public service finances.

“The fight against corruption is ongoing. Corruption and other aspects of poor governance and weak institutions have substantial adverse effects on economic growth. Effective implementation of public policies is about service delivery. Public policy is the translation of public needs into action.

“We are committed to an integrated approach, which fosters partnership of all government institutions across the spheres, collaboration of institutions within the Public Service and Administration portfolio and thorough engagement of labour, civil society and business as we endeavour to improve service delivery.

“All the work we do as government relies on having a cadre of dedicated, skilled and hardworking public servants who are responsive, innovative and committed to help realise Government’s objectives,” he said. Minister Nxesi said the ongoing implementation of efforts to improve the performance of the public service, municipalities, and public entities requires the development of an interventions framework for government