The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) recently issued a circular aimed at assisting in managing the appointment of staff for Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers and Members of the Executive Councils (MECs).
DPSA’s Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi said the circular issued to all heads of national and provincial departments, seeks to assists departments in the implementation of the Guide for Members of the Executive as amended in April earlier this year.
This, Ms Makhasi said is specifically in respect of staff arrangements; electricity and water costs to official residences. According to the Director-General, the posts affected by the recent amendments in the Office of Cabinet Ministers are twelve (12).
The affected posts are Chief of Staff; Private and Appointment Secretary; Media Liaison Officer; Parliamentary and Cabinet Officer; Community Outreach Officer; Portfolio Coordinator; Assistant Appointment and Administrative Secretary; Driver/Messenger; Food Aid Service; Receptionist and Household Aide.
“The post of Parliamentary Officer in the Office of a Minister has been redefined to include the responsibilities relating to Cabinet while the post of Legislature Officer to include responsibilities relating to the Office of the Provincial Legislature. Departments are therefore, required to ensure that the job descriptions and concomitant performance agreements are amended to reflect these changes. The post of Driver/Messenger and Food Aide Services fall within the structure of the Office of an executive authority and must be filled in accordance with regulation 66 of the Public Service Regulations.
“Where these posts have been filled permanently in the departmental structure, in terms of the November 2019 Guide, the employees shall continue to occupy such posts unless transferred to another post in the Department,” she said.
Ms Makhasi further said one post of Portfolio Coordinator may be created in the Office of a Cabinet Minister or MEC (not the Private Office of a Deputy Minister or Premier) who has more than one department and/or public entity reporting to her or him.
However, she said the salary level of that post is determined as follows:
- In respect of a Minister with more than one department reporting to her or him, the Portfolio Coordinator post is set at salary level 11;
- In respect of a Minister with a department/s and a public entity/ies reporting to her or him, the Portfolio Coordinator post is set at salary level 13;
- In respect of a MEC with more than one department reporting to her or him, the Portfolio Coordinator post is set at salary level 9;
- In respect of a MEC with a department/s and a public entity/lies reporting to her or him, the Portfolio Coordinator post is set at salary level 11.
“All posts in the private office of an executive authority must be created with due regard to regulation 40 of the Public Service Regulations, 2016, which requires that funding must be available within the department’s budget for the creation of these posts.
“The salary level of these posts have been benchmarked at indicated salary levels and departments may not deviate from these prescribed salary levels. Posts falling within the private office of an executive authority are to be filled in terms of regulation 66 of the Public Service Regulations.
“Therefore, any appointments made in terms of section 9 of the Public Service Act are required to be filled on a temporary basis and the contract of these employees must be linked to the term of the executive authority,” she said.
However, provision is made on the Guide for the relevant executive authority to request approval from Public Service and Administration Minister to under exceptional circumstances and where additional tasks and projects are assigned to an executive, authorise additional appointments.
Ms Makhasi said such request must be fully motivated with supporting evidence to justify such additional posts and must be accompanied with confirmation that funding exists for such appointments. In terms of the amendments, the Administrative Support and Co-ordination post has been benchmarked at a higher salary level 13 in so far as it relates to support provided for a Minister and a Premier.
Water and Electricity costs at Official Residences
Since April 13 this year, the State has been responsible for the cost of water and electricity to state-owned residences as well as to a private residence, provided such residence has been designated as an official residence.
However, the reimbursable costs related to an official private residence will not include rates, taxes, and other municipal charges. The recent amendments do not affect the limitation on expenditure in relation to the cost of purchasing an official vehicle.
The Guide provides that the price of the purchase of official vehicles shall not exceed R700 000,00 inclusive of VAT, security upgrades, maintenance plans, and this limitation on the cost of the vehicle must be adjusted annually by the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance has approved that the threshold in respect of the purchase of an official vehicle may not exceed R800 000, 00.
The circular can be accessed on https://www.dpsa.gov.za/dpsa2g/documents/acts®ulations/Guide_for_members_of_the_executive/ea_05_07_2022.pdf