Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet tabled her maiden Budget Vote Speech for the Ministry for Public Service and Administration that is geared towards building a capable state.

Delivering the Budget Vote Speech in Parliament on Tuesday 16 May 2023, Minister Kiviet said milestones for building a capable state will include the following in the 2023/24 financial year:

  • Introducing of the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill, which seeks to empower the Commission to deliver on its mandate as intended by the drafters of the Constitution.
  • Releasing an Integrated Public Service Handbook, to promote professionalisation standards, common interpretations and understanding as contemplated in Section 42 of the Public Service Act. This includes a Review of the SMS Handbook.
  • Reviewing the Public Service Regulations (PSR) of 2016 and all associated Directives and Circulars to reduce red tape and compliance overload currently being experienced by Departments.
  • Devolving operational matters from Executive Authorities to HODs to promote administrative efficiency and to improve the political-administrative interface.
  • Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) across the government to institutionalise government processes for the sustainability of interventions. In this regard, departments are required to ensure that all identified Professionalisation interventions are institutionalised through SOPs.
  • Introducing Competency Assessments and Psychometric integrity testing as part of pre-entry requirements into the Public Service to promote meritocratic appointments and promotions.
  • Ensuring that the SONA priorities for the Measures to protect Whistle Blowers are fully implemented
  • Working with Parliament, ensure that that the Public Service Amendment and the Public Administration Management Amendment Bills which follow extensive consultations with the public, NEDLAC and organised labour are processed accordingly.
  • Continue to play a critical role in co-ordinating anti-corruption work within the public service. These include the development of a central register on disciplinary matters, working with departments to roll out lifestyle audits in national and provincial departments, support law enforcement agencies in dealing with public servants charged with corruption.

The Minister also announced that Deputy President, Mr Paul Mashatile will be presiding over the signing of a Social Compact with social partners at the Human Resource Development Council next week Friday 19 May 2023.

The utilisation of training budget by departments

Minister Kiviet urged departments to fully utilise their budget of 1% wage bill allocation for training and development for maximising service delivery.

“I urge all departments to fully utilise their budget allocation towards building state capacity in a manner that is efficient and provides a maximum effect on service delivery.

“In the 2023/24 Financial Year, we will issue new policy directives aimed at strengthening the utilisation of the training budget in support of ongoing efforts to build state capacity, focusing on training, leadership development, coaching and mentoring for public servants.

“Our focus should be on developing and strengthening leadership skills, improving strategy execution capacity of public servants, project management capabilities and building digital skills amongst others to enable the transition towards digitally enabled public services,” she said.

The APRM and BRICS Summit

Later this month, the DPSA will be hosting the launch of the 2nd Generation Report of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as part of the Africa Month celebrations. This ties well with the BRICS Summit where the National School of Government (NSG) will be hosting the Public Service Reform Seminar.

The NSG will be hosting the Seminar with partner management development institutes, scheduled for 17-19 July 2023 in Gauteng as well as through virtual connection from all BRICS and other countries especially those on the African Continent.

The seminar will provide a platform for the member countries to share experiences, lessons, and proposals on public sector reforms, with a focus on professionalising the public sector.

In December last year, the Department hosted the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) conference at the University of Western Cape. The department continues to participate and provide leadership in the work of AAPAM through the active involvement of the DPSA Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, who was elected as Vice President – Southern Africa and a member of the Executive Committee.