In a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on November 22, 2023, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Director General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, provided an update on the progress made in implementing the 2019-2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The presentation focused on the achievements and key initiatives undertaken by the DPSA in building a capable and ethical public service to foster the growth of South Africa.
Director General Makhasi acknowledged the developmental challenges faced by the government, including economic transformation, high levels of unemployment, poverty, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasized the importance of the MTSF as a comprehensive 5-year plan aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP) and designed to address these challenges.
DG Makhasi said the DPSA, under the leadership of the Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Noxolo Kiviet, was allocated indicators and targets related to Priority 1 of the MTSF: A capable, ethical, and developmental state. To track and monitor the implementation of MTSF interventions and targets, the department developed a roadmap and strategic plan informed by the MTSF priorities.
The DG highlighted several key achievements of the DPSA programs and branches. These achievements included the establishment of ethics infrastructure in the public service, such as the appointment of ethics officers and the formation of ethics committees in departments. The department also conducted an ethics survey every three years and worked on improving compliance with financial disclosures and introducing lifestyle audits. Furthermore, the DPSA participated in the Fusion Centre, providing support in monitoring corruption cases involving public servants.
The presentation also mentioned the establishment of governance mechanisms for wage negotiations and wage bill management. The DPSA conducted an extensive review of personnel expenditure in collaboration with national and provincial government departments, as well as other state agencies. In addition, the department launched the Amendment Public Service Regulations 2023 and worked on a professionalization framework.
DG Makhasi highlighted the efforts made to leverage cloud technologies, strengthen cybersecurity measures, and improve the governance of information and communication technology (ICT) in the public service. The DPSA implemented directives on the use of cloud technologies, information security management, and corporate governance of ICT, aiming to enhance service delivery and uphold stringent standards.
Regarding performance management, the framework for the Heads of Department (HOD) Performance Management System was approved by the Cabinet for implementation in 2024. The Business Process Management (BPM) Program was developed and implemented in selected national and provincial departments over the past three years. The department also issued the Organizational Functionality Assessment (OFA) Directive to support selected departments.
DG Makhasi acknowledged the risks and challenges faced during the implementation process, such as delays in departmental restructuring and the impact of budget cuts. However, the DPSA developed catch-up plans and strengthened partnerships and donor mobilization to mitigate these risks.
The presentation also provided a financial performance overview, demonstrating the allocation and expenditure of funds in various areas, including administration, compensation of employees, and operational expenditure.
In conclusion, DG Makhasi’s presentation highlighted the DPSA’s significant progress in implementing the 2019-2024 MTSF.
“The department’s achievements in building a capable and ethical public service are crucial steps towards fostering the growth of South Africa addressing the country’s developmental challenges and making sure that no one is left behind,” DG Makhasi said.