Pretoria – The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), in collaboration with the World Bank, welcomed a delegation from Brazil’s National Internal Control Council (Conaci) on Friday to engage in a study tour focused on learning best practices in governance, particularly in the areas of gender equality in the South African public service.

Conaci’s mission is centered on enhancing governance and internal control mechanisms within Brazil’s public administration and fostering the expansion and reinforcement of internal audit practices, particularly in areas such as gender equality. Vice President of Conaci, Mr. Luís Augusto Peixoto Rocha, affirmed the organization’s commitment to laying the framework for advancing gender relations in Brazil’s public administration through the acquisition of best practices from international engagements.

“Our mission is to learn best practices in public administration with regards to Gender Equality. We have recently been to Spain and we plan on going to other countries and we hope to lay the framework to strengthen gender relations in Brazil’s public administration,” said Rocha.

The study tour’s primary objective is to gain insights into South Africa’s United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Gender Equality Seal for Public Administration, specifically focusing on its strategic initiatives, targets, and implementation arrangements. The Gender Equality Seal is a corporate standard for gender equality that organizations can qualify for and be benchmarked against to receive certification in accordance with best practices on gender equality inside an organization. The DPSA recently hosted a meeting with heads of departments nominated for the Gender Equality Seal Project to secure their commitments

Currently employing over 1.2 million public servants, South Africa’s public sector consists of 31% male and 69% female employees, presenting the challenge of gender imbalance in senior management service (SMS) positions. This imbalance was echoed by Vice President Rocha, who underscored a similar disparity in Brazil’s public service, where women form a majority of the workforce but are underrepresented in senior management roles.

In emphasizing the significance of this international collaboration, Mr. Nyiko Mabunda, Acting Deputy Director-General: Human Resource Management and Development (HRM&D) at the DPSA, said, “this meeting underscores the value of sharing best practices and experiences in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment within the public service. The exchange of knowledge and strategies between South Africa and Brazil contributes to a global effort to create more inclusive and equitable public administration systems.”

The strategic exchange between the DPSA, the World Bank, and Conaci marks a pivotal step towards fostering international cooperation in advancing best practices in governance, gender equality within public administration, providing an enriching platform for learning, collaboration, and mutual growth, especially considering the similarities between the two countries.

The DPSA expressed its intention to persue a more structured bilateral relationship with Brazil anchored in the desire to create an equitable society.