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Department of Public Service and Administration Budget Vote Speech by Hon M.L.D. Ntombela

11 May 2016

Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
Honourable Minister of DPSA, Advocate Ngoako Ramathlodi
Honourable Deputy Minister of DPSA, Ms. Ayanda Dhlodhlo
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Ms. Peace Mabe
Honourable Members of Parliament
Comrades and friends, I greet you all.

Umhlahlandlela weqembu i African National Congress (ANC) ukubeka kucace ukuthi sizibophezele kwimigomo nemibono yethu yokuba ngungqa-phambili ekuguquleni isimo sezimpilo zabantu bakithi eSouth Africa sibe ngcono kakhulu kunakuqala.

Through our skills development initiatives, we will turn every Public Sector work place into a training space and develop a conscientious public service.

If I were to rewind our memories back to the era between the 1980 and the 1990s, one would have never thought for a moment that the DPSA would be what it is today, after the amalgamation of all departments under the homeland system.
This was the mammoth task, but a feather in the cap of the ANC-led government.

This Budget Vote presentation is a continuation of an honest attempt to address what we inherited under the apartheid dispensation and also charts a way forward as we contribute towards the development of our democratic state.

The Agenda 2063 calls for an African Skills Revolution. The AU Commission requested the African Capacity Building Foundation to conduct a study on key critical technical skills and capacities required for the implementation of the African Vision.

So, the establishment of the National School of Government (NSG) is but one of these strategic objectives to realise our vision.

The NSG intends to train close to 30 000 newly appointed public servants on the Compulsory Induction Programme and monitor its outcomes, and further train 20 000 persons in line with courses and programmes on the NSG course matrix.

Ikomiti lisishayela ihlombe isenzo se NSG sokusebenzisa abantu abanolwazi olunzulu kanye nabaqeqeshekile, ukwabelana ngamakhono kanye nolwazi kubafundi. Lokhu kuncomeka kakhulu ngoba kwehlisa izindleko ezinkulu zokukhokhela ama consultants.

As an integral part of its mission, the NSG will assist a number of unemployed youth graduates to be orientated in the public service and also facilitate the participation of the public service interns in the programme. This, Chairperson, is indeed in line with National Development Plan (NDP) vision that by 2030, South Africa's public servants should be skilled, professional and accountable to the communities they serve.

Chairperson, the PC has a very high regard for the NSG and places a high premium on it. So, the conscious development and enhancement of the NSG as a thought leader across the public and private sectors, cannot not be overemphasised.

This effort to realize a well-trained and highly skilled public service cadre through the NSG as a conduit is commendable and it also puts a meaning to the demographic dividend and opportunities that this dividend presents to Africa, and particularly South Africa.

The department is geared towards supporting government departments in appointing 20 000 youth into learnership, internship, and artisan programmes. Since 2009, close to 140 000 young people have benefited in these developmental programmes and continue to do so. This also gives them an opportunity of getting absorbed into the system; thus enhancing the DPSA as a career of choice.

Among other things, the rollout of compulsory executive programmes for senior management has re-ignited the motivation for the achievement of an efficient and professional service.

Modula Setulo, ke tseba hantle hore ho na le balakaletsiba tla ema monahona mona to come and complain like stuck records about the bloated public service, forgetting that this government is committed to building a Public Service cadre who is always committed.

For the record, the Department had promised the Portfolio Committee (PC) that it would amend the Public Service Regulations in order to address certain gaps in the legislation, and it has delivered on its promise.

In its quest to transform the public service into an effective, efficient and the essential part of a capable developmental state, it is worth mentioning that that the DPSA continues to play its part to ensure that young people of our country get the exposure and experience they need at the workplace.

The amended regulations will empower the Minister of Public Service and Administration to ensure that more and more employees, within the public service, declare their financial interests. The regulations also deal with measures for prohibiting the re-employment of officials that were dismissed due to misconduct, a matter which has always been a concern to all of us. It is for this reason that the National General Council (NGC) of the ANC reaffirmed its resolve to fight corruption and such tendencies at all levels of the public service.

I expect the opposition to acknowledge this good effort, but of course, it depends on their principles of fairness.

Following the commitment to the PC, the Revised Regulations are now firmly in place to implement the legislative amendments to the Public Service Act of 1994 and the Public Administration Act 11 of 2014. All legislative processes were done efficiently to come up with this legislation. The public participation process was conducted and the views of the people were incorporated adequately. It is only a relatively strong public service, and by extension, the government
with the strong legitimacy base like this one led by the ANC, that can really involve people in policy matters. South Africa, as a developing state, has put in place policies which make the public service an institution of the people's
power.

Chairperson, another milestone is the Productivity Management and Measurement Framework. This framework is firmly entrenched so that it can be determined by all and whether or not the public service is efficient regarding service delivery. Productivity management helps to ensure that every target or milestone set is followed up, to monitor if its progress is sufficient or not. And if not, whether any interim measures can be put into place before it is too late to salvage a situation. It keeps the employees on track, in this manner, value for money and gainful employment can be realised.

Honourable Chairperson, as I conclude, I must acknowledge that yes, we still have some challenges, considering where we come from. There are still issues which need our undivided attention, like ill-health retirements and GEMS, which should be dealt with expeditiously and decisively.

The committee clarified the reporting line of the Government Employees Medical Aid Scheme and will, in this current financial year, invite GEMS to account on its activities of ensuring better healthcare to public servants.

Ha ke qedella Modula Setulo ya kgabane, ke re hae moo- o mong feela mokgatlo o tsebang mathata a lona, o tsebang moo le tswang teng, o tsebang moo re yang teng. Ke ANC feela!

Ha ho poho pedi sakeng le na. Ke ANC feela! Voutela ANC! Re shota ka wena feela.

The ANC supports this Budget Vote.

I thank you.

     
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