Cadre deployment a serious obstacle – HSRC

2012-07-12 13:32

The ANC’s policy of cadre deployment is adversely affecting public services, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has said.

“One conclusion that seems to be common is that the ANC’s deployment strategy systematically places loyalty ahead of merit and even of competence, and is therefore a serious obstacle to efficient public service,” HSRC researcher Modimowabarwa Kanyane said at a seminar in Pretoria today.

Politically connected incompetent people were often deployed to public positions, which led to a demoralised public service.

“Incompetent and unqualified people are unable to deliver services efficiently and effectively. Competency and ethical standards are critical for an ... effective public service.”

He said managers with the relevant skills only constituted 0.4% of the country’s public servants and the majority of them served in national departments.

“Skilled people are concentrated at the national and provincial levels, but when you go deep into the municipalities, that is where we have a deficit of skills. So we don’t have an even distribution of skills, even though it is in limited demand,” Kanyane said.

“There is also a high level of turnover of middle and senior managers due to stressful working conditions and the high demand for qualified professionals in the private sector and international opportunities for bright South Africans.”

Researcher Gregory Houston said it was unfair to place all the blame for incompetent public servants on the ANC.

“The ANC has acknowledged the flaws in their cadre policy. It also has to be said that not all people deployed by the ANC are incompetent.”

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