‘Fast-growing’ civil service has 300 000 vacancies

2013-05-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The civil service currently has some 300 000 vacant posts.

Despite recent calls by FF+ MP Corné Mulder to reduce the size of the civil service, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Lindiwe Sisulu said these posts — in both national and provincial departments — must be filled.

Sisulu yesterday said in answer to a parliamentary question by Cope’s Leonard Ramatlakane that the number of vacant posts since 2011 was 297 310, not 367 750 as Ramatlakane had stated in his question.

He asked Sisulu what her department was doing to fill vacant posts.

Sisulu said the ministry was striving to fill all posts by next year, and had already reduced the vacancy rate to 5,29%. She said the government’s strategy to suspend posts that had not been budgeted for and to apply occupation-specific salaries was now being applied correctly, which had also contributed to the reduction of vacant posts.

At provincial level the Northern Cape’s civil service has the most vacant posts (17,01%), followed by the Eastern Cape (13,92%), the North West (13,69%) and Mpumalanga (11,66%).

The civil service in Limpopo has only 3,17% vacancies.

Mulder last week said South Africa’s civil service was growing abnormally fast and had already assumed extraordinary proportions. He said the country now had 67 ministers and 159 directors-general. Forty years ago, there were only 18 ministers and 18 directors-general.

He added that the government was wasting millions of rands to maintain a large and clumsy civil service.

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