Patel’s DG quits

2012-02-10 08:24

Long-serving top civil servant Professor Richard Levin has quit as director-general of Ebrahim Patel’s economic development department after two years in the position.

Levin is joining the Public Service Commission (PSC) – also as its director-general – from next month.

He cited his wife not being well as the reason for his decision to leave the department, which was only formed after the 2009 general elections. Levin was appointed as economic development director-general in February 2010.

Levin previously held the same position at the public service and administration department.

“I was spending long hours (working) and I needed a better work-life balance,” he said.

He said the PSC was well established compared with Patel’s new department and that public administration was his area of expertise.

Levin denied speculation that he had an uneasy relationship with Patel.

“I had a very good relationship with Patel and we achieved a lot together,” he said.

Levin, a former Wits University land reform and rural development lecturer, said a lot still needed to be done in economic development.

These include making senior appointments and maintaining the last financial year’s clean audit.

“I’m not anticipating any problems,” he said.

The department is responsible for implementing government’s New Growth Path and key state institutions like the Industrial Development Corporation.

Patel’s spokesperson, Saleem Mowzer, said Levin’s departure was amicable and for personal reasons.

“Levin helped the minister set up the department,” he said.

Mowzer said Levin would be replaced as soon as possible.

Levin leaves at the end of the month.

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