“If the treasury collapses, the whole country will collapse. That is why we call on management to restore the image of the department by remaining objective.”This call was made by Mac Jack, the MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, while addressing senior managers at the Northern Cape Treasury Department’s two-day strategic review session in Kimberley on Monday, 21 August.He urged the managers to do their best to deliver on their mandate and strive to take the province forward by continuously ensuring that the priorities of government are addressed despite all the challenges the country faces.“In order for their lives to be changed for the better, the whole country and our people depend on the treasury. “We are operating in a highly populated environment characterised by high political challenges. It is important for public servants to understand the political environment they are operating in. You need to understand the policies of the ruling party at that juncture,” he continued. According to Jack, the instability in the province was mainly caused by the recent reshuffling and the inability to fill those vacant positions of Heads of Department in his department efficiently. “The recent reshuffling also affected my plans to deal with grievances which were raised by staff members during the joint staff meeting we had. Indeed, they raised opinions and issues that are impacting on their performance, morale and human relations in the workplace.” Jack also addressed challenges faced by the Department of Health, like the moratorium on employment and the fight against corruption.He singled out the issue of the appointment of revenue collectors within the department, which he feels should be addressed to ensure that the revenue collection of the department and the province as a whole is increased.“The whole issue of the appointment of data-capturers is more confusing. We need to come up with solutions which will be more relevant for the department.”Jack said the department was not winning in the enforcement of the moratorium on employment.“A number of appointments are still continuing without following the processes with the treasury and the Office of the Premier. “People are still appointed in senior positions without following correct procedures. “They start as acting and then they become permanent. This is a way of avoiding the moratorium and bypassing proper recruitment processes,” said Jack. He called upon management to use this platform to extensively engage and come up with measures to proactively stop these wrong practices.According to Jack, the fight against corruption was also not yielding positive results. “Tenders are awarded without following proper procedures and systems are manipulated. This leads to government departments being taken to court, where we ultimately lose the case.“There are instances when those people who are supposed to defend the state during court cases are the ones who are giving information on how to win the case against the state, to those taking the state to court. “They are lobbying to abuse public resources. Corruption is stealing from the poor,” he said. Jack indicated that there was a need to monitor public entities and departments closely. He said it was a concern that municipalities are not managed effectively.“We should do more to turn the situation in municipalities around. The right people must be appointed in key positions of the municipalities, otherwise we will be compromising the running of the municipalities.”He highlighted that the department should come up with strategies to build the capacity of councillors.