Motlanthe tells of strained relations

2012-11-16 13:45

Pretoria - The relationship between some civil servants and their political principles is strained, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

"This connection between the political authority and public administration had no historical frame of reference or long-established tradition in our new democracy," Motlanthe said at the University of Pretoria.

"This has in some cases led to strained relations between ministers and director generals, resulting in the high turnover of senior administrative personnel, who take with them invaluable skills needed in public service."

This loss of rare skills put further constraints on the public service's ability to deliver.

Weak relationship

Motlanthe was speaking at the 5th Annual SPMA (School of Public Management and Administration) conference on public administration and management at the University of Pretoria.

The civil service was the administration while the executive was the government.

Motlanthe said the weak relationship between the two eroded accountability and authority.

"We have to repeat the message that resource wastage cannot be tolerated.

"Public servants must understand that they have the duty to provide these services without the expectation of a bribe," he said.

Motlanthe identified a number of other problems within the public service.

These included a lack of leadership and weak managerial capacity, poor organisational design and low staff morale, lack of skills, and poor performance.


It was important that institutions such as Parliament, provincial legislatures, and municipal councils - that provided oversight - made sure public resources were allocated and used according to policy priorities.

They also needed to make sure that there was efficient spending and value for money, and that public servants acted responsibly.

Motlanthe said accountability in the public service was as important as the transformation of the human resources management principles that underpinned work in the public service.

It required a mind-set change and understanding by citizens that they had the right to government services.

He said it was government's primary duty to turn the civil service into a responsive, "purring machinery" that served the people.

  • nikelom - 2012-11-16 13:53

    Whoo oooh ho! I see trouble coming your way KM, you are becoming a clever black now. Beware the bigoted Blade behind you.

      ChristelleJames - 2012-11-16 14:16

      LOL - but in all seriousness, you are right! The moment intolerance is shown for corruption, bribery etc, the back is no longer protected from the blade

      boltonbarry - 2012-11-16 14:17

      Nikelom beware you will be called a coconut but the non clever blacks fastet than you cna say coconut..BUt yeah good on you

  • sandra.j.rennie - 2012-11-16 13:54

    The ANC only have themselves to blame. You let all the skilled people leave, take packages, etc. It's called CARRY ON WITH THE STRUGGLE. STRUGGLE NOT FOR FREEDOM, BUT STRUGGLE TO DELIVER !!!

  • sagin.verity - 2012-11-16 13:58

    The anc is not fit to rule. The anc has the anti midas touch. Honestly is there anything the anc does well? (besides lie, cheat and steal) Death to the anc!

  • JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-16 13:58

    Member of Parliament = Civil Servant = You are so damn right motlanthe.... not only some, all of you from top to bottom.

  • JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-16 14:00

    Strained ???? I call it Stained !!!!!!

  • Olembe - 2012-11-16 14:02

    hand over this governemnt to DA, you will see a wonderful the result.

  • natoe.matoe - 2012-11-16 14:04

    How can he expect qualities like accountability? They are led by example - if the boss do it, why cant they?

  • Olembe - 2012-11-16 14:06

    montlanthe is as warm water and must be vomited, you can't use it a cold or hot water.unfortunately we can't change you.

  • John - 2012-11-16 14:07

    The word is PRINCIPALS, not PRINCIPLES!

  • tiresias.watiresias - 2012-11-16 14:07

    Cadre deployment. Need more be said?

  • eland.snitbul - 2012-11-16 14:08

    Well this piece quoted from the articles probably should be used as the official definition of the ANC: "Lack of leadership, weak managerial capacity, poor orginizational design and low staff morale, lack of skills and poor performance" I've got an idea, stop hiring friends & comrades and get qualified people to do the job... o ja and by the way bribes as become a form of extra tax for any company intending of doing business with the government...

  • morrisn2 - 2012-11-16 14:10

    I like the way the name ANC comes up each time ppl comment, i even forgotten if there`s any party in SA other thn ANC! Never heard of! Big up 2 ANC! Evn some leaders frm othr parties whch i cant remember their name, ANC comes 1st in whatever they say, ya!

      eland.snitbul - 2012-11-16 14:20

      Another victim of the current ruling party not living up to it's promises and providing proper education...

      darryn.lahner - 2012-11-16 14:21

      eish morrisn2 - I did not think people could be as stupid as you without being classed as a complete mental retard.

      sagin.verity - 2012-11-16 14:40

      Thick as a brick! Blind as a bat! Typical anc supporter

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-11-16 16:09

      How thick is a plank?

  • john.morreira.9 - 2012-11-16 14:17

    "This loss of rare skills put further constraints on the public service's ability to deliver." Thanks to AA; BBBEE ETC.

  • hakuna.jina - 2012-11-16 14:18

    "The relationship between some civil servants and their political principles is strained, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday". This journo should perhaps look up the meanings op "Principal" and "Principle" because he/she has got it wrong!

  • jeremy thorpe - 2012-11-16 14:19

    Motlanthe is a voice of reason and sense in an increasingly desperate and deteriorating ANC. For the country's sake, I hope he gets elected president at Mangaung. Although, if it IS Zuma, there are bound to be more converts to the DA come the 2014 elections....

      phore.joseph - 2012-11-18 12:14

      south africa we lv u bt u bcom ugly land.they hv fought\r\n for thy fight for wt?...............zuma or motlanthe..we wnt peace in our land........i dnt like dark,blood and poverty freedom. If ds is a freedom it mns we dnt know the meaning of freedom....

  • Gary.desousa7 - 2012-11-16 14:28

    There will always be tensions between civil servants who want to serve,do their job get promoted on merit and not do what political puppets want them to do.

  • johan.fowler.1 - 2012-11-16 14:30

    And how exactly are the ministers going to be held accountable Dep. Pres. Motlanthe? As long as nepotism, cadre deployment and the widespread corruption at ministerial level exists, public servants won't have any respect for their superiors, hence the exodus of rare skills, poor performance, low staff morale and NO accountability. Don't blame the civil servants, clean-up from the top by getting rid of Zuma and his cronies at Mangaung!

  • 0001000ghost - 2012-11-16 14:37

    strained? Wow. That's a silly word to use, when the whole government and his black cousins steal like there is NO tomorrow. When your own president is to "slap gat" to act even remotely like someone that can instil respect in a person, someone like Obama? This ANC government seems to accumulate more problems day by day, and trying so hard to keep shoving Apartheid to the front as the "real issue". The real issue is. The ANC is going no where but backwards, yet, too stupid and stubborn to admit it

  • oliphant.mzolisi - 2012-11-16 15:08

    It is unbecoming that non south africans also insult our leaders,to all of u non south africans reframe from that and remember we have accomodated u in SA bcze of the political unrest in yur own countries,u have jobs,accomodation and all the rights that ar enjoyed by south africans,remember also it is the very same people like Kgalema who gave u those rights to be part of our country,i must also warn u that it is people like u who incite the xenophobic violence so please let south african voters comment and voice their fustrations against their leaders.

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2012-11-16 16:15

      If you don't want non south africans insulting your leaders don't make such poor choices. Otherwise expect mockery.

      oliphant.mzolisi - 2012-11-16 17:00

      Malcom are u a south african?if not if u have pefect leaders in yur country what ur u doing in SA?i hope u ar not working here even in yur own country there ar gray areas thats why u ar in SA so hold yur horses.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-16 15:26

    His language is too shrewd to upset his Party, but this man means the Executive have told the Bureacracy not to spend too much money on services. So Provincial and Municipal Councils announce unspent budgets while actually bankrupt. The money is intended for the Party faithful. Zuma and his cabinet are naive realists: the solution to one problem is always another problem. E.g. AIDS, maladministration, inequality of income, corruption, are due to poverty. And poverty is because a few people are rich. It is not admitted by the Party that AIDS is due to a virus, or that poverty is due to confiscation of property or high taxation. The former Deputy Minister of Health, Nosiswe Mdlala-Routledge, said that poor hospital service was due to lack of hygiene and theft of linen. For that she was sacked. The moment the Party admits problems have human or natural causes, instead of obsessing about money, the corruption gridlock will be broken and the right skills used.

  • shaun.desousa - 2012-11-16 15:32

    Well versed speech promising a lot but accountability is a word which is unheard of in government. Practice what you preach. Start with guys closest to you and your staff are bound to follow. Attitude reflects leadership. SA needs an entire reform of leaders because to remain silent and hide in the shadows while your friends pillage the confers is the same as doing it yourself. If you truly want to affect change SA citizens will welcome it.

  • wessel.jordaan.3 - 2012-11-16 17:16

    BLAh-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH!!!!!!!!!!"Talk the talk but you don't walk the walk"

  • peter.vanzyl.948 - 2012-11-16 17:41

    you can start by re-employing the senior white civil Servants to make sure that everything works like it should again - or used to!!

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-16 19:07

    Motlanthe - they only want what all of you get rich quick buzzards have got. It's THEIR TIME now!

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