Sisulu in bid to retain DGs

2013-05-08 17:12
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu (File, Beeld)

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu (File, Beeld)

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Cape Town - The notion of depoliticising the appointment of public service directors general has been scrapped, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Wednesday.

The idea that a senior public servant appoint all directors general of departments was mooted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) to "remove the political interface", Sisulu recalled in a briefing to Parliament's portfolio committee.

The NPC identified the movement of accounting officers as one of the main obstacles to building a professional public service.

However, she recently discussed this with her British counterpart, only to discover that Britain was turning back the clock to allow ministers to appoint their own directors, she said.

"They are pushing through legislation to reverse this... The British system has fallen apart just as we were thinking about this," she said.

Breakdown in relations

Sisulu said the high turnover of director generals was largely to blame on a breakdown in the relationship between the person in that post and the relevant minister.

Her department had decided to address this by rotating directors general, rather than losing their expertise to the private sector when there was a breakdown.

"We rotate DGs where a relationship fails and where we have done that, it has worked well."

Sisulu said several new mechanisms she had announced to improve the public service were now on the way after delays.

The establishment of the presidential remuneration commission had been delayed by wrangling with the SA Democratic Teachers' Union, which reached an accord with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga this week to end protest action.

"It is not up and running because we decided our first target was teachers and the teachers' first target was in the street."

Sisulu said she hoped a general service charter - designed to reduce strife between the state and trade unions - would be signed by 20 May.
Read more on:    npc  |  lindiwe sisulu

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