Single public service 'not unconstitutional'

2012-02-21 08:26

Cape Town - There is no need to change the Constitution to create a single public service, but the process is dauntingly complex, Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie said on Monday.

"We are not envisioning a constitutional change in the way government is architectured," Padayachie told a briefing of the government's administration cluster.

"We are rather focusing on the mechanisms that we need to put in place to integrate the system so that we can get a much more easy, swifter movement of people in the public service."


The minister said legislation to integrate the public service would be drafted with care because lessons were learnt after a bill to this effect was withdrawn from Parliament in 2008.

"The complexity of establishing the infrastructure was not understood. Now we have become much wiser about the complexity of this task. We must this year set the motion in place for the establishment of the institutional infrastructure for a single public service. Currently a great amount of work is being done to establish that basic infrastructure."

Public service director general, Mashwahle Diphofa, last week told MPs a bill aimed at establishing a single public service would be tabled by June. But he said on Monday the department was exploring the option of rather amending existing bills.

"The other option is to look at the existing pieces of legislation and effect amendments in those pieces of legislation such as the Public Service Act and the Municipal Systems Act."

He said the aim of the long-awaited integration was to allow officials to move between different levels in a bid to enhance service delivery.

"At the heart of the initiative is the promotion of integration and the harmonisation of processes between national, provincial, and local government so that service delivery can improve."

'Critical deficiency' in public service

Padayachie noted a "critical deficiency" in the public service was that those areas in most dire need of skills, notably the municipalities, were those that struggled most to attract them.

He warned that the process would prove fraught on several fronts, pointing out that public servants belonged to more than 20 different pension funds.

Law amendments would therefore have to deal with the nitty-gritty of ensuring officials could be transferred without losing their benefits.

The Democratic Alliance said last week the plan contravened section 151 of the Constitution - which protects the powers of municipalities - and was also likely to undermine the executive authority of provinces.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-02-21 08:42

    Imagine, with a single Public Service what type of chaos we can expect. Just look at the shambles in the government controlled hospitals and clinics. Also, look at the decay of our national roads. With a single public service, why even bother to have municipal councilors or elections. This is a ploy of the ANC to take 100% control of all of South Africa. Cadre deployment will seal our fate in reinforced concrete.

  • Andre - 2012-02-21 08:53

    You have broken a system that worked wel by deploying your unskilled, uneducated cadres since 1994. What did you expect would happen? Now you are crying because everything is a mess. How dunb can you be. Skilled people were discarded like ribbish to make way for these dumb cadres. Many of them are still available to help, but unfortunately they are white ( a sin these days). Rather re-invent the wheel, like the rest of dark Africa, breakdown, destroy but we have no vision or plan to improve on what was...... Name only one previously well managed state institution that are still working.

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-21 09:21

      Andre there is one state institution that works extremely well, and for obvious reasons. The TAX man. The question is what the current regime is doing with the taxes harvested. The answer is again obvious. Billions getting stolen. I don't even have to point finger to who are doing the thieving. The news of this month alone is incriminating enough. And the Kleptocracy wants to institute a single "Public Service". I would like to know where the Public is in this SERVICE of thieving!

  • Themba Troublemaker Mathenjwa - 2012-02-21 08:57

    This is what is going to counter part our so called Democracy & Development. Everyone who becomes an incumbent of a particular office in the Goverment want to come with his or her own change, irrespective of whether the change will yield positive or negative results to Development.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-21 08:58

    Sounds more like the ANC wants to consolidate its power so that it has control over what gets misappropriated and stolen. The current turmoil simply means that service standards will drop even further....if that's at all possible.

  • Mzwandile - 2012-02-21 09:20

    Do you all know what a single public service means. I am sure none of you can because your counter arguments are off the mark. Let me first give you a history, before 1994 South African had a fragmented public service, meaning that if you are employed by govenment in limpopo you will have different benefits to someone who is employed by the same government in Gauteng for the same job. If you are a public servant whether at national, provincial or local, benefits for employees will be equalised depending on the level of you employment. People with necessary skills can easily move into a municipality without loosing benefits that he/she enjoyed while working at national or provincial government. Please DA don't be a stumbling block to something that will even be beneficial to your members at public service. If section 151 is a problem lets bloody amend this section. If you are working for the public service you will know what I am talking about

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-21 09:48

      Interesting Carrot and Stick approach.

      Mzwandile - 2012-02-21 10:01

      @Rebel - you can't even see the carrot because you have been indoctrinated and brainwashed with a stick

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-21 10:17

      ;) Did my comment cut too close to the truth? Now you have to resort to personal insults?

      mnbain - 2012-05-05 08:28

      The cost of living in various centres would mean if people received the same benefits for the same job, the net effect would still be inequality for the same work. You just can't paint everything with the same brush and the same paint.

  • Glyn - 2012-02-21 09:20

    We will have very efficient chaos! This is a preparation for dictatorship!

  • Graham - 2012-02-21 09:48

    Still in the 5 star hotel Roy? How do know when a ANC MP is lying? Their lips are moving!

  • Hermann - 2012-02-21 09:57

    Wonderful, brilliant idea. When that is implemented there will be no specialists due to the chopping and changing and then government can truly blame the public officials for government's failures.

  • Mzwandile - 2012-02-21 09:58

    My last appeal, please if you don't understand a particular topic don't waste your time to comment because it expose your ignorance. It shock me how ignorant and brainwashed the DA members are. Its been said in this forum time and again that members of the ANC are just voting ANC because their are uneducated. What I see now is the opposite. Education is not a terrain of one section of the people. You can be a DA member but please be critical and choose what can be beneficial to you and society.

      Max - 2012-02-21 10:46

      Mzwandile, the flaw in your and the mimister's argument is the assumption that the benefits of government officials are better than those of municipal officials, it is the other way around. So it is clear that the minister is not honest about his motives for the proposed change.

      Andrew - 2012-02-21 11:04

      Mzwandile, so you are the authority on the subject and everyone else is clueless. Salary and benefit differences will always and should always allow for cost of living in different provinces. Some areas are more expensive than others therefore the necessary adjustments should apply. Now the crux of the matter! How will a single public service benefit the taxpayer? Bearing in mind smaller communities will then have to pay more as all are now equal.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-02-21 12:13

      Beneficial to us,(the tax payeres) will be: A VERY small government, a very small public service that perform worldclass services, no strikes allowed by any state employee and yearly lie detector tests to ensure all state employees and politicians stay honest.....if you want more, I can supply more!

      Elton - 2012-02-21 17:49

      @Mzwandile South Africa has the worst education system in the world because of the ANC.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-21 12:08

    Perhaps so, but stealing R20billion+ in one year surely is.

  • Getafix - 2012-02-21 13:43

    I'll first hear what DA has to say about this then judge.

  • Erena - 2012-05-05 17:33

    Well now this was stopped rather abruptly!

  • AndrĂ© Potgieter - 2013-05-20 12:30

    Communist model. Dictatorship...

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