DGs may have to serve for 10 years to ‘stabilise political-administrative interface’ - Nxesi

Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi.
Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi.
  • Plans have been mooted to allow directors-general to serve for ten years instead of the usual five years.
  • Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi said a framework to overhaul the public service is before Cabinet.
  • On Thursday, he delivered his department's budget vote in Parliament.

The government wants its directors-general to serve for 10 years, in a bid to stabilise the political-administrative interface across the public sector.

This forms part of Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi's framework for more decisive action on consequence management, especially in dealing with mediocrity, unethical behaviour, corrupt and criminal acts committed.

READ | Blow for Ramaphosa as workers tell him he 'must go' at chaotic North West rally

On Thursday, Nxesi delivered his department's budget vote and that of the National School of Government in Parliament.

Part of the plan includes:
  • Instruments to undertake integrity testing before any individual joins the public sector;
  • Stabilising the political-administrative interface across the public sector;
  • With regard to the tenure of HoDs, government will increasing the period of tenure to ten years, subject to performance;
  • Repurposing the role of the Public Service Commission for insulation of recruitment and selection practices from partisan influence and manipulation for appointment of Directors-General and their deputies;
  • Review and strengthen recognition of prior learning for use in the public sector.

Currently, directors-general serves for five years.

Last year, several directors-general were either fired or their contracts ended, creating vacancies across national government departments.

Nxesi also said elected representatives and appointed officials were going back for training. 

"In March 2021, President Ramaphosa, together with members of the executive and other officials, joined a Master Class. I am encouraged that mayors and state entity board members are being inducted on ethical leadership and executive oversight. I am encouraged by the thousands of public servants, including our teachers, who are completing courses on Ethics," he said.

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Furthermore, Nxesi said the public sector wage bill was under severe pressure due to constraints in the economy.

"This situation has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is becoming increasingly important to develop a new remuneration framework for the public sector, including a wage-setting mechanism, to better manage the public sector wage bill and ensure a greater degree of uniformity and alignment in remuneration between the various parts of the public sector," he said.

Earlier this month, News24 reported on the fight looming at public sector wage talks, with unions putting forward their demands.

Labour's consolidated demands for the 2022/23 public service wage talks include a demand for a 10% wage increase regardless of employee level of experience, a R2 500 increase in its housing allowance, and a "disaster salary" of 12% of basic salaries in the case of potential future disasters such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

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