The Public Service Commission (PSC) says it screens senior government officials to check their qualifications.
CPS President Somadoda Fikeni confirmed the investigation in a letter to the Democratic Alliance (DA).
This after Acting Civil Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi revealed in May that nearly 26% of civil servants employed in senior management lacked the appropriate qualifications for the positions they hold. .
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In a written response to the DA, Nxesi pointed out that 2,412 out of 9,309 senior civil servants lacked the qualifications reflected on the personnel and salary management system (Persal).
As of August 2022, the number has since fallen to 2,364, of which 1,211 of these senior staff are employed in the national government and 1,153 in the country’s provinces.
“Many weaknesses in the system”
Talk to SAfm On Thursday, Fikeni explained that many of these senior officials were older and had moved up the career ladder.
“You will find that these [officials] are mostly between the ages of 50 and 65. [This] This means some may have been in service longer and appear to have progressed through the system without the required qualifications,” he said.
“Others, it’s just the decentralization of recruitment that we’ve had, which has a lot of challenges. Some of them are presented as a grievance to the PSC itself and we’ve come to realize that people don’t respect not always the requirements, therefore, there are many weaknesses in the system that have allowed people to try to bypass the required experience and qualifications that are needed,” Fikeni continued.
He said that the PSC approached the Department of Civil Service and Administration to obtain the latest figures of senior staff without qualifications.
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“These figures are quite concerning and the Minister for the Civil Service had quoted the latest, but these also need to be updated to 2,000.
“It is for this reason that we have approached the department to give us a breakdown and an action plan on how the country will handle this. It is important for the National School of Government in terms of training and it is equally important for the professionalization of the public service,” the PSC President said.
In December last year, Ayanda Dlodlo, then minister of civil service and administration, said the ministry would not investigate how senior officials were appointed to government posts without the required qualifications.
Dlodlo insisted at the time that many managers had been appointed before the civil service regulations, which introduced new qualification requirements, came into effect in 2016.
Currently, 1,819 senior executives were appointed before the regulations were put in place.
Fikeni further noted the importance of the government’s efforts to institutionalize the professionalization of the civil service through new legislation.
At this point, two key initiatives aimed at building state capacity through the professionalization of the civil service are underway.
One is the Civil Service Amendment Bill which is before Parliament, while the other is the Civil Service Commission Bill, which has yet to be tabled.
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