Ban public servants from contracting with state – Manuel

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cape Town – No public servant should be able to contract with government at all – even those from different departments – and consequences should be applied to those civil servants that benefit from state contracts, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said today.

Manuel echoed the Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu’s call a few days ago, that public servants should be outlawed from benefiting from government contracts.

 Sisulu’s department is working on amending the Public Service Act to make it law that civil servants cannot do business with the state.

Manuel said legislation should trump the constitutional provision that all South Africans are allowed to own and run a business.

“Because legislation can trump that and the legislation that should trump this is the Public Service Act.

“If there’s any ambiguity, it’s our responsibility with Parliament to ensure that that ambiguity is raised,” he said.

During a briefing on the National Development Plan (NDP) in Parliament today, Manuel said key to implementing the plan would be ensuring that the public sector delivery is ratcheted up.

He pointed out “in the interests of democracy” that public servants that are not skilled and effective be removed.

In his State of the Nation Address last week, President Jacob Zuma said the plan was a "roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment."

Manuel detailed how the plan will be broken up into five-year chunks, in line with the electoral cycle, with the 2014-2019 medium term strategic framework to form the first five-year building block of the plan.

The Presidency will lead the formulation of the 2014-2019 medium-term strategic framework and a first draft of the 2014-2019 framework would be submitted to the Cabinet lekgotla in July.

The framework will include key targets from the NDP and other plans such as the New Growth Path, National Infrastructure Plan and the Industry Policy Action Plan (Ipap).

Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, said the implementation framework of the NDP had been finalised and that following the Budget Speech later this month, departments would be expected to integrate their plans with that of the NDP.

The integration with the NDP will mean that departments’ strategic plans, annual performance plans and programme plans will need to be evaluated by the Presidency to ensure that they are aligned with the plan, before being submitted to Parliament.

The Presidency and National Treasury will also work with departments to clarify roles and responsibilities, ensure that plans and budgets are aligned and to develop clear performance indicators for each programme.

Critical steps would this year be taken to implement the plan, including ensuring the programmes that don’t require additional resources and long lead times are implemented.

The government will also focus on areas where implementation of existing policies needs to improve and will also hold focused dialogues to overcome obstacles to implementation.

The government will also engage with other sectors to understand how they are contributing to implementing the plan and to identify any obstacles they may be facing.

The 2019-2024 and 2024-2029 planning cycles will be used to initiate the remaining activities and be informed by a performance review of the previous cycle.

Manuel said the National Planning Commission has also began advertising for additional positions in its secretariat. -

*Click here for more on the National Development Plan.