Ensure consequences for public servants that don’t deliver – Manuel

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cape Town – There should be consequences for police that do not perform, teachers that do not deliver quality teaching and civil servants that do business with the state, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said on Tuesday.

Addressing the National Assembly during a debate on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address - which he delivered last Thursday - Manuel said decisions and plans in the public service need to be based on evidence-based data, such as census data.

Manuel said the Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu had informed him that her department had plans to introduce such a proposal.

During the debate, opposition members called on Zuma to create a more efficient public sector, tackle unemployment more effectively and called for a national debate on rape and sexual abuse.

While the leader of the opposition, Lindiwe Mazibuko, criticised Zuma’s speech for being short on new ideas, she commended the President’s recent statement condemning the brutal rape of Anene Booysen, which took place earlier this month.

“Our country is tired and our country is sore,” said Mazibuko, who encouraged the President to hold a national debate on rape and sexual assault.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said he had expected to hear that the government had a plan to act on the bulging public-sector wage bill, by for instance identifying those posts that were redundant and eliminating them or removing civil servants who had been employed for their connections rather than their skills.

Unproductive civil servants and those who aren’t skilled, should be removed from the public sector, so that billions of rands need not be spent on hiring consultants, Lekota said.

He asked what the government was doing to recover the R45 billion spent on fruitless and wasteless expenditures by departments over the last two financial years, an amount, he said, which could have been used to spent on education, housing, food and other priorities.

IFP leader Mangosutho Buthelezi said the President’s address did not reflect the real state of the nation, which he said was one marred by continuing unemployment and poor schooling.

Buthelezi, who served as Home Affairs Minister between 1994 and 2004, admitted the government had provided for the people, but that delivery had been slow and poor.

He said 19 years on, little progress had been made in building a capable civil service, with billions of rands still spent on consultants and with corruption still plaguing the public sector. – SAnews.gov.za