Nearly 150 000 vacant positions in public sector

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Public Service Commission (PSC) says in the last quarter of 2017, a total of 148 775 posts were vacant in the public sector.

In the same reporting period, there were 1 305 458 posts in the public sector and 1 156 683 were filled.

Releasing the PSC’s report titled ‘Pulse of the Public Service’ in Tshwane on Tuesday, PSC Commissioner Michael Seloane said during the third quarter of 2017 (1 July to 30 September), the public service had 1 307 552 posts, of which 1 172 633 were filled and 134 919 were vacant.

The Eastern Cape had the highest vacancy rate with 23.4%.

Seloane said the most common reasons for the high vacancy rate was as a result that some people terminate their service, retire, contract expiry, death and dismissals.

He said some departments do not fill the vacancies because of budget constraints.

“The Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal recorded more terminations than appointments,” he said.

Number of grievances 

With regard to the number of grievances handled by the Commission, up to the end of the third quarter, the PSC dealt with 445 cases, including 86 carried over cases from the previous financial year.

The total number of grievances handled by the PSC up to the end of December 2017 increased by 132 cases, as compared to 313 reported cases during the second quarter.

Seloane explained that of the 445 cases, 191 cases were not properly referred/no jurisdiction cases, and 254 were properly referred cases.

“The 254 cases are dealt with through investigation and mediation. The other 191 cases are classified as not properly referred/no jurisdiction because aggrieved employees referred cases to the PSC with no proof that their grievances were properly lodged with their departments.

“In line with Batho Pele principles, after assessment of these cases, the PSC provides feedback to the employees who referred them, and where necessary refer back to departments and Executive Authorities for further handling,” Seloane said.

Seloane said once referred to the relevant Executive Authorities and/or relevant employees with advice, the cases are closed.

He expressed concern on grievances that take long to be resolved, saying departments must resolve cases within a short space of time.

With regard to complaints lodged with PSC, Seloane said up to the end of December 2017, the PSC received 600 cases of alleged corruption through the National Anti-Corruption Hotline.

These are cases that were received and referred between April 2017 and 31 December 2017. Feedback was received in respect of 527 cases that were referred for investigation.

“The PSC closed 527 cases during the first, second and third quarters on which feedback were received, on the basis of satisfactory feedback on how the cases have been dealt with.

“From the total of 527 cases in respect of which feedback was received, 37 cases emanated from national departments, 95 emanated from provincial departments and 395 public entities,” Seloane explained.

In accordance with section 196(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the powers and functions of the PSC include to investigate, monitor and evaluate the organization and administration, and the personnel practices of the public service.

The PSC can also, on its own accord or on receipt of any complaint, investigate and evaluate the application of personnel and public administration practices, and report to the relevant executive authority and legislature. –

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