Professionalising the public service

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has appointed a task team to assist government through the National School of Government (The NSG), to finalise the National Implementation Framework towards the professionalisation of the public service.

“We have decided to bring independent expertise to assess the evidence, undertake peer review and make concrete recommendations on proposals outlined in the draft framework,” the Minister said in a statement on Monday.

In December 2020, Mchunu released the draft National Implementation Framework towards the professionalisation of the public service for public comment.

This followed the Cabinet approval of the publication of the draft framework, which is in line with the commitment made by the sixth administration to create a capable, ethical and developmental public service.

The Minister initiated a public consultation process with key stakeholders from various organisations and institutions inside and outside the public sector earlier this year.

Through these public consultations, 159 organisations (including universities, research institutions, public sector institutions and professional bodies) participated and over 771 individuals attended the sessions.

“I am encouraged by the support we have received from professional bodies and institutions and such cooperation augurs well for the finalisation of the public service framework,” Mchunu said.

The Minister has appointed the high-level task team on the professionalisation framework that will be led by Professor Mashupye Maserumule as convenor and Priscilla Mdlalose as deputy convenor.

“Maserumule is the professor of Public Affairs at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) whilst Mdlalose is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council for the Built Environment (CBE). The members of the task team represent a wide array of institutions and sectors, including representation from Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA), think tanks, state-owned training academies, academia and the legal fraternity,” the NSG said.

Within a 90-day period, the task team will be expected to undertake some of the following tasks:

  • Review inputs received from all stakeholders and synthesise the key issues affecting the professionalisation of the public service.
  • Identify, consider and propose a range of areas of legislative and policy reforms across the public sector that are necessary to fully implement the professionalisation framework, as well as the mechanisms to achieve it.
  • Advance consideration of appropriate institutional and legal framework(s) to implement the framework, which ensures a comprehensive and effective implementation of professionalisation.
  • Recommend achievable timelines to expedite the legislation and effective implementation of the framework and to meet the proposed medium-term targets.

The Minister intends to finalise the framework and present key recommendations to Cabinet by the end of October 2021. –