PSC to engage departments with high vacancy rate

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Commissioner Michael Seloane says the Public Service Commission will be engaging with those government departments which have a high vacancy rate.

For the period ending June 2018, the Departments of Sports and Recreation, Rural Development and Land Reform, Transport and Social Development had the highest vacancy rate which is above 10%.

The Department of Sports and Recreation has a vacancy rate of 39.1%, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has 24.8%, the Department of Transport with 28.1% and the Department of Social Development has 22.4% vacancy rate.

Addressing media in Pretoria earlier on Wednesday, Seloane explained that an acceptable vacancy rate is 10%.

“The public service is the largest employer and it is crucial that the state of the public service is continuously reported on.

“As the commission, we evaluate and monitor government departments. We are going to engage with all the departments with the highest vacancy,” he said.

During the fourth quarter the Department of Public Works, which had the highest vacancy rate of 40.5%, filled most of the vacancies.

Seloane said although most of the vacancies in the department have been filled, there has been a complaint lodged with the PSC about the irregularities of these appointments.

“As the Commission, we are going to investigate if the panel followed the rules and processes,” he said.

At the end of June 2018, the total number of positions in the public service was 1 300 952 of which 1 175 531 posts were filled. Thus there were 125 421 vacant positions.

With regard to provinces, as at the end of 2017/18 financial year compared with the 2018/19, the vacancy rate for the Eastern Cape and North West provinces remain the highest at 22% and 19%, respectively.

The most significant decline was recorded in the Free State with a decrease from 11.8% to 6.9%. The province’s vacancy rate now stands at below 10%.

Seloane emphasised the need for the provinces with vacancy rates exceeding 10%, such as the Eastern Cape, the North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape, to ensure critical vacant posts are filled timeously.

He said the Commission has observed that most vacancies in the public service are filled through transfers instead of new positions.

With regard to service terminations according to salary levels, the Commission has noted the highest number of service terminations was at salary level 1-8.

This was followed by salary level 9-12 which includes middle management levels.

“The reasons for terminations vary among departments and provinces, the most prominent type of termination in the public service were resignations and retirement under the Public Service Act and to a lesser degree retirement under the Education Employment Act,” Seloane said. –