Parliamentary budget vote debate: Public Service and Administration - Public service an employment agency for ANC cadres

2019-07-11
Heloïse Jordaan

South Africa's Department of Public Service and Administration is supposed to deliver an effective and development-orientated service, which is a crucial element of a well-functioning developing country. This is, however, not the case at present.

Instead, it has degenerated into a clumsy, bureaucratic monster where R8 out of every R10 spent by the government goes to salaries.

With regard to service, efficiency seems non-existent, in spite of the fact that there are indeed competent and hard-working officials who try their very best to deliver a good service regardless of the ANC government's lack of leadership. These officials oftentimes are not provided with the resources that they need to do their jobs properly.

Unemployment in South Africa is another pressing problem and the government's idea of job creation is merely appointing more people in the public service. Government departments have become places where jobs are created for cadres who could not be accommodated in the various councils, legislatures or Parliament. There are numerous ANC MPs who were not re-elected to Parliament, but who were suddenly appointed in senior positions in government departments.

How the government plans to reduce the wage bill by doing this is utterly incomprehensible. Salaries are an immense burden on the fiscus. The government's wage bill amounts to a staggering R587 billion per year.

The reality is thus that there is only R2 out of every R10 left to keep South Africa going.

The solution to this problem is to appoint experts in key positions and to do away with useless cadre appointments so as to create a small, but competent Department that is able to deliver services as it should. Trade unions and the damage they cause through unreasonable demands and strikes must be curtailed. Additionally, the payment of performance bonuses, where there is only decline, must be stopped immediately.

Savings on the wage bill can be achieved by having a smaller administration, which should be implemented from the highest to the lowest level, and key staff like educators, nurses and police officers must be protected and empowered.

The government must not be the primary employer in the country, it should rather create more jobs by doing away with misguided priorities and skewed policy directions. Moreover, the government must also enable the private sector to create more jobs.


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