Parliament, Wednesday, 26 May 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (PSA) today received a briefing from the premiers of the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West provinces on the filling of the positions of the heads of departments (HODs) and their compliance with policy stipulating the performance management development system.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Tyotyo James, said “on the 3rd of March 2021, the Portfolio Committee received a report from the Department of Public Service and Administration on the turnover and filling of the Directors-General/Heads of Departments in the public service, as well as the Public Service Commission. The report flagged Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West provinces as having high vacancy rate on the HODs positions.
This has resulted in the Portfolio Committee taking a decision to extend an invitation to the provinces with high HODs vacancy rate in order to understand their challenges in filling those critical positions. The National Development Plan (NDP) states that “many of government’s best performing institutions are characterised by stability in leadership positions”.
The committee appealed to all three provinces to ensure HODs positions are filled within the required stipulated time frames as per the Public Service Act of 1994 and its regulations. Furthermore, the committee cautioned the provinces to act within the law in terms of acting positions. The committee observed that suitably qualified heads of departments with proper relevant experience lead to the better implementation of departments’ predetermined objectives in line with NDP’s observations.
The committee heard that in Northern Cape Province there were four vacant HODs positions, the same in North West, and six vacant posts in Mpumalanga. The committee heard from the premiers that the posts will be filled in accordance to the guidelines by August 2021 and welcomed this commitment because in order for a department to operate optimally and efficiently, it should not be without a head of department for a lengthy period.
The committee heard that the Head of Department for the Department of Sports, Art and Culture in the Northern Cape has been on suspension since September 2020, following the report from the Public Protector where she was directly implicated for misappropriation of funds The next hearing is on 19 July 2021 and until such time, she is on precautionary suspension.
The committee raised its concern that suspensions should not take longer than six months as the state will be paying twice for the same position (once for the incumbent on suspension and the other for the person acting in that position) and this therefore increases the budget for personnel expenditure.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION, MR TYOTYO JAMES.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Sureshinee Govender
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 2239
Cell: 081 704 1109
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