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Monday, 08 July 2024 21:11

PSC calls on public servants to support Government of National Unity.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has called on state employees to work diligently with new ministers who come from different political parties.

This is according to PSC Commissioner Anele Gxoyiya who briefed the media in Pretoria on Monday.

Gxoyiya, welcomed the Government of National Unity (GNU), which included 11 political parties with ministerial appointments for eight of them.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his 32-member executive which includes representatives from the ANC, DA, IFP, and PA, among other political parties, after no outright winner was declared following the 29 May elections. 

He said public servants are expected to serve and support the newly elected leadership and government of the day in a dedicated, competent and professional manner in executing priority policies.

"The PSC was established to oversee the public service, amongst others, for an efficient and effective performance of public administration," Gxoyiya said, adding that the GNU marks a significant moment in the nation's journey towards an accountable and transparent governance.

He said the transition "should not compromise service delivery" and the relationships between political and administrative, which were "often a site of much strife" needed to be managed properly.

PSC's Vusumuzi Mavuso has warned recently appointed ministers against firing director-generals (DGs) on the basis of their political preferences. 

Mavuso said ministers could not come "willy nilly" and tell "DGs [they] must just pack and go because they don't want them and all that. All directors general are appointed on a particular term, fixed term period. 

He also weighed in on the much talked about professionalisation of the public service and the stability in the relationship between the accounting officer, the DG, who runs the department, and the politician, the minister. 

"We believe that the public service has to be professionalised, and it's a non-negotiable. All those who've been appointed do have a right to be in the positions in which they are in unless, of course, there are misdemeanours that are committed. Then, of course, the due process of law will have to unfold to make an outcome or determination as to what should happen with those," he said. 

DGs serve as the accounting officers and heads of departments responsible for ensuring policy is implemented. Their salaries range from R1.5-million to just over R2-million.

Gxoyiya said as part of fulfilling its oversight mandate in this period of transition, the commission has released the Guide on Governance Practice for Executive Authorities and Heads of Department (2024) and a Circular to advise Executive Authorities, Heads of Department and employees regarding the prevention and management of unlawful instructions.

"The Guide on Governance Practice for Executive Authorities and Heads of Department provides a simplified reference source for Executive Authorities and Heads of Department on processes and procedures that are essential to promote good governance and performance in the public service.

"It covers work emanating from the PSC's mandate and provides reference to other critical sources of information from other departments. 

"This PSC Guide is intended to supplement Guides and Manuals issued by The Presidency, the Department of Public Service and Administration, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Treasury as part of readiness," he said.

Gxoyiya said the commission encouraged Executive Authorities and Heads of Department to familiarise themselves with the contents of the guide.

The Guide is accessible at www.psc.gov.za under Documents, Reports, 2024.