ACTION TWO: Appoint the right people in mission critical public sector jobs

  • The second report in CDE’s new series, AGENDA 2024: Priorities for SA’s new government focuses on putting the best possible people into key positions in government.
  • Notwithstanding a few pockets of excellence, the civil service is in a sorry state. Cadre deployment is rampant, skills are in short supply and all indications are that effective performance management is largely absent. Very few officials are ever held to account for their actions.
  • Good leadership can help stimulate improved morale, enhance compliance and promote initiative. Putting effective leaders and managers in charge is an essential place to start improving SA’s civil service.
  • Immediate focus should be on senior appointments in government entities CDE would like to see prioritised in a strategy to stop the country’s decline.
  • The new government must take tangible steps towards ending cadre deployment, while finding practical ways to put the right people in as many ‘mission critical’ positions as possible.
  • The new government should strengthen the induction training of civil servants and give the Public Service Commission (PSC) a stronger role in the hiring process.
  • It must become easier to manage undesirable people out of the state. This can be done by establishing an anti-corruption tribunal and by amending the Labour Relations Act (LRA) to make it easier to replace civil servants in senior leadership positions.

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