Below par: 35% of government managers ‘lack requisite qualifications’

SCOPA has revealed that of the 9 477 senior managers in Provincial and National government, 3 301 do not have the required qualifications.

Below par: 35% of government managers ‘lack requisite qualifications’

The word ‘incompetence” gets thrown around a fair amount by the South African public when frustrations over government performance boils over, and the Democratic Alliance (DA) believe they can substantiate that sentiment with their claim that 35% of senior managers at provincial and national levels lack the requisite qualifications for their positions. 

Following a written response to parliamentary questions concerning the qualifications of senior government employees by the opposition party, it has been revealed that of the 9 477 senior managers listed on the Personal and Salary System (PERSAL), 3 301 do not have the required qualifications. 

Of these, 1 987 officials are employed in national departments.

Provincial, National Government management lacking qualifications

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts told Parliament that out of a total of 4 028  Senior Managers who are currently employed at various provincial government department, 1 314 of them do not have the required qualifications (these being a NQF Level 7 certificate). 

At a national level, the number of unqualified employees in each state department was listed as follows: 

Name of DepartmentNumber of SMS Members with  qualifications below NQF Level 7/ Not captured
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development227
Arts and Culture1
Basic Education5
Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service11
Communication and Digital Technologies17
Cooperative Governance34
Correctional Services67
Education1
Employment and Labour79
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries107
Government Communication and Information System8
Health56
Higher Education and Training52
Home Affairs56
Human Settlement46
Independent Police Investigative Directorate9
International Relations and Cooperation81
Justice and Constitutional Development189
Military Veterans4
Mineral Resources and Energy31
National School of Government10
National Treasury64
Office of the Chief Justice10
Office of the Public Service Commission15
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation16
Police228
Public Enterprises22
Public Service and Administration32
Public Works and Infrastructure67
Science and Innovation44
Small Business Development15
Social Development39
Sports, Arts and Culture22
Statistics South Africa24
The Presidency17
Tourism23
Trade, Industry and Competition128
Traditional Affairs7
Transport25
Water and Sanitation78
Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities20
                       TOTAL       1987

DA demands urgent probe  

Michele Clarke, the DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, said that with middle management positions in national government typically paying between R779 802 and R922 750 per year, with senior management earning between R1 078 267 and R1 974 067 per year depending on their level of employment, urgent investigations need to take place. 

“How much longer must South Africa suffer under this incompetence? Some of these are key to the country’s economic and food security, yet cadre deployment is more important to the ANC government than good governance and the well-being of its people,” he said, adding that the DA will write to SCOPA to request an investigation into the matter. 

The response from Scopa indicates that the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), as well as the departments of Police; Justice and Constitutional Development; Trade, Industry and Competition; and Environment, Forestry and Fisheries are most populated with unqualified senior managers. 

‘South Africa won’t survive cadre deployement’ 

Clarke used the response as an opportunity to punt the DA’s End Cadre Deployment Bill (formally called the Public Administration Laws General Amendment Bill), which “seeks to enforce the appointment of civil servants to be wholly based on merit and not political loyalty”. 

This Bill was recently published in the government gazette for public comment, and Clarke urged South Africans to read and comment on the Bill, available here.

“South Africa won’t survive if this trend of cadre deployment continues much longer. Ordinary South Africans have suffered under this corruption en masse for years and unless urgent action is taken the country will devolve into the banana republic some already view us as,” said Clarke. 

Source : The South African More