Qualifications of over 1 000 Senior Managers in Government Questioned

Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet has revealed a concerning issue regarding the qualifications of senior management service (SMS) staff in the government, with 1,779 individuals having unspecified qualifications on the central payroll system, Persal, at the end of 2023.

This revelation has raised questions about the impact on public service delivery and the practice of cadre deployment within the government.

Out of the total number of SMS staff with unspecified qualifications, 1,427 held senior managerial positions, with a significant portion hired before the implementation of minimum requirements on August 1, 2016.

The lack of specified qualifications among senior government officials has drawn criticism from opposition parties, with DA spokesperson Mimmy Gondwe highlighting potential implications for service delivery and cadre deployment practices.

Minister Kiviet addressed the issue in a written reply to a question in parliament, emphasizing the importance of the Public Service Commission’s investigation into the employment circumstances of senior managers without qualifications.

The outcomes of the investigation will inform necessary actions to address the potential erosion of public trust in government institutions and uphold the professionalization of the public service.

While acknowledging the significance of academic qualifications, Minister Kiviet also underscored the value of experience and skills in senior management roles.

She highlighted ongoing efforts to verify the qualifications of SMS officials through a skills audit project, with a completion target set for June 30, 2024.

Kiviet emphasized the rigorous performance monitoring within the public service, where departments are held accountable for the performance of SMS officials regardless of their qualifications.

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