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No to bloated government

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New ministers in government and MECs in provincial legislatures are enabled to get rid of the staff appointed by their predecessors after the May 8 national elections. The measure will help to avoid bloating the state.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) also warned the government on Tuesday that only highly skilled and moral individuals should be chosen for senior positions to avoid state capture and corruption.

PSC commissioners Mike Selloane, Moira Marais-Martin and Mpilo Sithole agreed it was unacceptable that South Africa should be run through commissions of inquiry.

“It is unacceptable. We need highly skilled people with specialisation in their fields who can fight corruption and graft. They must have management skills, monitoring evaluation and to oversee the moral integrity of the public service. Never again will our country be run by commissions of inquiry,” Sithole vowed.

The PSC promised to provide politicians and public servants with a guide on how to manage the government and various institutions. According to the Ministerial Handbook, premiers and ministers are allowed to have 10 private office staff members while deputy ministers and MECs have a staff complement of six.

“The study found that the appointment of staff on special contracts is often not linked to the term of office of the relevant executive authority as prescribed in the regulations,” the PSC report confirmed.

Marais-Martin noted that a bloated staff was often an issue in the new offices of MECs and ministers. She emphasised that it had to be avoided so as not to exceed the departmental wage bill.

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