The heads of national and provincial departments have nine days left to update the qualifications of senior government officials on their systems…

This comes amid an outcry over senior public servants who are not qualified for their jobs.

In a letter dated 15 April, the Department of Public Service and Administration’s director-general, Yoliswa Makhasi, said the departments were expected to prioritise updating their systems as it was only the Persal system that was considered to be accurate.

Persal is the government’s payroll and personal staff system that is used by provincial and national departments.

The veracity of the letter, which News24 has seen, was confirmed by the department’s external communications director, Moses Mushi.

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Qualifications not being updated on the Persal system

“It has come to the attention of the department that there are departments that are not capturing or updating qualifications related information on the Persal system. As a result of this, the department is unable to access reliable information for planning and reporting purposes,” the letter read.

Heads of departments were implored to update the information by the end of the month for salary scale 13 to 16 (senior management) officials. The qualifications of officials on the 1 to 12 salary scale must be updated by 28 May.

“A report will be drawn by the department to confirm that the updates have taken place immediately after the closing period,” Makhasi said.

Over 3000 senior mangers do not have required qualifications

Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu recently revealed that out of 9 477 senior managers, 3 301 did not have the required qualifications.

Mchunu, however, said many departments did not capture the qualification information on Persal, and therefore the information was skewed.

The figures also exclude officials in the Department of Defence and the State Security Agency.

According to the Public Servant Magazine, Mchunu had recently written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, advising him about the need for vacancies to be filled.

The magazine is the department’s official online publication.

“In working towards a capable, ethical, developmental and professional public service, those in the upper echelons need to lead by example. Prolonged vacancies in such critical posts cannot persist; executive authorities need to ensure that their departments are fully capacitated and able to deliver on their respective mandates,” Mchunu said.

He added the detrimental effect the vacancies have on business continuity exacerbated the stability and capacity of the government.

Mchunu requested that the matter be discussed in a meeting of the Presidential Coordinating Council.

At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the department identified eight vacant director-general posts and 24 head of department posts through its assessment of the public service.

According to Mchunu, some of the vacancies have since been filled, but there remained an urgent need to fill the remaining ones.


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