In February 2023, the DPSA published the draft Public Service Regulations for public comment. The Regulations seek to amend the 2016 Public Service Regulations (under the Public Service Act). In a joint submission with the Public Service Accountability Monitor, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, and Accountability Lab South Africa, PARI recently provided comment on the draft regulations.
In light of the governance crisis currently facing our young democracy, we welcome Cabinet’s adoption, in 2022, of the National Framework towards the Implementation of Professionalisation of the Public Sector, the government’s commitments to ensuring greater integrity in appointment and dismissal processes and to the wider professionalisation agenda as signalled in the President’s response to the State Capture Commission, and commitments to integrity in personnel practices outlined in pillars 2 and 4 of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS). Some of the proposed amendments to Public Service Regulations seem in line with the direction set by these various government strategies and frameworks, others, however, seem at odds with the approach they set – or at least introduce ambiguity. This suggests the need for clearer communication from government regarding plans for rationalisation of the wider legislative framework for personnel practices as they relate to the fight against corruption. We remain supportive of recent commitments to civil service reform outlined in these various policies, and aim to support deliberation on how they can best be achieved.