Public Service and Administration minister, Ayanda Dlodlo says the government has no intention to lay off staff in the public sector.
Her reassurance followed recent media reports that the government is planning to retrench about 30 000 public servants to reduce the wage bill.
About 1.4 million civil servants in 47 departments are currently employed with an annual wage bill of about R137-billion.
Dlodlo launched the Public Service Month in Pretoria Friday, saying, “There’s no need to retrench people. If anything we need more people. We need more skilled people, not just more people. I’ve demonstrated to the media that there are areas where we need people. In the teaching profession. In the science and IT sector. We need warm bodies. But we need skilled warm bodies.”
She acknowledged that there are certain departments with more personnel than it is required. Dlodlo suggested retraining of staff as one of the solutions.
“Are the areas where we’ve got more people than we require. The answer is a categoric YES. There are job families and job categories where we just have many employees. The administration sector just has too many people. We just have too many administrators in this government. Do I have a plan to get rid of all administrators? The answer is no. Do I have a plan to retrain people? The answer is precisely so that they can occupy those positions with the skill that is required. So re-skill, retrain, up skill and redeploy.”
She further urges public servants to always provide a good service to the public. She says such commitment will make government departments more profitable than just being a cost centre.
“If you the banking system, your post office should be better than the FNB. So we need to provide better services than the private. But why are we not.”
The minsiter criticised continuing wasteful expenditure in some government departments. She cautioned those in charge to preserve the public purse. Public servants attending the launch pledged to among others, respect and protect every person’s dignity and rights as contained in the government ethics of Batho Pele, meaning “People First”.