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The Western Cape, under Premier Helen Zille, has scored the top mark of 82 percent in a recently released Public Service Commission (PSC) report on the performance of premiers.
The report is the outcome of research on the offices of the premiers in each of the nine provinces during the 2010/11 financial year and is based on nine constitutional values and principles governing public administration listed in section 195 of the constitution.
Gauteng, in second place, scored 77 percent, followed by the Northern Cape with 64 percent and North West and Mpumalanga, both with 59 percent.
The Free State scored 56 percent, while Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal each scored 54 percent, followed by the Eastern Cape with 47 percent.
PSC chairman Ben Mthembu said the nine premiers’ offices had achieved an overall average performance of 61 percent, which, he said, represented good performance against most of the standards.
“The performance of the previously evaluated offices of the premier (Western Cape, North West, Gauteng and Limpopo) has improved by 9 percent from 59 percent (adequate performance against several of the standards) to 68 percent (good performance against most of the standards).”
Performance was measured on the basis of professional ethics; efficiency, economy and effectiveness; development orientation; impartiality and fairness; public participation in policy-making; accountability; transparency; good human resource management and career development practices; and representivity.
Provinces averaged 69 percent in the professional ethics category. The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal each scored 90 percent
Gauteng scored 90 percent in the efficiency, economy and effectiveness category – the only office that achieved an “excellent” performance against all the standards.
Three provinces – Gauteng, Western Cape and Mpumalanga – scored 100 percent in the category of impartiality and fairness.
For the category dealing with accountability, provinces scored an average of 76 percent, with Gauteng scoring 100 percent, Western Cape 85 percent and KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape each scoring 80 percent.
The report’s recommendations include that premiers’ offices should ensure appropriate action and create adequate capacity to probe misconduct and corruption and conclude disciplinary cases.
A further recommendation is that offices should strengthen their performance management systems.
The report also recommends that offices of the premier develop and implement policies on public participation and prioritise strategies for fighting fraud and corruption.
DA public service and administration spokesman Kobus Marais called yesterday for a parliamentary debate on the report and on the performance of premiers.
“The PSC report indicates that the performance of premiers is patchy, with the lowest-performing premier achieving a score of 47 percent, compared with 82 percent for the best-performing premier.
“This report shows that provincial governments – if administered properly – can achieve excellent results that positively impact on the lives of citizens.
“But the opposite is also true. Provincial governments that do not have good leadership do not have good service delivery either,” Marais said.