Government is in the process to review regulations for all entry-level posts in the public service, to allow the recruitment of new entrants without prior experience into entry-level jobs as part of an effort to address the challenge of high-rate of youth unemployment in the country.
The amended regulations will take effect as of 1 April 2019.
The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, has thus taken the initiative to review the application of the current legislative framework in order to facilitate the implementation of this new dispensation.
This initiative will enhance government’s human resource development capacity and achieve the following outcomes in the recruitment process of government:
(i) Alleviation of high levels of unemployment especially among the youth in South Africa;
(ii) Removal of unnecessary barriers to entry into the public service;
(iii) Provision of a platform for new graduates to acquire required experience in their life long career paths.
(iv) Attracting new and innovative blood into the public service
Minister Dlodlo says these changes will not do away with the inherent requirements of professional fields such as Engineering Science and Medicine for an example. “This exercise will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields, all we want to do is to streamline career paths and align skills which will make the public service fit for purpose” she said.
Section 3 of the Public Service Act empowers the Minister to establish norms and standards relating to transformation, reform, innovation and any other matter to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the public service and its service delivery to the public. The focus of recruitment will now be on minimum academic qualifications obtained from appropriately registered training institutions in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act and the pre-employment verification as specified in the Public Service Regulations of 2016.
Minister Dlodlo has consequently instructed the Department to issue a circular to the public service mandating the Heads of Departments in both national and provincial spheres of government to ensure a state of readiness towards a phased implementation by 01 April 2019.
The Minister is also determined to introduce a paperless administration across the public service, and to this end, an e-recruitment system will be rolled out as from next month.
“As government, we are concerned that we took long to evolve in this process, resulting in young people, who mostly are techno savvy, enduring the burden of incurring unnecessary costs when applying for positions in the public service. The world has moved on and the public service needs to keep up and embrace the digital age in all its processes” says Minister Dlodlo.
The Minister has thus instructed the Department to introduce a digital Z83 application form as an additional platform for job seekers in the public service. Processes will be put in place to ensure compliance with the Public Service Act by formally introducing the digital Z83 form through notice in the Government Gazette.
The decision to create a digital Z83 form is a direct response to job seekers in South Africa who have used various platforms, including social media, to inform the Minister about how cumbersome and unaffordable the paper Z83 application process is.
The Minister has heard the voices of young people too and is committed to use innovative technologies to ensure that being poor does not become a barrier to employment in the public service.
The Minister emphasised that applications for jobs in the public service will still be accepted through the Z83 forms to accommodate those who do not have access to the internet.
“We understand the challenge of internet access for some of our communities especially in the rural areas, so we will not close anyone out through this e-recruitment process”, she said.
She also said that the department will be engaging local government authorities to expedite the infrastructure rollout for Wi-Fi hotspots across all municipalities.
This includes the enhancement of Thusong Service Centers to provide internet access especially for the youth around communities.