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Data highlights big drop in senior officials lacking requisite qualifications

Fifty departments updated the qualifications of their senior managers on the Persal system between October 31, 2021, and January 31, 2022 according to Minister Thulas Nxesi.Image : Rajesh Jantilal

Fifty departments updated the qualifications of their senior managers on the Persal system between October 31, 2021, and January 31, 2022 according to Minister Thulas Nxesi.Image : Rajesh Jantilal

Published May 13, 2022

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The number of government’s senior managers without the requisite qualifications has declined by a whopping 10% over the past year.

While official data released last year showed that more than 35% of senior managers were not qualified for their jobs, the figure declined to 25.9% year-on-year.

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Thulas Nxesi, the Acting Minister of Public Service and Administration, has revealed that this reduction was not due to them getting the axe, or because managers were suddenly graduating.

It was a result of data on the Persal system being updated as per the instructions issued in a circular, Nxesi said. He replied to written questions in the National Assembly this week.

The updated information indicated that the government may have no need to prepare to impose punitive measures against officials who appeared to be without qualifications, Nxesi said.

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“The current exercise has indicated that there might be senior management service members who possess proper qualifications, but such are not reflected on the Persal system.

“It is, however, clear that departments are gradually responding to Circular HRD0301 to update Persal data, therefore further punitive measures might not be needed,” said Nxesi.

“The reply to Parliamentary Question 152 on April 7, 2021, highlighted that the information available from Persal indicated that more than 35% of senior managers (SMS) did not have the requisite qualifications for the positions that they occupied.

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“By January 31, 2022, the figure reduced by almost 10% to 25.9%. As it stands, 2 412 out of 9 309 senior managers do not have their qualifications reflected on Persal.

“Fifty departments updated the qualifications of their senior managers on the Persal system between October 31, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

“It is important to reiterate the fact that the matter of the senior manager’s or other employees’ qualifications be understood within the broader context of the professionalisation of the public service efforts that are under way.”

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