RECONFIGURATION OF GOVERNMENT

UPDATED TALKING POINTS

07 AUGUST 2019

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Work has begun to ensure a strong and capable state.

  • The reconfiguration of government is to ensure that departments are fit for purpose and sensitive to the austerity measures driving the programmes of this sixth administration.
  • Affected departments have been notified and meetings have been held with departments which are merging. 
  • The meetings engaged departments on the implications of the process and the expectations were outlined.
  • Further meetings are planned with relevant departments who are transferring and receiving a function.
  • To ensure that the process is as seamless as possible, a change management process approach is being followed.  
  • The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has appointed a change management specialist who is working with the affected departments. We are committed to sharing information with all staff in an open and transparent manner.
  • Each of the departments involved have already put in place specialised workstreams which are focussing on key elements of the reorganisation process.  This includes an HR and staffing team; a team dealing with legal issues; a team focussing on Information and Communications Technology to handle all issues to do with reorganising departmental ICTs; a Finance workstream, as well as a communications team aimed at ongoing communication with all employees.

 

New departments are being configured.  

  • Affected departments are being assisted with the management and development of their start-up structure and have been advised to adhere to critical timelines.
  • Affected departments are working to structure the strategic intent, mandate as well as their key performance areas.
  • Officials from the DPSA who are organisational development (OD) specialists have been tasked to assist departments with their start up structure.

We remain committed in ensuring minimal disruptions within the public service.

  • Public servants will regularly be briefed on the work taking place in their respective departments.
  • The reconfiguration of government departments will at all times respect the Public Service Act.
  • The rights of workers will be protected through a collective agreement which will be concluded with unions admitted in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC).
  • Plans are in place to cater for officials who are affected due to duplications of functions resulting from mergers.
  • They will be cared for in accordance with by the PSCBC collective agreement, which will be communicated to the public service once concluded.
  • Discussions are underway to determine how departments deal with excess staff.

     Our journey of renewal has begun.
  • Affected departments are in the process of analysing their IT systems that support related business processes.
  • They are in the process of conducting an audit of the infrastructure, along with identifying existing IT projects and those under procurement.
  • Work to analyse the legislation and policies, along with challenges in how merging departments will handle their existing licences is underway.
  • Departments will collaborate with their legal services on how to handle existing ICT contracts and service level agreements.

    The reconfigured state is starting to take shape.
  • A total of 22 departments are affected by merging.
  • Fifteen departments are to be abolished once the process is concluded.
  • This will include the transfer of legislative functions from one minister to another.
  • Schedule 1 of the Public Service Act has been amended to reflect 10 new departments:
    • Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
    • Communications and Digital Technologies
    • Employment and Labour
    • Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
    • Mineral Resources and Energy
    • Public Works and Infrastructure
    • Sports, Arts and Culture
    • Science and Innovation
    • Trade, Industry and Competition
    • Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities