Ministers lose firing power

The lekgotla also discussed strengthening the presidency, with an emphasis on reinforcing its planning capacity.

A government leader said the only planning body government had was the national planning commission, which did not have the capacity for the scale of planning needed.

“It [the commission] is monitoring implementation of the NDP [national development plan], that’s all.”

Ministers will be stripped of their powers to hire and fire directors general (DGs) because that function will be taken over by the presidency, which consists of the president, the deputy president, the national planning commission minister and the planning, monitoring and evaluation minister.

This move had been pushed by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who, according to a government official, had expressed unhappiness about the manner in which some political heads treated administrators.

READ MORE: Bombshell plan to lay off 30 000 public servants

“Her message was that as a minister you can’t walk into a department and get rid of someone you have never worked with. She was saying ministers must learn from DGs because those are top government officials who reside with the knowledge of the department and therefore they must utilise them,” the senior official said.

“She fought that battle, which many DGs are appreciative of. And even when she raised it at the ANC lekgotla last week, there was a strong round of applause.”

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Dineo Bendile
Dineo Bendile works from Johannesburg. Political reporter. BLACK. Dineo Bendile has over 2712 followers on Twitter.
Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.
Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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