In October 2022, the National School of Government published a National Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service. The document describes how building state capacity towards a capable, ethical and developmental state remains the foremost priority of the current administration. More than two decades after the inception of the democratic system of Government in 1994, the NDP (National Development Plan) has brought professionalisation into sharp focus, yet its implementation remains elusive. The NDP states that a developmental state needs to be capable, but that capability can only come about if the public sector is professionalised.
Chapter 13 of the NDP describes how a professional Public Service is one where people are recruited and promoted based on merit and potential rather than connections or political allegiance. This requires rigorous and transparent recruitment mechanisms. However, the Public Service will not be effective if it is elitist and aloof. Public servants need to have an in-depth understanding of the sections of society with which they work.
The professionalisation of the public sector is about full recognition of the various professional categories within the sector. It also requires industry professionals working in the public sector to register with externally regulated professional bodies. SACIA shares several critical elements with the National Framework, and we are committed to working with Government on issues such as: