Address by Comrade M. Ntuli, MP (ANC) during the Debate On Budget Vote 7: National School Of Government

Chairperson and Honourable Members

I stand today on behalf of the African National Congress to express support for this budget vote.

The development of skills, knowledge, and capabilities is essential in the project of building a developmental state that as envisaged in the National Development Plan. Investment in human capital, through the transfer of knowledge, skills, and capabilities, yields not only positive results in the growth of income but it also increases overall productivity and generates a system of innovation that resolves challenges confronting public sector.

Human capital is developed through the transfer of knowledge, both in its tacit (socially embedded) and codified (scientific) formats, the National School of Government serves is an institution of knowledge that seeks to develop knowledge that must be imparted on the public service, drawing from both scientific and socially embedded experiences with an intention to build a public service that is able to add value in providing services to the public and pursuing the objectives of the developmental state which in the main is to effect socio-economic transformation.

The NSG has to ensure that all of the basic values and principles are inculcated into the value system and performance of all public servants and representatives through education, training and development (ETD) initiatives. It does so through its curriculum design, development and delivery approach with the practical application of participatory, people-centred methodologies and the application of indigenous facilitation and learning techniques during the ETD initiatives, in building a caring ethos and citizen-centred service delivery focus amongst public servants. This approach consciously focuses on the application of the principles and values of the Constitution and the realisation of the public administrative justice to all whom we serve.

Public Servants enrolled in the course Nyukela

The Nyukela programme is one of NSGs flagship programmes, it is a pre-entry to senior management services, an online cause that seeks to:

  • create appreciation of the public service as a special career;
  • deepen understanding of the mindset, attributes, values, skills, and knowledge required to serve in the senior management service; and
  • complete the public service recruitment process by ensuring that entrants to senior management service have appropriate competencies for their jobs.

This online programme - Nyukela - went live on 15 July 2019, as a compulsory offering in response to the Directive on minimum entry requirements for the Senior Management Service. The Nyukela programme is now entrenched as one of the NSG's bespoke programmes, with a total of 11 668 public servants enrolled for the course and 6893 successfully completing by individuals aspiring to be appointed to senior management in the public service.

In addition to the Nyukela programme the school has been able to make certain notable achievements which make a contribution towards the objectives of building capacity for a developmental state, these programmes include, amongst others:

  • Rolled out a suite of Supply Chain Management programmes for public service and local government to strengthen government capacity to support job creation and localisation
  • Rolled out the course on Leading Innovation in the Public Service. Furthermore, worked with the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) to develop a strategy for the reskilling of public servants to mitigate the opportunities and threats of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
  • Collaborated with the Government's Information Technology Officers Council (GITOC) to develop a programme for Chief Information Officers in the Public Service.

Honourable Members

The Public Administration Management Act, 2014 (Act No.11 of 2014) gives effect to the progressive realization of the values and principles governing the public administration across the three spheres of government in reference to section 195 of the constitution. This act provides for the establishment of the NSG.

The values and principles which must be propagated are spelled out in the dictum of Batho Pelle which is what informs the professional conduct in the public service. The NSG plays an important role in the professionalization of the public service by inculcating these core values on those who consume its content. Therefore, the NSG professionalises the public service by changing individual attitudes, behaviour and performance towards serving the public. This is a values aspect which is about observing and serving people with empathy in accordance with the constitution, Batho Pele and the Public Service Charter.

Professionalising also means having qualified people who know what they are doing and are fully equipped to perform their jobs with diligence. This entails continuous development, which makes public servants more competitive by sharpening their knowledge and technical skills. Most importantly, this also requires the professionalisation of certain categories in the public service, over and above what is already recognized through statutory professional bodies.

Effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the functioning of the school

The School's overall budget allocation for 2021/22 is R210.2, compared to R227.4 million in 2020/21. This represents an decrease of 7.6 per cent in nominal terms. However, in real terms the total budget for the School decreased by 11.29 per cent between the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years. Programme 1: Administration consumes 51.9 per cent (R109.2m) of the budget allocation, this is indicative of the commitment to provide strategic leadership, management, and support for the school. The increased from R90.9 million in 2020/21 to R109.2 million in 2021/22. This represents a 15.29 per cent increase in real terms in the budget allocation between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Honourable Members, this budget comes under very difficult conditions mooted by the Covid-19 which has been devasting not only for the lives of our people but also the economy. notes the impact of the pandemic on the attainment of annual targets and funding of the National School of Government. The NSG revenue on the Training Trading Account has been severely affected and impacted on programme 2 of the School, which fully funds its activities including Compensation of Employees. The School experienced challenges in generating revenue, resulting in reduction from R132 million to R75 million, and lowered the training numbers from 43 600 to 26 040. Furthermore, an estimated R10.5 million monthly on training fees has been lost since April 2020 due to the Coronavirus. This was caused by the fact that the NSG was no longer able to offer contact classes due to the lockdown and social distancing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

We must commend the leadership of the school for their proactiveness in responding to the c reality of Cobid-19 and attempting to come up with innovative solutions. The school aims to revise its funding model to ensure that it generates more revenue through its training projects. The revised funding model will propose that a portion of national department's training budgets be redirected to the school to fund the mandatory training it provides. The school planned to conclude its consultation with key stakeholders on the revised funding model in 2019/ 20. The plan is to implement revisions to the trading account's tariff structure to ensure that more revenue is generated by the school.

The ANC Leads  

The ANC move is support of vote 7 of the national school of government,

I thank You!