This is according to a political analyst at the University of the Free State, Dr Sethulego Matebesi, who says that he is curious to see what the outcome of President Cyril Ramaphosa's work will be in examining the size of the government. In his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) last night, Ramaphosa revealed that progress has been made in this matter and further said that he hopes to complete this work by the end of the current administration. Matebesi said while this is a subject Ramaphosa touched on in his maiden address last year, it remains to be seen how Ramaphosa will implement it.
"The question is will this now happen after the general elections, because when one looks at the situation, actually the place where government is spending a lot of its money is on the salary bills. We can't have such a bloated government system - we have so many government departments where there are HODs, MECs and even Ministers leading departments and yet again, we still have so many people faced with the three fundamental challenges, which are poverty, unemployment and inequality," Matebesi said.
Meanwhile, in his address last night, Ramaphosa invited all South Africans to submit their suggestions on how changes government can make will help it address and "serve the needs and interests of the people". Once again, hammering on the issue of public servants and their involvement in corruption, Ramaphosa further said that the National School of Government would be introducing courses compulsory for public servants. He stated that these courses would cover areas such as ethics and anti-corruption, senior management and supply chain management. "We will process the operationalisation of section 8 of the Public Administration and Management Act, which strengthens the outlawing of public servants doing business with the state and enable the government to deal more effectively with corrupt activities. This provision will see the imposition of harsher penalties, including fines and/or prison sentences for officials that transgress," Ramaphosa said. To this effect, an Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit will be established to strengthen management of ethics and anti-corruption. The Committee will thus also ensure consequence management for breaches of government processes.