Debate on “Building state capacity through insourcing of government and all state-owned companies’ workers” by Cde Lusizo Sharon Makhubela-Mashele

17th September 2019

The African National Congress has adequately diagnosed the challenges confronting The State and makes Concrete proposals to Build State Capacity.

In the National Development Plan, the whole Chapter 13 was dedicated to “Building a Capable and Developmental State”.

What our colleagues in red need to understand is that building a Capable State will be a gradual process that needs careful implementation.

Insourcing, therefore, must be coupled with quality assurance measures, to ensure that the state is able to improve its Capacity in providing the delivery of Services. 

As such, the NDP notes that one of the main challenges to building a capable and developmental state is Unevenness in Capacity.

This leads to uneven performance at Local, Provincial and National Government.

Weaknesses in capacity and performance are most serious in historically disadvantaged areas.

Hon members

The EFF, on the other hand, promised in its 2019 election manifesto that its government would “insource all outsourced security guards, cleaners, drivers, gardeners and general workers who work at government departments and state-owned companies, and it would employ an additional 80 000 workers within six months…” Only the EFF knows what these 80 000 additional public sector workers would be employed to do; and only the EFF knows how the state would afford to fund the hundreds of thousands of posts in six months. 

Thankfully, South African voters were capable of sifting Facts from Fiction. Hence there is no EFF government anywhere in the country.

For the ANC, insourcing is not a panacea that can address all the capacity challenges in the state.

It is but one of the measures that is being considered by the Government.

Building capability in the state involves a system of fair and transparent performance appraisal and lifelong skills development of workers.

The acknowledgement of performance, skills development and fair compensation of public servants build loyalty of workers to the state and mitigates against inclination towards corruption.

A capable state acts decisively and removes those found guilty of misconduct so that only the most committed public servants remain in the system.

Public service needs skills and professionalism. This includes offering - stimulating career paths, ensuring a pipeline of potential talent and Innovation is developed

across all spheres of government.

A capable State invents in Human Capital that fully understand the constitutional mandate of each sphere of government, and work that needs to be done to improve the lives of people on the ground.

The ANC has therefore identified the need for SOEs to deal with capacity constraints. 

We cannot Over Emphasize the need to strengthen the governance of SOEs. The aim is for efficient, financially sound, and well-governed SOEs that address the country’s developmental objectives.

President of the Republic of South Africa has already outlined the seven priorities that deal with building a capable and developmental state.

  • Economic transformation and job creation
  • Education, skills and health
  • Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services
  • Spatial integration, human settlements and local government
  • Social cohesion and safe communities
  • A capable, ethical and developmental state
  • A better Africa and world

Therefore, honourable Members, the African National Congress is not just talking about the capable and developmental state. We are not just talking about insourcing. For us, these concepts are not just ideas, but the government is hard at work with the implementation programmes.

The government is implementation a radical paradigm shift, to a comprehensive framework inclusive of resourcing, integration of all public sector institutions, social partners, and accountability mechanisms.

This informs all levels of government planning through an integrated planning framework.

We are Confident that  MTSF will further outline the budget prioritisation framework, labour movement's involvement on the skills revolution and civil society in promoting participatory democracy.

We will not ignore the recent report by the Auditor-General which revealed that the municipalities across the country spent more than R3.4-billion on consultants and incurred and underspending of more than R44-billion in the previous financial year.

As the ANC we are concerned about the continued extensive usage of consultants in government.

This is the crux of OUT-sourcing, and Our manifesto provides a principle decision for government to deal with the over reliance on Consultants in Government.

This points to the shortage of critical skills and capacity gaps at a local government level as identified in the National Development Plan.

As this House, we should strengthen oversight, not only concentrating on under expenditure and outsourcing work to consultants by the government.

We should also focus more on identifying skill gaps and assisting all spheres of government to improve state capacity.

As the government continues with insourcing workers into the public service, let us also ensure that proper capacity building is done at lower levels, and that critical skills are maintained at senior level.

Hon Members

The ANC as Mandated with responsibility for the wellbeing of all citizens,

We are looking further than insourcing.

We have committed that, in facilitating creation of employment in the public service, the following real interventions are being implemented:

  • The government is increasing participation in public employment programmes such as the Expanded Public Works Programmes through a guaranteed placement of TVET graduates and increasing private sector placement for beneficiaries of public employment programmes.
  • We have rolled out the implementation of the National Minimum Wage to cover workers in domestic work, farming and forestry and other vulnerable sectors. We are now conducting oversight on the effective compliance in the implementation of this progressive initiative.
  • The government is working on the adequate legislation to give effect to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on labour brokers.

We Hope the EFF is able to acknowledge these

Practical and Realistic Intervention to address the issue of insourcing.

Thank You.