Declaration on Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration on the recommended candidate to the National Assembly for appointment by the President to serve as a Commissioner for the National Public Service Commission
Speech by ACDP MP, Steve Swart

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

ACDP concerned that the appointment of Errol Magerman will compromise the impartiality and independence of the Public Service Commission

Jun 14, 2023

“The ACDP takes note of the Report of The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration (the Committee) having considered a request by the President of South Africa, requesting the National Assembly to recommend fit and proper person in accordance with section 196(8)(a) of the Constitution, to fill vacancy of commissioner for the Public Service Commission, reports follows.

The Public Service Commission is an independent institution established in terms of Chapter 10 of the Constitution, 1996. It derives its mandate from section 196 of the Constitution, which sets out the values and principles governing public administration. The Constitution stipulates that there is a single PSC for the Republic of South Africa, which consist of 14 commissioners. Section 196 (7)(a) of the Constitution stipulates that five commissioners are approved by the National Assembly in accordance with subsection (8)(a). Section 196(10) states that a commissioner is appointed for a term of five years, which is renewable for one additional term only.

The ACDP is concerned that the appointment of the nominee, Mr Errol Magerman, will compromise the impartiality and independence of the Public Service commission. It also flies in the face of government’s commitment to professionalise the public service and build a capable state. Certain members of the committee hold the view that Mr Magerman does not hold the necessary qualifications, skills and work experience to occupy this senior position. This appears to be so as according to his CV, his highest qualification is an advanced certificate in governance and public leadership, and it appears that outside of this qualification he has no other experience. He has worked only as an ANC cadre in various ANC positions including elections coordinator, councillor and ANC member of the Gauteng provincial legislature.

The Zondo State Capture Report found that the ANC cadre deployment policy violates five different subsections of the Constitution and that it also contravenes the Public Service Act.

The legislation says:

“No appointment, promotion and transfer may be made or effected or decided upon [outside the prescriptions of the legislation] – and those prescripts are equality and other democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution”.

Those values are equality in the treatment of candidates, transparency, accountability and fairness. The report found that:

There is no mention of membership of a political party including the ANC or current ruling party, nor is there mention of a recommendation made by the deployment committee of the ANC or any political party.”

The commission found that: “…the Constitution envisages a public administration that maintains a high standard of professional ethics: that is efficient, economic and effective in its use of resources and that is impartial, fair, equitable and without bias”, and that the governing party’s deployment policy was counter to all four values that guided the “political-administrative interface”.

Despite this indictment, the ANC continues in its deployment policy that has had a detrimental impact on South Africa. The ACDP believes that there were far more deserving candidates and therefore will not support this report.

I thank you.”

-ENDS-

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