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PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGER JULY 2020

THE MAGAZINE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR DECISION-MAKERS

Living the Mandela legacy Social upliftment in unprecedented times

COVID-19 storm rages • Saving lives top priority • Minister Mkhize soldiers on

JULY 2020

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Contents: July 2020 64

Financial fitness

Have you considered

retail savings bonds as an

28

for a COVID-19 world

Doing things differently to

investment?

ensure service delivery during

12

44

a pandemic

FEATURES

32

10 Honouring Madiba amid the

Adapting the public service

COVID-19 vaccine trial begins in SA The first clinical trial for a

COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 vaccine in Africa is

Now, more than ever, South

being run at multiple sites in

Africans need to live up to

South Africa

Nelson Mandela’s ideals 40 14

REGULARS

Hospital of Hope a shining

Public actions critical to

example of government

coronavirus outcome

collaboration

Government is taking extra

How Africa’s largest COVID-19

precautions and tightening

field hospital came together in

existing measures to curb the

record time

spread of COVID-19 but the 18

From the Union Buildings

Youth entrepreneurship: A silver lining in tough times

public also needs to step up

50

Municipalities’ financial statements tell a story

22

Opinion

The good and bad of the

A day in the life of Health

2018/19 audit outcomes for

36 International relations

Minister Zweli Mkhize – in his

local government

own words

The world of work tackles the challenges presented by COVID-19

38 In other news

News you need to know when

22

you are on the go 44

Trailblazer

Nelisiwe Dlamini’s cybercrime research wades through the fake news

48

Provincial focus

Eastern Cape’s COVID-19 response plan improves

2

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


CHANNEL AFRICA THE AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE

Channel Africa is South Africa’s international public broadcast radio station whose primary audience is the entire African continent. Our secondary audience is the rest of the world, where we harvest our news and information. As an International Public Broadcaster, our core values subscribe to the highest journalistic ethics which find expression in fairness, accuracy, and impartiality. Channel Africa is a platform through which Africa is engaged in debate with itself, and recognises South Africa as a role player in continental and international affairs.

Vision: “The African Perspective” Mission: “to promote the regeneration, revival, and rejuvenation of Africa, through the production and broadcast of dynamic, stimulating, and interesting programmes”. Contact Information: Tel: 011 714 2997 Fax: 011 714 2072 Email: info@channelafrica.co.za Web: www.channelafrica.co.za Twitter: channelafrica1 Instagram: channelafricaradio DSTV:802


Public Sector Manager THE MAGAZINE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR DECISION-MAKERS Publishers: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Enquiries: +27 012 473 0010 Switchboard: +27 012 473 0000 Tshedimosetso House: 1035 Francis Baard Street (corner Festival Street), Hatfield, Pretoria Private Bag X745, Pretoria, South Africa, 0001 www.gcis.gov.za

56 54

Equipping public servants to

Director-General Phumla Williams Acting Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services Keitu Semakane

58

Keep your GEPF information

Acting Deputy Director-General: Content Processing & Dissemination Khusela Diko

updated

deliver

Acting Deputy Director-General: Intergovernmental Coordination & Stakeholder Management Michael Currin

New partnership extends the reach

What you need to know about

of management training for public

the all-important nomination

servants

form

56

It is in our hands

The dire consequences of gov-

Managing Editor Ongezwa Mogotsi ongezwa@gcis.gov.za

LIFESTYLE

News Editor Irene Naidoo Contributors More Matshediso Silusapho Nyanda Jauhara Khan

ernment departments not paying suppliers on time

72

62

Health and well-being

Protect your mental health

Head of Editorial and Production Tyrone Seale tyrone@gcis.gov.za

GCIS Photographic Unit Elmond Jiyane Ntswe Mokoena Siyabulela Duda Kopano Tlape Busisiwe Malungwane

during COVID-19 66

Nice-to-haves

Senior Designer Tendai Gonese

Create the right atmosphere

Cover Image ©Nelson Mandela Foundation

for sweet dreams 70

Grooming and style

Winter warmers every Advertising Sales, Distribution and Subscriptions Top Media & Communications (Pty) Ltd Tel: 086 000 9590 info@topco.co.za | www.topco.co.za

wardrobe needs 72

Food and wine

Chicken dishes that rule the

CEO Ralf Fletcher National Project Manager Emlyn Dunn Tel: 072 126 3962 emlyn.dunn@topco.co.za

roost

Production Director Van Fletcher van.fletcher@topco.co.za Advertising Tel +27 086 000 9590

© Copyright: GCIS | Printed by Creda Communications (Pty) Ltd

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER

Living the Mandela

legacy I

n the absence of a vaccine to prevent infection with COVID-19, our key defence is to be found in the wisdom our founding

President, Nelson Mandela, who said: “A fun-

damental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of". This July, as we observe Mandela Month, we remain confronted by an invisible enemy that thrives on the unintended vulnerability that comes with freedom of movement, socialising with family and friends and our instinctive appreciation of or yearning for human touch. In other words, some of our most basic behaviours have become the conveyor belt along which the deadly coronavirus has been transmitted from person to person and country to country in the past eight months. Of course, it is not only infection and suffering

edy and financial hardship for millions of citizens. While many of these concerns apply to public servants, workers in the public sector have escaped the reality of

that has gone viral. Our economy, like those all

shortened working hours, reduced pay and retrenchment

around the world, has been infected with busi-

experienced by our compatriots in the private sector.

ness closures, unemployment and aggravated poverty and inequality. This is a time of great uncertainty, fear, trag-

6

This empowers the public service to serve the nation with tireless diligence and commitment in this hour of crisis.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


Twelve years ago, when the world celebrated Madiba’s 90th birthday, he called on the next generation

designed to save the lives of South

als, including the Social Relief of

Africans.

Distress Grant and other disaster

Before announcing the strict

relief funds, tax relief, wage support

to take on the burden of leadership

lockdown back in March, govern-

through the Unemployment Insur-

in addressing the world’s social

ment had already weighed up the

ance Fund and funding for small

injustices by declaring: “It is in your

impact of its harsh but necessary

businesses.

hands now.”

action on the people of South

It is indeed in our hands to influence the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country and

Africa. When our President announced the lockdown he said govern-

The urgency created by the pandemic has seen government do a great deal, from digitising learning and providing essential services to

to work with all sectors of society

schools, to giving food parcels and

to help us achieve the economic

distress relief grants to the needy.

recovery we need so desperately.

Mandela Month is a reminder of

Government employees are ex-

the ethical leadership that Madiba

pected to honour Madiba’s legacy

so desired for his beloved country

every day, in line with Madiba’s

and of public servants’ commit-

introduction in 1997 of the Batho

ment to efficient, honest, integrated

Pele principle of putting ‘people

governance. Madiba was the ultimate public

first’ and this remains a cornerstone of public administration in our

servant and an inspiring example

country.

of servant leadership, which is the belief that the most effective

With our nation in pain as a result of the global coronavirus pandem-

leaders strive to serve others, rather

ic, public servants’ commitment to

than accrue power or take control.

putting the people of our nation at the centre of everything they do has never been more pertinent.

At the naming of the Tambo Minister in t he Presidency, Jac kson Mt hembu.

The strain placed on people’s

Memorial Hospital in Boksburg in 1998, Madiba spoke words that will forever hold true for honour-

physical, financial, social and men-

ment would be taking “urgent and

able public servants: “Whether

tal wellbeing is immense and the

drastic measures to manage the

you change the linen or stitch up

hardest hit are those living below

disease, protect the people of our

wounds, cook the food or dispense

or just on the breadline.

country and reduce the impact of

the medicines, it is in your hands to

the virus on our society and on our

help build a public service worthy

economy”.

of all those who gave their lives for

While it has been heart-wrenching to witness their anguish, all public servants should take pride

Government’s economic re-

the dream of democracy.”

in how government has embodied

sponse included a broad range

May his legacy inspire all of us

Madiba’s people-first principle in its

of measures to mitigate the worst

to make this world a better place,

coronavirus response. Every action

effects of the pandemic on busi-

beginning in our own departments

taken by government has been

nesses, communities and individu-

and our own communities.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

7


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL FEATURE

Rising to the challenge of the coronavirus crisis

T

he global coronavirus

It is up to each individual to

(COVID-19) pandemic has

remember what it is we are

emphasised the need for

working towards, which is a more

and produced evidence of adap-

effective and responsive public

tation and innovation in a public

administration that advances

sector that represents our advance

progress and uplifts communities.

forces in the war against infection, death and economic paralysis. With the pandemic causing

While each of us needs to self-motivate, we must all be cognisant of the fact that some

devastation among South Africa’s

people cope less well than others

more vulnerable people, now –

in turbulent times.

more than ever – public servants

Be a caring, compassionate

need to recognise our higher

colleague and manager; inspire

calling and adopt a ‘service

your team and promote a positive

above self’ approach to our work.

work culture, which is associated

Phumla Williams,

Public servants who are back

with feeling valued, secure and

at work are perhaps finding the

respected. Remember, people

many changes challenging,

who feel supported are generally

seeking ways to refresh their

while people who are still working

happier, more productive and

thinking amid all the turmoil,

remotely may feel they are living

better able to cope with stress.

is that the National School of

in limbo. It is perhaps harder for

The contribution of each public

GCIS Director-General.

Government (NSG) has reopened

some to stay motivated, especially

servant, no matter what job you

for limited contact training, while

given the prevalence of health

do, is important, especially now

still offering online courses and

anxiety and general levels of

as government faces one of its

open distance learning models.

uncertainty.

biggest battles ever. You are all

But while our physical

Some of these courses are

walking your own coronavirus

offered at no cost to public

interactions with members of

journey and have your own

servants. The NSG targets all levels

the public are reduced and our

challenges to face, so my thought

of employees, from interns to

work environments look and feel

is a simple one: do the best you

executive leaders.

vastly different, our mandate of

can each day and remember that

serving the people to the highest

our people are relying on us more

particularly relevant at this time

Batho Pele principles remains

than ever.

as we ‘learn, serve and grow’

unchanged.

8

Some good news for those

The NSG’s motto is, in fact,

together, in the face of adversity.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

Honouring Madiba amid the

COVID-19 pandemic I

n this, the 30th anniversary year of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, public servants

Eac h of t hese food parcels can feed a family for up to f ive mont hs. Photo: NMF

must work harder than ever before to fulfil the dreams envisioned by the father of our democratic nation. As our economy struggles under the weight of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is an immense responsibility to live up to the expectations of the public this Mandela Month. This year, Mandela Month is being celebrated under unprec-

edented circumstances. Millions of South Africans have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has magnified the challenges of poverty, inequality and

collaborations between all sectors

during a time when it is needed

unemployment.

of society to create lasting change

the most.

The Nelson Mandela Founda-

in vulnerable communities.

tion (NMF) has played a major

As a crucial implementing part-

role in driving social upliftment

ner of Mandela Month initiatives,

efforts in South Africa since it was

the NMF has focused strongly on

Food security, education and sanitation

established in 1999. Based on the

the biggest issues facing South

This year, the NMF is building on

ideals of Mandela, the foundation

Africans during the COVID-19 pan-

the strategy of last year, which

has been a cornerstone of driving

demic and is intensifying its work

focuses on the five pillars of edu-

10

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


cation, food and nutrition, shelter,

and communities. The necessary

in previous years to participate in

sanitation and active citizenship.

expertise and knowledge are

activations,” says Godlo.

Yase Godlo, NMF Director of

available in South Africa, as are

The Mandela Day website has

Mandela Day and Special Projects,

trusted conveners, organisers and

now become a crucial platform

says that since the COVID-19

problem-solving methodologies.”

which will advise members of

outbreak struck, there has been an

Education has been a strong

the public, corporates and non-

intensified effort to support poverty-

focal point for the foundation in

governmental organisations on

stricken families with food parcels.

2020. Through the Nelson Mandela

the types of activities they can get

School Library Project, in partner-

involved in on Mandela Day.

“Through the Each1Feed1 campaign, hundreds of vulner-

ship with engineering firm Hytec,

“There are still many initiatives

able families in rural communities

seven libraries have been built in

that people can get involved in.

around the country have been

schools in Limpopo, Mpumalanga

We are driving the message of

provided with food parcels that

and Gauteng.

supporting needy people in your

can feed a family for five months.

The foundation has also been

The campaign is being supported

active in ensuring proper protec-

ing food for a neighbour or help-

by government departments and

tion of children and teachers

ing them with any other issues they

foundations such as the Imbumba

during the COVID-19 pandemic,

need help with. During these times,

Foundation and the Kolisi Founda-

by donating personal protective

it is very important that we have

tion, amongst others,” says Godlo.

equipment to schools.

everyone involved and participat-

Beyond distributing food parcels,

Sanitation is also particularly

community, whether it means buy-

ing,” he adds. Godlo was privileged enough to

the foundation is working with its

important during this time, as

partners to come up with new

good hygiene practices are

interact with Mandela on several

initiatives to improve food security

critical to preventing the spread of

occasions. He believes Madiba

over the long term.

COVID-19.

would call on all South Africans to

“We are engaging our partners

“So these are the three areas of

rise up to the challenges posed by the current crisis.

on ways to develop sustainable

focus that we would like everyone

food production solutions, and

to participate in this Mandela

also to create a voucher system for

Month – food security, education

our hands’ to make true difference,

families to be able to access food.”

and sanitation,” says Godlo.

and to understand that together,

“Mandela once said that 'it is in

we are the solution to the chal-

NMF CEO Sello Hatang says that solved through collaborative ac-

Adapting to COVID-19 challenges

tions between all sectors of society.

The NMF is well aware that the

members, corporates and civil

challenges posed by COVID-19 will

society to make a difference.”

South Africa’s food security can be

“South Africa’s hunger problem is now better understood, and can

have an impact on the way that

be solved through flexible and

Mandela Day will be celebrated

collaborative action from govern-

this year.

ment, non-governmental organisa-

“For example, we acknowledged

lenges that we face. It is in the hands of government, community

Public servants need to lead As South Africa faces a significant

tions, faith-based organisations,

that people cannot come to-

health and economic crisis, the

the private sector, economists

gether in large groups as they did

actions of public servants are criti-

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

11


FEATURE

cal to overcoming the challenges. Godlo says that the NMF has been impressed by the dedication of public servants so far in responding to the needs of South Africans during the crisis. “Our colleagues in the public sector have shown what it is to be a South African. They have really gone beyond what is required from them during their work.” He encourages all public servants to live up the expectations that South Africans have of them. “It is at this moment that we need them the most. Public servants need to serve with pride and take to heart the understanding that they can be the big solution to a lot of problems that South Africans are facing right now. South Africans are dependent on them

Mandela Day Director Yase Godlo says t hat public ser vants must live up t he expectations of Sout h Africans. Photo: NMF

to be effective and engage with communities. They are the most essential workers I can think of at

collaborative spirit to drive long-

can get involved in Mandela Day

this point.”

term change,” he adds.

initiatives go, to: www.mandeladay.

Similarly, Hatang says that he has

For more information on how you

com.

been encouraged by government awakening to the challenges and recognising potential solutions. “There seems to be a growing 'social listening' by the state. Government is taking note of trends in social media conversations and has a deeper awareness of its dependency on civil society, faithbased organisations and business intermediaries to complement government action. We should use

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Mandela’s birthday on 18 July 2009 via unanimous decision of the United Nations General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”. It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work and to change the world for the better. Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation

this heightened awareness and

12

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


FEATURE

Writer: Cathy Grosvenor

Public actions critical to coronavirus outcome

W

ith South Africa recording on average 12 500 new coronavirus (COV-

address to the nation. “There are some among us who ignore the regulations that

enforce the regulation, could now find themselves in trouble with the law.

ID-19) infections a day, govern-

have been passed to combat the

ment has stepped up measures to

disease. They act without any re-

the new regulations, Justice and

enforce adherence to the Disaster

sponsibility to respect and protect

Correctional Services Minister

Management Act regulations.

each other,” he said, in explaining

Ronald Lamola said mandatory

why it had become necessary to

mask-wearing was not created to

review the regulations.

punish the public, but to protect

“As we now approach the peak of infections, we need to take extra precautions and tighten

While the wearing of masks in

At ministerial briefings to unpack

it by enforcing a new social norm

existing measures to slow down

public has been mandatory for

that is essential to combatting the

the rate of transmission,” said

some time now, people in posi-

runaway spread of the virus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his

tions of authority who do not

14

Newly gazetted regulations state

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


that taxi operators, school princi-

tion and dispensing of alcohol,

and the wearing of masks by all

pals, building and store owners,

because the risks associated with

passengers and drivers.

and their employers, can be fined

alcohol are far too high and we

and/or jailed for six months if they

must limit the pressures on our

200km or more] intra-provincial

do not enforce the wearing of

healthcare system,” added Minis-

travel and permitted inter-pro-

masks.

ter Dlamini Zuma.

vincial travel, public transport

This means that the new legisla-

She highlighted that when there

“For long distance [a trip of

vehicles may carry 70 percent of

tion limits criminal liability to those

was an absolute prohibition on

licensed capacity,” said Minister

people who are meant to ensure

the sale of alcohol, the overall

Dlamini Zuma, before warning

compliance. However, the Minister

number of visits to trauma units in

that penalties will be applicable

stressed that if public behaviour

South Africa dropped significantly

for non-compliance.

does not improve, government will

but when the alcohol ban was

consider acting against individual

lifted, there was a substantial rise

No family visits

members of the public too.

in alcohol-related trauma injuries

A number of other regulations

and deaths.

were elaborated on, including the

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nko-

The regulations also ban the

continued ban on family visits.

sazana Dlamini Zuma explained

transportation of alcohol, except if

that acceptable masks include

it is required for industries produc-

lenging this restriction is, particu-

cloth face masks, homemade

ing hand sanitisers, disinfectants

larly at a time when we want our

items and another appropriate

and similar products; or for expor-

loved ones close, Minister Lamola

items that cover the nose and

tation or to shift it from manufac-

explained that homes are unregu-

mouth.

turing to storage facilities.

lated spaces and that when fam-

People doing vigorous exercise

The 9pm to 4am curfew was

While acknowledging how chal-

ily and friends get together, there

in a public place will be allowed

reintroduced because trauma

is a high possibility that people

to go mask-free, on condition

cases often happen at night

will hug and kiss each other. “Pri-

they maintain a distance of at

said Minister Dlamini Zuma. Only

vate parties have led to some of

least three metres from any other

people undertaking essential

the spikes in the country,” he said.

person, she said.

and permitted services and those

Highlighting the inter-genera-

seeking emergency medical care

tional nature of families, Minister

Ban on alcohol

will be permitted on the road in

Dlamini Zuma added that family

Two regulations that were lifted

between these times. Essential

visits remain prohibited because

when South African moved to

services workers must be in pos-

of the risk they pose for older fam-

level three of the lockdown,

session of a permit.

ily members.

were reinstated. The decisions

While President Ramaphosa

She said that while parks are

to re-introduce the alcohol ban

gave local taxis and buses the

open for exercise, beaches re-

and curfew were both evidence

green light to operate at 100

main closed.

based, the President said.

percent capacity, this is subject

“We have reintroduced the prohibition on the sale, transporta-

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

Funerals still require the obser-

to strict health protocols and

vance of the established health

measures to ensure air circulation

and well-being protocols, includ-

15


FEATURE

ing limiting participants to 50. “We will also revert to the previous practice of not allowing interprovincial travel, as we have seen that travel between low and high concentration zones have made virtually all of our country a hot spot,” she said. Minister Dlamini Zuma explained that hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and lodges are only open for business purposes, quarantine or where there are remaining tourists. Leisure accommodation is not yet allowed, she clarified.

Time for people to step up Government has put in place a host of regulations to limit the spread of COVID-19 and contin-

Despite all these efforts, the

pandemic in our country. We are

ues to strengthen its healthcare

country’s coronavirus fate now

by now all familiar with what we

response to the virus.

largely rests in the hands of indi-

need to do to protect ourselves

viduals, stressed the President.

and others from infection,” said

In the past three months, thousands of healthcare profes-

He highlighted the disregard

the President.

sionals have been recruited, 28

shown by some citizens who

Minister Dlamini Zuma con-

000 hospital beds for COVID-19

organise parties, have drink-

curred, saying COVID-19 knows

patients have been created and

ing sprees and walk around in

no class, gender, race or social

field hospitals have been set up

crowded spaces without masks.

status. “It is up to all of us to play

“In some cases, some people

our part in preventing its further

across the country. There are over 37 000 quarantine beds in

go to funerals where more than

private and public facilities, ready

1 000 people are in attendance.

to isolate those who cannot do

This is how the virus is spread

said that despite South Africa’s

so at home. In addition, 1 700

– through carelessness and

population size ranking 25th in

additional ventilators have been

through recklessness.

the world, we rank 10th when it

secured and companies in South

“Through our own actions –

and devastating spread.” Issuing a wake-up call, she

comes to coronavirus infections.

Africa are in the process of pro-

as individuals, as families, as

“We must strengthen our resolve

ducing another 12 000 ventila-

communities – we can and we

and redouble our efforts,” she

tion devices.

must change the course of this

said.

16

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


FROM THE UNION BUILDINGS FEATURE

A message from President Cyril Ramaphosa

Youth entrepreneurship:

A silver lining in tough times T

he old saying that ‘necessity

As a number of social partners,

South Africans and the economic

is the mother of invention’

including government, business,

fortunes of our country. South

comes to mind when I think

trade unions, community based

Africa is not alone. Many countries

about the resilience and ingenuity

organisations, economists and

are experiencing harsh economic

shown by South Africans during the

political parties, are involved in

challenges. Like many countries,

past three months.

crafting a new vision for a post-

we have responded through an

COVID-19 dispensation, a new

economic and social assistance

strated by young entrepreneurs

breed of young entrepreneurs are

package, worth R500 billion. But

as our country is battling the

seizing the opportunities that are

we also know that we need to

spread of the coronavirus that

opening up as we seek to deal

evolve a clear vision and strate-

has brought about fundamental

with a new normal in our lives.

gic plan that will help us chart

This ingenuity is being demon-

changes to our way of life and doing business.

18

The coronavirus is a dark cloud that is hanging over the lives of

our way beyond the impact of COVID-19.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


This vision and strategic plan will

shopping for the elderly who have

a day to order. Her business has

of necessity have to be a durable

been encouraged to remain at

already distributed over 20,000

and effective social compact

home. They earn an income and

cloth masks for free to residents of

among social partners.

at the same time provide a much-

Alexandra.

needed service to the community.

A silver lining As much as COVID-19 hangs over

Xitsakiso Baloyi from Mankweng

New business opportunities

our country, there is a silver lining

in Limpopo, whose pizza-making

To keep the nation’s spirits up

to this dark cloud. As much as we

hobby turned into a fully-fledged

during the lockdown, our country’s

have to face enormous difficulties

business after his family started

young artists and musicians have

and challenges, such as rising

posting pictures of his creations

taken their talents online, resulting

unemployment and poverty, there

on social media. With the lock-

in new business opportunities.

are a number of opportunities

down preventing people from eat-

that we need to look out for to

ing out, he got an avalanche of

Judy Jay, a DJ and rising star from

undo the harsh consequences of

queries from community members

Sekhukhune. Her watch parties

coronavirus.

asking if he was selling his pizzas.

during the lockdown have attract-

There are a number of South

Then there is 28-year-old Election

Now his business, Rabbit’s Pizza,

One such artist is 18-year-old

ed the attention of major local

Africans who are searching for the

started with his savings of just R1

and international radio stations,

silver lining.

000 and the baking pans in his

enabling her to promote and grow

kitchen, employs nine other young

her brand.

I am very pleased at the combination of foresight, creativity and

people and delivers not just in

business acumen displayed by a

Mankweng but also in nearby

spirit of these and many more

number of young South Africans

Nwamitwa and Giyani. He says

young people that has been

who are coming up with home-

he plans to open new outlets in

brought to the fore during the

grown solutions to the contempo-

other rural communities in the

pandemic must be harnessed

rary challenges we face.

near future, and to employ more

and supported.

Some have started small business ventures because of person-

young people in his area who are without work.

The creative and enterprising

Even in our darkest hour, we must look to these green shoots of

al circumstances, like losing their

To meet the increasing demand

jobs. Others who were previously

for personal protective equipment,

unemployed have seized the op-

a number of small businesses

portunity provided by the pan-

have been established to manu-

wait until the coronavirus pan-

demic to create their own income.

facture masks, visors and face-

demic is over. It needs to start now.

The story of Cloudy Deliveries in

shields to supply to businesses

Langa, Cape Town, is testimony to the power of a good idea. A group

and communities. Ponani Shikweni, 32, from Alexan-

renewal. They are the silver lining to the dark COVID-19 cloud. Our economic recovery cannot

One of the defining developments during the lockdown was how businesses in the townships

of youth runs a bicycle delivery

dra township in Gauteng has re-

and rural areas came into their

service ferrying goods from the

purposed her linen manufacturing

own as people were not able to

shops to the homes of residents in

business to produce face masks.

travel around much.

the township.

She now employs 35 people,

In more ways than one, small

During the lockdown, they have

most of whom are under 25. She

and medium enterprises in the

focused their operations on doing

produces more than 1,000 masks

townships and rural areas have

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

19


FROM THE UNION BUILDINGS

been able to keep our people supplied with the daily necessities. This demonstrates the resilience of small and medium enterprises during a period of great distress in our country. The capacity and ability of these SMMEs shot to the fore. We have seen in this pandemic how dependent urban areas are on informal food systems, and how important the informal sector is to livelihoods across the country. We have seen the grave inequalities in access to health care, to savings and even to information and connectivity. To enable these businesses to thrive we must tackle the barriers to entrepreneurship.

youth. We need instead to delib-

for entrepreneurs and the self-

erately build township and rural

employed. We have made great

economies.

progress in extending support to 1

As part of our effort to build a

000 youth-owned businesses since

new economy out of this pandem-

the State of the Nation Address in

and capital in large firms limits the

ic, we must create the conditions

February. We will reach this target

potential of small businesses. Then

that will enable every individual to

by International Youth Day on 12

there is spatial inequality, which

thrive in a society that supports,

August, despite the delays caused

concentrates poverty in particu-

nurtures and helps them to suc-

by the lockdown.

lar parts of our cities, towns and

ceed.

The concentration of markets

It also means expanding access

villages. Entrepreneurs in these

Small businesses present the

areas find it difficult to raise the

greatest growth opportunity for

broadband internet, and support-

funds to launch and grow busi-

our economy and are a major

ing new technologies – including

nesses and are often far away

source of job creation. In such

successful aggregation platforms

from the markets where they can

challenging times, when many

like SweepSouth or Kandua –

sell their products.

have lost their jobs and the unem-

which link small businesses to

ployed have found it even harder

demand.

Township and rural economies It is not enough simply to urge individuals to take advantage of

to eke out an existence, we must

It means backing areas of op-

act with renewed urgency to sup-

portunity such as in early child-

port these businesses.

hood development, the food

When it comes to the township

opportunities or to encourage an

and rural economy, this means

entrepreneurial spirit among our

providing access to finance

20

to affordable and high-speed

economy and the green economy. During the lockdown, we have

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


extended support to SMMEs in

printing, or home industries and

in and supports small businesses

the form of loans, grants and debt

mobile wagons selling food, these

stimulates economic activity and

restructuring. The COVID-19 UIF

businesses are a lifeline to both

increases opportunities for self-

Relief Scheme has now disbursed

urban and rural communities.

employment. This is our path to

R26 billion to more than six million

They are a means of livelihood for

growth.

workers across all types of busi-

their owners and more often than

The many innovative businesses

ness. The R200 billion loan guar-

not employ others from the same

that have been started during this

antee scheme is being adjusted

community.

pandemic have showcased the

to make it easier for applicants to receive funding quickly. Through the work of the Depart-

Through the Township Entrepreneurship Fund we aim to support township businesses with skills

potential of our people and our young people in particular. It is our duty as government,

ment of Small Business Devel-

development and access to mar-

business and society as a whole

opment and its agencies, the

kets and infrastructure. Although

to lend our full support to them

Presidential Youth Employment

its launch has been delayed by

on their journey towards self-suffi-

Intervention and other initiatives,

the lockdown, we will put it front

ciency and financial sustainability

we are placing the township and

and centre as we now begin the

– both to protect the jobs we have

rural economy at the centre of our

arduous task of rebuilding our

and to replace those we have lost.

reconstruction effort.

economy.

At the same time, this is a rallying cry to other young people

Whether it is a vendor selling their wares at a taxi rank, a

Path to growth

out there to take the great leap

small internet cafe providing vital

International experience has

of faith into self-employment. The

services like connectivity and

shown that a country that invests

best businesses come from good ideas that respond to a community need. The experiences of these young people show the importance of not letting a good opportunity go to waste; more so when there is a need for what you have to offer. I call on young people, especially in townships, to take advantage of the opportunities on offer to guide them along the path towards entrepreneurship. The conditions may not be ideal. The circumstances may not be perfect. But now is as good a time as ever to start. And you can be assured of our full support.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

21


OPINION

Writer: Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize

Taking

the fight to COVID-19

I

tuck my feet back into the consolation of my blankets — they’ve turned stiff in the chill

that has cocooned my bedroom. A glance towards a slightly frost-

ed window reveals the orange ember of a nearby streetlight. It’s still dark out and for a second there is the temptation to turn over and steal a few more winks of sleep. But there is already restlessness. Twice a week, I trolley home a foothill of folders stamped with the national department of health logo and containing policy submissions, reports from various divisions in the department, notes from committees that require my advice, outstanding authorisations, and minutes from the meetings of

outlining statutory issues. Last night was one such night:

of obsessive-compulsivity or a cursed fixation on completeness

the first document was opened

that drive away my slumber when

at 9pm; the last was closed at 10

work is unfinished. A quick scroll

lists from medicine pricing commit-

minutes to three. That was two-and-

through e-mail folders ticks all the

tees; reports outlining issues faced

a-half hours ago.

boxes: everybody concerned will

multilateral forums. Tucked underneath are troves of

by medical councils; submissions

Did I single out priority issues?

wake to find work on their tables.

by ministerial advisory commit-

Have all my concerns and recom-

My eye moves to the corner of

tees (MACs) focused on maternal

mendations been forwarded to the

my screen where that little green

and child health, microbicide

relevant people? Perhaps I missed

WhatsApp icon is obscured by the

resistance, cancer treatment and

something?

number 1 035. I really should get to

mental health; and documents

22

It can’t be. Perhaps it’s symptoms

those unread messages.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


session with them last night. How do I tell them that my heart sank when I saw their call but could not pick up? At the time, I was in the middle of a meeting with Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, discussing the province’s progress in ramping up COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. A humble apology is warranted, along with a promise to make it up to them.

Stocks of dexamethasone It’s 7am and the first media house No point in dilly-dallying any

First, a 30-minute exercise routine

calls in. A quick stretch and it’s

longer. My feet touch the floor and

comprising weighted pulldowns

time for the second. Then the third

the day begins.

to strengthen the latissimus dorsi

and the fourth, with enough time

(lats), shoulders and upper back.

between the two for a hurried

A lot to do COVID-19 has been a herald of change, influencing the way we act socially as human beings, how

breakfast plate of boiled eggs and

An orchestrated interrogation Then, arguably the most impor-

seeded bread accompanied by a cup of rooibos tea. The focus of the media is ever-

we conduct our work, earn our live-

tant call of the day, to my dear wife,

fluctuating. Questions this morning

lihoods and acquire knowledge.

May. She, too, is an early riser back

mainly focused on recent prelimi-

at our family home in KwaZulu-Na-

nary findings that a glucocorticoid

— all my meetings will be conduct-

tal. We steal minutes to check up

called dexamethasone — normally

ed digitally.

on one another, inquisitively prob-

used to treat inflammation, skin

ing our diaries to find an opening

disease, allergies and asthma (to

interviews with television and radio

where we may speak again. It’s her

name a few) — has been shown to

media. But there is a lot to do

constant pampering and cooking I

be effective in treating critically ill

beforehand.

miss most when we are apart.

COVID-19 patients.

Today’s diary is a stark reminder

First on the agenda are four

Though one is in the comfort of

My call with May is intersected by

It must be noted that this finding

one’s home, the correct mindset is

another from my daughter Nokulin-

does not entail the discovery of a

essential for productivity. Conduct-

da — she is struggling to respond

new drug, but the discovery that

ing work in the throes of pyjamas

to an orchestrated interrogation

a known drug has an impact on

and tossed bedsheets is not an

from her four children, Kimzozo, Nini,

COVID-19. We have used dexa-

option. It’s 6am and I have an hour

Yeye and Gagu. They want to know

methasone in medical circles for

before my first interview.

why I missed my regular FaceTime

decades.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

23


OPINION

tion facilities in some communities. I have since contacted South African Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba to assist in mobilising church leaders to support the provincial government in rooting out issues of COVID-19 stigma. Behavioural and social scientists have also been brought on board to help the government better understand why communities are neglecting quarantine and isolation facilities, and from this research steps will be put in place to mitigate any issues that arise.

Lump in my throat It brings back memories of my

need arise.

The phenomenon in the Western Cape is not uncommon in

time as a young doctor in Edendale, KwaZulu-Natal, where we

Western Cape

societies around the world, but it is

would use the steroid to treat cases

Time for a bit of necessary multi-

something I worry about most.

of severe asthma; cases where we

tasking. With one hand tapping

prevented hyaline membrane dis-

vigorously on my phone screen, re-

who know of others who have

eases in premature babies whose

plying to questions by comrades in

contracted COVID-19 and are

lungs had not matured enough to

cabinet, the other is sifting through

either asymptomatic or have mild

sustain necessarily levels of breath-

multiple tabs on my computer’s

illnesses. This has created a per-

ing; and in trauma cases of car

browser in an attempt to catch

ception that the disease is innocu-

crash victims who had sustained

up on the news of the day while

ous, and therefore there are some

head injuries resulting in brain oe-

waiting for a scheduled Zoom

who adopt a laid-back approach

demata and increased intracranial

meeting with Western Cape health

towards it.

pressure.

MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and

With dexamethasone still fresh on my mind, I shoot off a call to rep-

her team. Today’s meeting is set down to

Every day, I come across people

Dozens are dying daily and others savour each breath on a ventilator — and yet this is not

resentatives of a pharmaceutical

review the work done by the provin-

evidence enough to make people

company that manufactures the

cial government and the team of

wary of COVID-19. I wonder, then,

steroid locally, to follow up on my

reinforcements sent to assist in their

how we get South Africans to

initial inquiries about how much

fight against the virus.

comprehend the difficulty of the

stock we have in the country and

The strategy is on track, but

situation, the extent to which the

what processes can be followed to

challenges have emerged in the

infection can cause severe illness

reinforce those numbers should the

uptake of quarantine and isola-

or death, and the behavioural

24

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


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OPINION FEATURE

changes needed to resume eco-

leagues from the Western Cape,

countries provide an update on

nomic activity without worsening

KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape

their efforts to contain the spread

the spread of the virus?

and Gauteng — where the rise in

of the virus.

I turn away from my desk as the

COVID-19 infections is most worry-

Presentations from Cambodia,

meeting ends — there is a lump

ing — far more often, calling them

Colombia, Bulgaria and Zambia

in my throat as I think about this

each three to five times a day for

show fruitful results in their respec-

further.

updates.

tive regions — and serve as a

My fear is that by the time these

I must go through all nine reports

stark reminder of the mistakes we

pockets of society come to realise

before my next meeting at noon,

have admittedly made. Yes, we did

the severity of the virus, it will be far

picking out issues that are most

lose an opportunity for the early

too late. Neglecting the warnings

urgent and making recommenda-

detection of contacts in Western

undermines all our efforts to con-

tions on the way forward.

Cape. But where we have failed,

tain the spread and prevent our

we have moved to implement new

health-care facilities from becom-

Welcome distraction

measures, like the hot-spot strategy

ing overwhelmed.

While paging through graphs and

that identifies sub-districts for more

tables, there is a welcome distrac-

intensive interventions.

I fear then for our health-care workers on the frontline who have

tion. My granddaughter Lindiwe

valiantly put the lives of others be-

appears to have swiped her

with new clusters of infection that

fore their own — what is to become

mother’s phone — her sweet voice

may arise in other parts of the

of them should our infrastructure

beaming through the speaker.

country as restrictions on activity

become overburdened? Alas, as Florence Nightingale

Speaking to any one of my eight grandchildren is really my great-

It is now a matter of trying to deal

are eased. While the representative from

once said, “very little can be done

est joy. We exchange voice notes

Zambia is on the mic, I receive the

under the spirit of fear”. We have

throughout the day and I often

daily report from the National In-

done, and are doing, everything

sing them to sleep over a video

stitute of Communicable Diseases.

in our power to prevent such an

call when I have the opportunity.

Out go a few calls to MECs and

outcome, I reassure myself. Midday is fast approaching and

“Are you okay Mkhulu? When are you coming to visit?” she asks.

heads of department to clarify issues raised in the report, just before I log back on for a parliamentary

as the sun begins to peep through

It’s difficult to answer. She turns

the curtains, my e-mail inbox starts

seven in a month and I’d like noth-

plenary session with President Cyril

to fill with reports from health MECs

ing more than to be present on her

Ramaphosa, who handles the hot

in all provinces. This is a daily oc-

birthday, but it probably won’t be

seat superbly.

currence — constant communica-

possible.

tion is maintained with colleagues

“Soon, my child, soon.”

Our president has led from the front, meticulously aligning cabinet

at all levels to have a better under-

After several long goodbyes, it’s

towards common goals in our

standing of what is happening on

time for the World Health Organisa-

country’s COVID-19 battle — his de-

the ground.

tion’s Information Session, where

cisions fittingly lauded by members

my counterparts from various

of the international community.

I admittedly hound my col-

26

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


The parliamentary session runs well into the early evening — but

province specifically. When that’s done, another call

valuable time to prepare for the onslaught we face in the coming

my time is no longer measured by

with the department’s director-

months: we have flattened the

the hands on a clock. Each day

general, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, to go

curve at an early stage, aggressive

now folds into the next, a constant

through any outstanding matters

testing and screening campaigns

and linear timeline broken briefly

for the day before preparing notes

were conducted, the capacity

by three-hour (if luck should have

for an upcoming meeting with the

of hospitals has been increased,

it) naps in the early hours of the

National Health Council.

millions of units of personal protec-

I remember I must also prepare

tive equipment and thousands of

a speech I’m scheduled to deliver

additional ventilators have been

own preference, the bulk of the

at a University of Western Cape

sourced, and field hospitals, quar-

work gets done.

webinar tomorrow (or is it today?

antine and isolation facilities have

Later?). Best get on that.

been erected.

morning. It’s when the sun sets that, to my

I receive the evening report from

A larger responsibility now falls

the department’s COVID-19 management teams and a briefing

Farm picnic

onto the shoulders of each and

document from my media liaison

It’s 2am when I crawl back un-

every South African, as we slowly

officer highlighting any issues that

der the covers. I wonder whether

reintegrate, to take the precautions

need to be addressed in the public

there’s a possibility my diary may

necessary to protect ourselves from

domain. Then begins the process

pardon me for the weekend so I

the virus. Back to the basics we

of collating all the information I

can return to KwaZulu-Natal to see

go: frequent hand hygiene, cloth

received throughout the day into

my wife.

masks and social distancing.

slide presentations (something I

I do revel in the anticipation of

My mind casts to Nurse’s Song by

take great pride in putting together

strolling through the farm and

William Blake: Then come home my

on my own) for the National Coro-

tending to the cattle with May

children, the sun is gone down,/

navirus Command Council.

at my side. I hope my grandkids

And the dews of the night arise;/

Neme, Zuza and Singela will be

Come, come leave off play and let

far too well my “no slides, no sleep”

able to tag along — they enjoy

us away/ Till the morning appears

policy when it comes to matters for

having picnics on the farm under

in the skies.

the NCCC.

one of the trees.

My deputy directors-general know

Those who work with me have come to expect late-night text messages, e-mails or urgent meeting requests (although I have made

Like in the poem, we have stayed

But still, I am restless.

safe inside and sacrificed our liber-

Have I done enough today? Is

ties, avoiding the threat that lingers.

there something I missed? I sit for a moment and ponder our

When will the morning of a COVID19-free South Africa appear in our

a concerted effort recently not to

future as a country as we strategi-

skies? I take consolation from my

wake people up unless it’s abso-

cally embark on the balancing

own words to Lindiwe earlier today:

lutely urgent).

act of reigniting the economy

Midnight draws nearer with a call to officials in the North West to get an update on issues affecting that

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

“Soon, my child, soon”.

while keeping people safe from COVID-19. The lockdown has bought us

*This article first appeared in the Sunday Times.

27


FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

Adapting the public service for a COVID-19 world

P

ublic servants across all

Public servants have a duty to

spheres of government, in

act responsibly in carrying out

all departments, have been

their duties, particularly dur-

distancing, every public servant has a role to play. The arrival of COVID-19 neces-

hard at work serving the nation

ing times of crisis. Whether it be

sitated that overarching direc-

during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

managers putting in place the

tions be put in place to guide the

pandemic. During these unprec-

proper mechanisms to mitigate

functioning of the public service

edented times, the public service

the risks of the spread of COVID-19

during this time. The Department

has had to adapt to a new work

or officials on the ground practis-

of Public Service and Administra-

environment and become an ex-

ing the tenets of good hygiene,

tion (DPSA) has been responsible

ample for the nation to follow.

the wearing of masks and social

for developing comprehensive

28

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


guidelines aimed at protecting

downwards, millions of public

provide reports to the National

public servants. These directives

servants returned to work, while

Steering Committee.

are also necessary to protect the

others who had already been

public from the risks of contracting

working are adapting to a new

COVID-19.

normal against the backdrop of

Precautionary measures

COVID-19.

The guidelines issued include new

The guidelines state that “the public service has an obligation

“As we move through the various

arrangements around remote

to assist government in limiting the

alert levels, we need to plan for

working, particularly for high-risk

spread of COVID-19 and as such

the normalisation of the public

public servants.

the establishment of guidelines on

service,” said the Minister.

“Director-generals and heads of

The DPSA has issued numer-

departments should ensure that

manner government services will

ous circulars to the entire public

employees with co-morbidities or

return to normality and the man-

service throughout the pandemic,

underlying illnesses, and those

ner in which employees will return

detailing the necessary meas-

over the age of 60, as far as is

to work, are required.”

ures that national and provincial

possible, remain at home or/and

the measured and incremental

departments should implement

work remotely until the pandemic

The role of the state

in order to contain and manage

has passed as they remain vulner-

Public Service and Administration

COVID-19.

able to contracting the virus,” said

Minister Senzo Mchunu has high-

One of the key measures out-

Minister Mchunu.

lighted the challenges posed to

lined is the setting up of internal

government during the pandemic,

COVID-19 steering committees by

precautionary measures for front-

while also outlining the important

all departments.

line employees who work directly

The guidelines also recommend

Minister Mchunu explained that

with members of the public. These

steering committees are essential

include the provision of necessary

for “putting in place implementa-

protective equipment, training on

to the spotlight, depending on

tion plans at the different levels

COVID-19 protocols and regular

how effective it discharges its

of alertness, to demonstrate how

cleaning of surfaces. Globally

current responsibilities under the

departments will ensure service

recognised measures of contain-

current circumstances we find our-

delivery with sufficient capacity, for

ment, such as regular hand-wash-

selves in, the state may re-evolve.

government services to return to

ing, social distancing and wearing

“When the COVID-19 outbreak

normality, while ensuring neces-

of masks should be implemented

attacked humanity across the

sary precautionary health and

across departments.

globe, the questions arose: ‘What

safety measures”.

role that the state has to play in adapting to the situation. “The role of the state has shifted

should be the role of the state,

These committees must also con-

Other measures in the guidelines include the protocols to

how will the state respond?',” Min-

tinuously monitor the implemen-

follow when employees contract

ister Mchunu said when announc-

tation of risk assessments, work-

COVID-19, along with symptom

ing risk-adjusted measures for the

place procedures and systems to

screening and contact tracing

public service.

counter the spread of COVID-19.

As alert levels are adjusted

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

The committees are required to

In his statement in celebration of

Africa Public Servants Day on 23

29


FEATURE

June, Minister Mchunu recognised that public servants have a number of concerns surrounding their safety during the pandemic. He said that government has worked to resolve these issues. “As a caring and consultative government, we continuously engage with officials working in the public administration system through various structures, including their labour union bodies. “We have heard their concerns and calls for more support in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are addressing these concerns with a firm commitment to do everything in our power to provide maximum support to our public servants as they execute their duties.”

Minister of Public Ser vice Administration Senzo Mc hunu.

He also applauded the exceptional efforts taken by public serv-

brought about by the pandemic,

formation Strategy for the Public

ants so far.

specifically in addressing the

Service in particular, the public

needs of the people.

service can be more efficient in

“These are the public servants who are at the coalface of man-

“The coronavirus pandemic has

aging the impact of coronavirus

brought to the fore future develop-

on communities across the globe.

mental needs of the most vulner-

ical capabilities that were always

So, it is worthy and appropriate

able amongst us, including the

available to government, came

to acknowledge their immense

requirements for government to

to the fore during his pandemic,

service to humankind.”

be responsive with more sophisti-

and showcased the agility of the

cated, evidence-based solutions

public service.

Preparing for the future There is no doubt that the world after COVID-19 will be very different to the one we knew before.

to address meeting citizens in

delivering services to the people. “The use of the state’s technolog-

“We need to invest more in

the most efficient, innovative and

technology, strengthening the

timely manner.”

capability of the state to come up

He added that the pandemic

with improvements which need

has highlighted the importance of

to be considered now and post

Minister Mchunu stressed the

investing in technology. Through

the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the

need to learn from the lessons

fast-tracking of the Digital Trans-

Minister.

30

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


SILENCE SILENCE

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FEATURE

Source: SAnews

COVID-19 vaccine trial begins in SA percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Africa. These statistics emphasise the urgent need for prevention of COVID-19 on the continent. Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and Director of the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA), leads the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial.

Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University.

Wits University is collaborating with the University of Oxford and the Oxford Jenner Institute on the South African trial.

S

“This is a landmark moment for outh Africa’s first clinical trial

ing run at multiple sites in South

South Africa and Africa at this

for a vaccine against the

Africa.

stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

coronavirus (COVID-19) is

In South Africa, over 100 000

As we are in winter in South Africa

underway with participants in the

people have been diagnosed

and pressure increases on public

trial vaccinated recently.

with COVID-19 since March, when

hospitals, now more than ever

President Cyril Ramaphosa de-

we need a vaccine to prevent

Vaccine VIDA-Trial aims to find a

clared a national state of disaster

infection by COVID-19,” said Prof

vaccine that will prevent infec-

and lockdown.

Madhi.

The South African Ox1Cov-19

tion by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that

By 17 June 2020, South Africa

Participants in the South African

causes COVID-19. It is the first

contributed to 30 percent of all di-

Oxford 1 COVID-19 vaccine trial

clinical trial in Africa and is be-

agnosed COVID-19 cases and 23

were screened in mid-June and

32

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


the first participants were vac-

thority and the Human Research

said: “As the world rallies to find

cinated a week later.

Ethics Committee of the Univer-

health solutions, a South African

sity of the Witwatersrand.

endeavour for the development of

Saving lives

After eliciting and considering

an effective COVID-19 vaccine is

Professor Zeblon Vilakazi,

public comment, the Depart-

testament to our commitment to

Vice-Principal and Deputy

ment of Agriculture, Forestry and

supporting healthcare innovation

Vice-Chancellor: Research

Fisheries approved import of the

to save lives.”

and Postgraduate Affairs at the

investigational vaccine for use in

Wits University, said vaccines

the trial.

are among the most powerful

Dr Sandile Buthelezi, the Director-

SA’s participation in international trials

tools to mitigate life-threatening

General at the Department of

The vaccine is being evaluated in

diseases.

Health, said government is excited

a large clinical trial in the United

about the launch of the vaccine

Kingdom (UK) where more than

COVID-19, there will likely be

trial, which will go a long way to

4 000 participants have already

ongoing contagion, causing

cement South Africa's leadership

been enrolled.

severe illness and death. Wits is

in the scientific space.

“Without a vaccine against

committed to developing a vac-

“With COVID-19 infections

In addition to the South African study, similar and related studies

cine to save lives in collabora-

increasing every day, the develop-

are about to start in Brazil. An even

tion with the University of Oxford.”

ment of the vaccine will be the

larger study of the same vaccine

Prior to launch, the South

last solution in the long-term, and

of up to 30 000 participants is

African study was subject to

we are fully behind the team lead-

planned in the United States of

rigorous review and has been

ing this trial,” he said.

America.

approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Au-

Professor Glenda Gray, the President and CEO of the SAMRC,

Professor Helen Rees, the Chair of SAHPRA and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, said it is essential that vaccine studies are performed in southern hemisphere countries, including in the African region, concurrently with studies in northern hemisphere countries. “This allows evaluation of the efficacy and safety of candidate vaccines to be assessed in a global context, failing which the introduction of many life-saving vaccines

Professor Glenda Gray, President and CEO of t he Sout h African Medical Researc h Council.

into public immunisation programmes for low-middle-income countries frequently lags behind

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

33


FEATURE

those in high-income countries.”

on human cells.

Local application of a global response

Prof Rees also co-directs the Wits

ACE2 is a protein on the surface

African Leadership in Vaccinology

of many cell types. It is an enzyme

In addition to the more than 4

Excellence (ALIVE) flagship pro-

that generates small proteins that

000 people already vaccinated

gramme and is engaged in global

then go on to regulate functions

in the UK with the ChAdOx1

discussions with Gavi, the Vaccine

in the cell. In this way, the virus

nCoV-19 vaccine, other vaccines

Alliance and the World Health

gains entry to the cells in the hu-

made from the ChAdOx1 virus

Organisation to ensure equitable

man body and causes COVID-19

have also been given to more

access for all countries, including

infection.

than 320 people to date.

those in Africa, should a successful vaccine be developed.

About the SA vaccine trial The technical name of the vaccine is ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, as

Researchers have shown that

These vaccines have been

antibodies produced against

shown to be safe and well-toler-

sections of the spike protein after

ated, although they can cause

natural infection are able to neu-

temporary side effects, such as a

tralise (kill) the virus when tested in

temperature, headache or a sore

the laboratory.

arm.

By vaccinating volunteers with

There are currently over 100

it is made from a virus called

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, scientists hope

candidate COVID-19 vaccines in

ChAdOx1, which is a weakened

to make the human body rec-

development around the world

and non-replicating version of a

ognise and develop an immune

and many of South Africa’s best

common cold virus. The vaccine

response (develop antibodies)

vaccine research institutions will

has been engineered to express

to the spike glycoprotein that will

soon be involved in a range of

the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

help stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus

vaccine studies evaluating other

from entering human cells and

types of potential COVID-19 vac-

causing COVID-19.

cines.

The vaccine was made by adding genetic material – called spike glycoprotein – that is expressed on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 to the ChAdOx1 virus.

Professor Helen Rees, Chair of SAHPRA .

This spike glycoprotein is usually found on the surface of the novel coronavirus and is what gives the coronavirus its distinct spiky appearance. These spikes play an essential role in laying a path for infection by the coronavirus. The virus that causes COVID-19 uses this spike protein to bind to ACE2 receptors

34

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

COVID-19

Guterres said the summit was an opportunity for governments, work-

and the world of work

ers and employers’ representatives

W

economy and employment.

to shape winning responses. “Responses that stimulate the

ith workers and busi-

as the process for building back

Solutions that support enterprises,

nesses across the globe

better.

decent jobs and incomes. Approaches that safeguard workers

feeling the effects of the

there has never been a greater

Shaping winning responses

need for countries to unite and

In a video message to the summit,

equality and reinforce social

share solutions for the benefit of all

United Nations (UN) Secretary-

cohesion. Proposals that protect

people.

General António Guterres said the

the most vulnerable and invest in

COVID-19 pandemic has shattered

essential workers, such as those in

the International Labour Organi-

that world, affecting every worker

health and care services, who are

sation (ILO) Global Summit took

and business on every corner of

on the front line of the response.”

place recently.

the globe.

coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,

It was against this backdrop that

It was the largest ever online

and expand social protection. “Plans that promote gender

He called for initiatives to be

“This crisis is exposing fragilities

grounded in unity and solidarity,

gathering of workers, employers

- [for] of which, the ILO has long

saying no country can solve this

and governments who discussed

been sounding the alarm. Ris-

crisis alone.

how to address the economic and

ing inequalities. Systemic gender

social impacts of the pandemic.

discrimination. Inadequate social

called for massive global support

The summit also discussed the

protection. Lack of opportunities

for the most vulnerable people

implementation of the ILO Cente-

for young people. Stagnant wages.

and countries - a rescue package

nary Declaration for the Future of

Runaway climate change. The list

amounting to at least 10 percent

Work in the context of the pan-

goes on.”

of the global economy.”

demic. The focus was on the urgent and

“From the beginning, the UN has

He stressed that in dealing with

Guterres noted while developed

the pandemic, it was not a choice

countries have stepped up support

immediate challenges of the early

between health or jobs and the

for their own countries, there was a

phase of the pandemic in the

economy.

need to promote mechanisms of

world of work and on the responses that are proving effective, as well

36

“They are interlinked. We will either win on all fronts or fail on all fronts.”

solidarity to ensure that the developing world also fully benefits.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


He told the summit: “You are an

systems, resource constraints and

to mobilise a substantial stimulus

essential part of the effort to build

pre-existing economic vulnerabili-

package to assist African coun-

back better. Together, we can

ties, the long-term impact of the

tries to rebuild their economies.

emerge from this crisis stronger,

pandemic on Africa will be severe.

with decent jobs and a brighter,

He said the African Union (AU)

“Among other things, this will enable us to invest in job creation

more equal and greener future for

developed a COVID-19 strategy

initiatives, in workplace skilling and

all.”

and, as part of that, established

reskilling and to support entrepre-

an AU COVID-19 Response Fund to

neurship and the development of

help member states fund an effec-

small businesses.”

Creating sustainable, decent work In his address to the summit, Presi-

tive response. The Africa Medical Supplies

President Ramaphosa pointed out that in the midst of the un-

dent Cyril Ramaphosa empha-

Platform was also launched, which

precedented global crisis, lies the

sised the need to protect workers

is an innovation that will enable all

seeds of opportunity to deliver

against the rising tide of unem-

countries on the continent to pro-

greater economic security, equal

ployment through universal social

cure much-needed supplies faster

opportunity and social justice

protection.

and at a more competitive price.

for those who work, for those who

“We have to invest in people's capabilities, in skills development,

“We are also engaged with international partners and institutions

have lost work and for those who are looking for work.

in lifelong learning, in workplace inclusivity and in advancing gen-

About the ILO

der equality.

As the only tripartite UN agency, ILO brings together governments,

“Above all, we have to transform our domestic policy frameworks to support the creation of decent and sustainable work.” He added that the pandemic has given added impetus to the

employers and workers of 187 member states to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all. In 2019 the ILO marked its centenary with the adoption by the International Labour Conference of the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work. The declaration recognises that the world of work is undergoing

goal to make our workplaces

transformative change driven by technological innovation, demographic

more agile, more adaptable and

shifts, climate change and globalisation.

safer.

It also sets out a road map of action for the organisation and its con-

“As we collectively look to the

stituents to shape and direct these changes through a human-centred

future, we have an immense task

approach to the future of work in the context of the persistent poverty,

before us to rebuild our shattered

inequalities, injustices, conflict and disasters that continue to threaten

lives and economies.”

shared prosperity and decent work for all.

Focusing on the African con-

The declaration stresses the need to strengthen the capacities for all

tinent, the President noted that

people to enable them to benefit from change at work, to strengthen

so far, it recorded lower rates of

the institutions of work to ensure adequate protection for all workers,

infection than many other parts of

and to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, full and

the world.

productive employment and decent work for all. – Source: www.ilo.org

“But because of weak health

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

37


IN OTHER NEWS

Get ready for tax filing season

Source: SAnews

jority did so successfully, but there

ers, who have not yet been auto-

are those who failed in their duty,

assessed but in respect of whom

making it difficult for SARS to as-

a complete set of third-party data

The South African Revenue Service

sess their employees and other

has subsequently become avail-

(SARS) has announced that the

taxpayers affected by this non-

able, will be invited by SARS to file

2020 Filing Season will begin on 1

compliance.

early.

August 2020. On the day, a number of taxpay-

The next phase has now com-

The next phase of the filing

menced, during which SARS will

season 2020 starts on 1 September

ers can expect to receive an SMS

be validating third-party data, and

2020. In this stage, taxpayers who

indicating that SARS has prepared

following up on employers and

have not been auto-assessed, or

their tax returns on their behalf and

others who failed in their duty to file

who have not accepted an auto-

that a draft assessment is available

their data to SARS on time.

assessment, can then start to file

on eFiling or Mobiapp to consider.

“For those that accept the draft

via eFiling or MobiApp.

The first phase of Filing Season

assessment, there will be no need

2020 was allocated to employers

to complete and file a tax return,

through any of the digital platforms

and other third-party data provid-

and if a refund is due, the refund

will be permitted to visit a SARS

ers like medical schemes, retire-

will follow within the first week of

branch by appointment only.

ment annuity funds and banks.

August. We refer to this as the ‘auto-

During this phase, these thirdparty data providers had to file their data to SARS on or before 31

assessment’ process,” said SARS. A taxpayer will be eligible for auto-assessment if their respective

May 2020.

third-party data providers

The ma-

have filed all third-party data in respect of that

Taxpayers who cannot file

Non-permanent UNSC members elected President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the newly elected, non-permanent members of the

taxpayer. During August, taxpay-

United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The elected members will replace the outgoing members from South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Belgium and Germany on 1 January 2021. “As South Africa’s two-year term will come to an end on 31 December 2020, we will continue to work closely with the existing and newly

38

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


elected members of the UNSC,

Industrial Research (CSIR) and

The DBSA plays a critical role

in ensuring collective multilateral

the Development Bank of South-

in supporting the government to

action to maintain international

ern Africa (DBSA) are set to work

leverage skills and capabilities

peace and security,” said President

together to develop technologies

to accelerate the implementa-

Ramaphosa.

and infrastructure to support

tion of infrastructure programmes

socio-economic development in

in the key priority sectors of

South Africa and southern Africa.

the economy, such as energy,

The election for term 2021 to 2022 took place in June at the UN General Assembly in New York. "South Africa wishes the elected

The parties recently signed a

information and communication

framework agreement to collabo-

technology, water and sanitation,

members a successful tenure on

rate on projects of mutual interest

education and health as well as

the UNSC and assures them of its

in fields such as water, energy

various municipal infrastructure

support in resolving regional and

(including bioethanol produc-

programmes.

global conflicts, addressing the

tion), infrastructure development,

root causes of conflict and promot-

emerging and small-farmer

Thulani Dlamini welcomed the

ing inclusive political dialogue and

support and the DBSA's Develop-

partnership, saying the parties

peaceful settlement of disputes

ment Labs (known as D-Labs).

are well aligned to contribute to

in accordance with the United

D-Labs are development

Nations Charter and International

precincts designed to create

Law,” said the President.

economic development spaces

CSIR Chief Executive Officer Dr

the improvement of the country's industries. "The CSIR is very pleased to be

within communities where all

working with DBSA. This partner-

concerned about the emergence

local participants are connected

ship brings together complimen-

of unilateralism and its attendant

and have access to digital pres-

tary capabilities in innovation

threat to the International rules-

ence, technologies and informa-

and development, which could

based system.

tion.

see us make a significant impact

South Africa remains deeply

“South Africa, therefore, reaffirms

The partnership is expected to

the centrality of the United Nations

pave the way for the commercial-

Charter and the primacy of the

isation of CSIR technologies in a

UNSC on issues of international

bid to boost the competitiveness

technology is key in helping us

peace and security,” the President

of local industries and regional

achieve our mandate of promot-

said.

economies.

ing economic development and

CSIR, DBSA accelerate technology for local industries The Council for Scientific and

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

in South Africa and also the region. "The DBSA recognises that

This is in line with the CSIR's

inclusive growth. As a result, we

strategy, which aims to use sci-

are excited about this partner-

ence, technology and innovation

ship as it will enable both organi-

to strengthen industrial devel-

sations to unlock growth in our

opment and the creation of a

economy," DBSA Chief Executive

capable state.

Patrick Dlamini said.

39


FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

The Cape Town International Convention Centre was turned into t he largest COVID-19 f ield hospital in Africa. Photo: CTICC 

Hospital of Hope a shining example of government collaboration

A

frica’s largest coronavirus

ince’s healthcare system in the

(COVID-19) field hospital

weeks and months to follow.

– the 860-bed Hospital

The most pressing concern was

A vision for Africa’s largest COVID-19 hospital The Cape Town International

of Hope – should remind public

the number of beds available

servants that a dedicated drive to

at hospitals, which would fill up

Convention (CTICC), standing idle

pool together expertise can lead

quickly before the peak of the

due to the prohibition of travel

to remarkable results.

virus arrived. The provincial gov-

and large gatherings of people,

ernment, together with national

was identified as the perfect loca-

began experiencing a sharp rise

government and the City of Cape

tion for an ambitious project – the

COVID-19 cases. Projections from

Town, quickly began to look for

development of Africa’s largest

scientists and government starkly

solutions for expanding bed

COVID-19 dedicated field hospital.

highlighted the immense burden

capacity to bring the virus under

that would be placed on the prov-

control.

In May, the Western Cape

40

An agreement was reached, which allows the Western Cape

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


said Taubie Motlhabane, CEO of the CTICC at the announcement of the project. Remarkably, within just 26 days,

The hospital comprises four large wards, that together equal the length of three soccer pitches.

thanks to tireless around-the-

These are providing intermediate

clock efforts from various public

care for patients presenting with

sector role players, the Hospital

mild symptoms but who never-

of Hope was ready to accept its

theless need hospitalisation and

first patients. The original project

treatment.

team included medical experts,

Each of the 862 beds at the hos-

engineers and IT workers, while the

pital is equipped with electrical

construction phase roped in the

points and fittings for oxygen sup-

skills of 110 contractors and sub-

ply, while other facilities include

contractors.

showers, nursing stations, physi-

At the opening of the facility on 5 June, President Cyril Ramaphosa

Government to make use of the

hospital’s functioning.

otherapy stations and bulk oxygen storage tank spaces.

highlighted how public sector

Each bed is numbered and

innovation could lead to great

linked to an entirely paperless

things.

system. All admissions, patient

“This is a very important moment

files and administrative work is

CTICC 1 building until at least 7

in our fight against the coronavi-

handled on this system in order to

September. The provincial depart-

rus. A time to be creative, innova-

reduce the risk of infection associ-

ments of health and public works,

tive and be able to transform a

ated with moving paper docu-

with guidance from national

public facility usually used for con-

ments and files around.

government and health scientists,

ferences, exhibitions and festivals

immediately moved to turn the vi-

into a healthcare centre named

are not allowed to have visitors

sion for the project into a reality.

Hospital of Hope,” he said.

due to the high risk of infection,

The CTICC agreed to waive the

Although patients at the hospital

WiFi has been made available to

hire cost of the venue, as part of

A world-class facility

ensure that patients can stay con-

its contribution to the fight against

The Hospital of Hope, is in every

nected with their loved ones.

coronavirus.

respect, a world-class COVID-19

times, we welcome the opportu-

was incurred for the temporary

Healthcare workers trained

nity for the CTICC to be part of the

infrastructure build, operating

During the planning and con-

solution. The conversion of CTICC

costs and catering. This excludes

struction phases, collaboration

1 into a temporary COVID-19

the costs that the Western Cape

between the three spheres of

hospital facility will add to the re-

Department of Health will incur

government was essential. This

sources needed in our healthcare

for providing clinical equipment,

has extended to the staffing of the

system to fight this pandemic. We

oxygen, medication and tempo-

hospital, which employs around

are proud to be part of the team,”

rary staff for the duration of the

900 workers.

“During these extraordinary

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

facility. A cost of R47 million

41


FEATURE

The Hospital of Hope houses 862 beds in four wards. Photo: Western Cape Government

in place to address these hardships. “This pandemic has been the greatest challenge to our respective administrations and the peak is yet to reach us. The medical response, much like the social response, requires partnerships between different spheres of government," Plato said.

Other field hospitals contributing to the cause In the same week that the Hospital of Hope opened, the 60bed Khayelitsha COVID-19 field hospital was opened by Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize. The hospital, an extension of the adjacent Khayelitsha District Hospital, is managed by staff from Doctors National government responded

workers who have stepped up to

Without Borders.

to the need by offering the servic-

the frontline. We are grateful for

es of the Cuban military brigade,

your commitment, your care and

healthcare capacity of the West-

along with doctors from South

your work ethic and we thank you

ern Cape, the 330-bed Bracken-

African Military Health Services.

for the role you have played in the

gate field hospital was built with

Meanwhile, nurses from Gauteng

province thus far, and for the role

similarly collaborative public

and KwaZulu-Natal were also sent

you will continue to play going

sector efforts, and accepted its first

to the hospital to undergo orienta-

forward.”

patients in July.

tion, and are today at the frontlines of caring for patients. During the orientation of nurses,

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor

In order to further expand the

As COVID-19 cases begin reach-

Dan Plato said that collaboration

ing their peak in other provinces,

between all spheres of govern-

public servants will again be

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

ment would be critical to combat-

required to redouble their efforts

thanked all the healthcare workers

ting COVID-19.

to combat the virus. The CTICC

for turning the Hospital of Hope

"As you are very much aware,

Hospital of Hope, in particular,

the lockdown has also caused

should be drawn on as an effec-

significant hardship for many in

tive blueprint of how government

tunity to again thank all of the

South Africa, and we have to en-

collaboration can combat the

nurses, doctors and healthcare

sure that we also have measures

pandemic.

into a reality. “I would like to take this oppor-

42

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


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Writer: Allison Cooper

TRAILBLAZER FEATURE

Tackling fake news P

assionate researcher Nelisiwe Dlamini (30) says social media platforms be-

come a great danger when used to share false information. Dlamini and other young researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) recently shared their cybercrime research and spoke about the dangers of spreading fake news or misinformation about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Dlamini says it’s important to verify stories from social media. “Some young people are becoming instigators of the spread of false information and this has the potential to create panic during the pandemic.” Dlamini, who was born in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, grew up in Mvutshini village near Gingindlovu. She joined the CSIR in 2014, when she was

44

Nelisiwe Dlamini is a researc her at t he CSIR.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


awarded a studentship to pursue

Identifying fake news

videos. Some will use old

her MSc Computer Science

According to Dlamini, social

video footage or images.

degree. “It was a foot in the door

media platforms can become

for me and has since afforded me

dangerous when they are used to

can help when you want to

great opportunities.”

share false information.

check if an image has been

She was also awarded a grant

“Whether it’s with the intention

Google Reverse Image tools

altered.

from the Young Researcher’s Es-

to harm or not, it creates social

tablishment Fund, which she cites

conflict, distracts people from

signed to evoke anger and

as an extraordinary milestone in

the real issues and undermines

fear, so check if it sounds

her career.

government’s, public authorities’

right.

Dlamini’s key focus area as a

Often, information is de-

and other organisations’ efforts to

“We need to work together to

CSIR researcher is information

curb the spread of COVID-19 and

stop the spread of fake news.

security. To become a researcher,

maintain social order.”

When you have identified a

learners need to take maths and

There are numerous ways to

source of fake news, make sure

science in high school. “After

identify fake news, says Dlamini,

you share it with other people

school I studied computer sci-

sharing the following:

to make them aware. Reporting

ence and information systems

Don’t just read the head-

fake news is necessary as it will

and technology, which laid a

ing, read the whole story as

help to take down fake news

strong foundation for me,” says

some headings are mislead-

stories from multiple platforms.”

Dlamini, who also holds a Bcom-

ing.

Hon Information Systems and

Technology degree. While she loves her job, Dlamini didn’t always know she wanted

read and ask yourself, ‘why

Dashboard tracks fake news

did the author write or share

The outbreak of COVID-19 en-

this and is it true?’

couraged the CSIR to create a

Be critical of everything you

Examine the source of the

dashboard to assist government

joined the CSIR, I was so amazed

story, do some research and

and health institutions to track

by the multi-disciplinary research

get more information about

the spread of misinformation, to

that is done to make a difference

the author.

avoid unnecessary public panic.

to become a researcher. “When I

in our country. It’s unique, ground-

Check if there are other

The dashboard categorises infor-

breaking and challenges one to

trusted sources that are

mation as misinformation (mis-

greater heights. This helped me

reporting the story.

leading content), disinformation

Look for evidence and also

(fabricated content) and mal-

what I stand for as an individual,

pay attention to the date.

information (hate speech).

which is to make a substantial

Always be aware of this as

contribution to the country.”

it’s easy to edit images and

to align my career very well with

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

“Looking up the author of a story and looking for a backing from

45


TRAILBLAZER FEATURE

experts on the subject matter are

(the SOC) to forecast potential

often one’s best bets to verifying

malware attacks and fight against

uses features of the eyes, mouth,

the credibility of a story or break-

phishing attacks,” says CSIR cyber-

jaw and nose to identify an indi-

ing news,” says Dlamini.

security researcher Thabo Mahl-

vidual.

“Combatting the impact of COVID-19 is difficult enough

This identification methodology

angu (30). “Employees working remotely

A passion for research

without the uncontrolled spread

and connecting to employers’

Dlamini says young people hop-

of extremely harmful content on

networks via various online plat-

ing to follow in her footsteps need

social media platforms.”

forms brings about many security

to be interested in and have a

challenges. There is an increase in

passion for research.

As learners, employees working from home and other members

attempts to steal data from users,

“There are times when work be-

of the public are forced to turn

malware and phishing, breaches

comes so challenging, it feels like

to online technologies during

on video conferencing platforms,

I am hitting this massive brick wall.

the lockdown, cyber risks have

scams and other fraudulent activi-

Working in a research environ-

increased.

ties using digital means,” he adds.

ment presents these times a lot,

The CSIR has thus established

Biometric researcher Kedimotse

the Security Operations Centre

Baruni says the CSIR’s face biom-

one has done what I am doing.

(SOC) that houses an information

etric technology does not require

“Through this, I have realised

security team that’s responsible

an individual to be in contact

that the abilities to persevere, work

for monitoring and analysing an

with the biometric acquisition

diligently and to never stop trying

organisation’s security risk vulner-

device to perform identity verifica-

are important because they yield

ability.

tion. These technologies curb the

positive and successful results and

spread of infectious deceases,

equip you with valuable lessons,”

such as COVID-19.

she says.

The SOC’s goal is to detect, analyse and respond to cybersecurity incidents, using a combination

“Identifying people at hospitals

because the chances are that no

She encourages public servants

of technology solutions and a

and banks using contact iden-

strong set of processes, for local

tification is a concern for the

municipalities and other entities

spread of COVID-19. The CSIR is

about what will happen tomorrow

to protect them against phishing

using its face recognition technol-

creeps into our minds constantly,

attacks and malware.

ogy to assist with a contactless

we are not immune to it. Despite

way of identifying people. This will

this, let’s do our best to go against

adapted to using COVID-19 as an

reduce the need for objects, such

all odds and believe in ourselves.

opportunity to launch themed at-

as fingerprint scanners, that are

tacks in vulnerable environments.

touched by several people, thus

and unite and always remember

“To mitigate this, we have adapted

inevitably eliminating the risk of

to celebrate each other. This alone

a data-driven security approach

contamination,” says Baruni.

will propel us,” adds Dlamini.

Cybercriminals have quickly

46

to be bold in the current climate. “We live in a time where fear

“We need to support each other

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


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PROVINCIAL FOCUS FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

Eastern Cape’s COVID-19 response plan improves

T

he Eastern Cape’s intercon-

As metro municipalities are es-

nectedness with the hotspot

pecially troubling as hotspots, the

being invested into the hospital-

province of the Western

oversight visit took place in the

ity sector in order to support the

Cape has been a major factor in

Nelson Mandela Bay Metropoli-

programme of quarantining. An

the rise of coronavirus (COVID-19)

tan Municipality.

additional 100, beds at an esti-

cases, as people travel between

Outlining the province’s re-

the provinces to return home, at-

sponse to COVID-19, Eastern

tend funerals or go back to work.

Cape Premier Lubabalo Oscar

This, along with the emergence

facilities. A further R3 million is

mated cost R251 million, will be provided,” he said. President Ramaphosa was im-

Mabuyane highlighted measures

pressed by the province’s use of

of cluster outbreaks, has neces-

such as the provision of beds

the District Development Model in

sitated intensified efforts from

in hospitals, boosting human

planning its COVID-19 response.

provincial and national govern-

resource capacity, procurement

ment to hone in on the Eastern

of water to drought stricken com-

here. It has been a very fruitful

Cape’s COVID-19 response plan

munities and preparations for the

day of good engagement, where

and preparedness.

return of children to classrooms.

the province has been able to

Premier Mabuyane highlighted

Response efforts commended

“I’ve been really pleased to be

give us a full explanation of a

that the province plans to incre-

number of things that it is work-

mentally avail more beds to the

ing on in relation to COVID-19. We

President Cyril Ramaphosa and

western region in order to re-

were concerned and are still con-

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

spond to the epicentre's demand

cerned about the rising number

visited to the Eastern Cape in

for beds.

of infections in the Eastern Cape.”

May, following other visits to the Western Cape and Gauteng.

“An investment of R50.5 million is targeted to improve 29 health

“You have been able to lay out your strategies of dealing with the

Minister Zweli Mkhize and President Cyril Ramaphosa during a visit to Livingstone Hospital in Por t Elizabet h.

48

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


virus and taking aggressive ac-

serve to the utmost of their ability

roadside screening programme.

tion in relation to seeing how best

in the districts they are needed.

The premiers of the two provinces

we can reduce the higher num-

“The closer we are together, the

are holding regular meetings

ber of infections. I’m particularly

more helpful it will be. This is not

to discuss ways to better man-

happy that you have awoken to

the time to be complacent.”

age the impact of interprovin-

the danger of this and are now

In line with national recommen-

putting in place a clear health

dations, the province has divided

strategy that is going to address

its hotspots into subdistricts to

this,” he said.

facilitate a strong communitybased response.

Major improvements

cial movement to the spread of COVID-19.

Preparing for a surge in infections

“Decentralisation is particu-

The National Department of

When Minister Mkhize first vis-

larly important for rural areas,

Health has warned that the

ited the province in April, he

to ensure they are adequately

Eastern Cape could be one of

expressed major concern about

capacitated and empowered to

the provinces to experience a

the province’s readiness to deal

successfully manage the epidem-

significant surge in infections over

with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

ic locally.”

the coming weeks.

When he again visited the prov-

Other concerns with the provi-

Premier Mabuyane said that

ince in June, he noted significant

sion of personal protective equip-

clusters are emerging in districts

improvements in terms of putting

ment (PPE), proper virus model-

outside of the major metro. The

effective mitigation strategies in

ling contact tracing, community

Premier has said that this must

place and bolstering the health-

screening and testing backlogs

be addressed with data-driven

care system.

have also been addressed, with

interventions.

After receiving an update report on the situation in the OR Tambo

the assistance of national government.

“There is a substantial possibility that these clusters could join to

district, an emerging hotspot, Min-

Teams from the National Insti-

ister Mkhize said that that he was

tute of Communicable Diseases

of existing vulnerability charac-

comfortable that the province

worked with the province to ad-

teristics. Emerging clusters require

was “moving on the right track”

dress acute shortages of PPE.

focused data-driven interventions,

but warned that officials should not become complacent.

In addition, 20 members of the

form a ‘super cluster’ due to a set

to contain the pandemic whilst

Cuban medical brigade were

simultaneously increasing techni-

dispatched to the province to bol-

cal capacity and access to such

tinue to grow. Our intention is not

ster the response, while an extra

capacity by vulnerable patients

to stop the virus from spreading,

840 nurses have been employed.

to prevent the formation of a

but reducing the rate at which it

Field hospitals have also been set

super cluster.”

does. The numbers in OR Tambo

up in various areas around the

are increasing and we are now

province.

“The numbers are going to con-

looking at it as a hotspot,” he said. Minister Mkhize called on all senior government officials to

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

He added that the province is putting more focus on mass

In terms of the issue of interpro-

education, and has included all

vincial travel between the Western

political parties, religious organi-

Cape and Eastern Cape, the

sations and traditional leaders in

Eastern Cape has intensified its

assisting with these efforts.

49


FEATURE

Writer: Allison Cooper

Not much to go around,

yet not the right hands at the till

A

uditor-General (AG) Kimi

es; assets that are maintained and

tal), Capricorn district municipal-

Makwetu released the

safeguarded; careful investments

ity (Limpopo), Gert Sibanda and

2018/19 audit outcomes

and savings for emergencies and

Nkangala district municipalities

for local government at the begin-

future projects; and commitments

(Mpumalanga) and John Taolo

ning of July, stating that only 20

to creditors and the community

Gaetsewe district municipality

municipalities across the country

being honoured,” he said.

(Northern Cape).

achieved clean audits. Makwetu acknowledged the

Thirteen of these municipalities

“The best practices at these

are in the Western Cape, namely

municipalities included a stable

efforts of municipalities that have

Cape Winelands and West Coast

leadership that is committed to a

worked hard to receive or main-

district municipalities, Bergriver,

strong control environment and

tain clean audits, stating that a

Cape Agulhas, Cederberg,

effective governance.

municipality’s financial statements

Drakenstein, Hessequa, Lange-

“Continuous monitoring of audit

tell the story of how well it is man-

berg, Overstrand, Prince Albert,

action plans to timeously address

aged.

Saldanha Bay, Theewaterskloof

any audit findings and a proac-

and Witzenberg.

tive approach to dealing with

“As is the case with these few municipalities, it can be a good

Other municipalities that con-

emerging risks were also com-

story of disciplined spending that

sistently perform well are Senqu

mon features at these municipali-

achieves value for money; meticu-

(Eastern Cape), Midvaal (Gaut-

ties.”

lous billing and collecting practic-

eng), Okhahlamba (KwaZulu-Na-

50

Makwetu’s report, titled ‘Not

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


refusing to pay. “Individuals and households also feel the same pressures and are not forthcoming with payments for these consumed goods and services,” said Makwetu. He explained that, on average, almost 60 percent of the revenue shown in the books will never find its way into municipalities’ bank accounts. “The system has generally been unsuccessful in converting debt into cash over a number of years, as evidenced by the age of the debt. However, this does not mean that the constant pursuit of this money should cease.”

A bleak outlook The Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) audited 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities. The AG’s report includes the audit outcomes of 229 municipalities, as the audits of 28 municipalities had not yet been completed by the 31 January 2020 cut-off date. Over the three-year period, the much to go around, yet not the

ity and the consequent exposure

audit outcomes of 76 municipali-

right hands at the till’, however

to abuse of the public purse”.

ties regressed with those of only

painted an undesirable picture of

“Services are rendered and

billions allocated to municipalities

goods are delivered to consum-

“Not only did the unqualified

that are being managed “in ways

ers in all municipalities with the

opinions on the financial state-

that are contrary to prescripts

expectation that they will pay for

ments decrease from 47 percent

and recognised accounting

them. Yet there has been a grow-

to only 43 percent, but the quality

disciplines”.

ing trend of established business-

of the financial statements pro-

es across the chain showing signs

vided to us for auditing showed

istrative and governance lapses

of a diminishing ability to pay

no improvement from the previ-

“make for very weak accountabil-

for these services, or completely

ous year.

He cautioned that these admin-

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

31 improving.

51


FEATURE

counting officers who have trans-

2018/19 audit outcomes is an

palities could give us financial

“Only 18 percent of the munici-

gressed, in terms of relevant legis-

indictment on municipal office

statements without material mis-

lation, to demand accountability;

bearers, senior management and

statements.”

call on municipalities to develop

officials who failed to implement

audit response plans that are

the recommendations outlined in

mance reports of 67 percent of

to be monitored on a quarterly

the post-audit action plan.

the municipalities that produced

basis; conduct skills assessment

such reports had material flaws

in Municipal Finance Units; and

and implement systems and pro-

and were not credible enough for

subject senior managers to hav-

cesses of internal control, includ-

the council or the public to use.

ing their conduct overseen by

ing corrective action, in order to

professional bodies.

stem this decline,” she said.

The AG added that the perfor-

Financial health

“Municipalities must develop

“National Treasury will also

The AGSA assessed 79 percent

be encouraged to implement

of municipalities as having a

section 216 of the Constitution,

District Development Model

financial health status that was

to withhold equitable share to

CoGTA leadership will continue

either concerning or requiring

address financial misconduct in

to intensify its engagement with

urgent intervention. Just under a

municipalities.

municipalities. Through the District Development Model (DDM), the

third of the municipalities were in

“SALGA also calls upon law

a particularly vulnerable financial

enforcement agencies to act

department has already em-

position.

expeditiously on the outcomes of

ployed district managers to sup-

their investigations as they relate

port District Champions in the pilot

expenditure was also noted, with

to maladministration, and we

districts of OR Tambo, Ethekwini

200 municipalities losing R2.07

further call on political parties to

and Waterberg.

billion in the current year.

hold their deployees account-

A rise in fruitless and wasteful

“Using the DDM process, we

able.”

will proportionally deploy profes-

to R32.06 billion from the R25.2

The Minister of Cooperative

sionals and experts to augment

billion reported last year.

Governance and Traditional

capacity at municipalities within

Affairs (CoGTA) Dr Nkosazana

these 52 districts.

Irregular expenditure increased

The South African Local Government Association said while it

Dlamini Zulu said that while the

noted the pockets of excellence,

AG's report showed some im-

deployed in the districts will be

it was deeply concerned about

provements across municipalities,

available to assist municipalities

the continued regression in over-

the overall regression by some

with the development and imple-

all audit outcomes by the sector.

municipalities is of great concern.

mentation of integrated plans to

“The audit findings highlight

Following the 2017/18 audit

“The skilled resources that are

drive district-wide economic devel-

a lack of accountability and

outcomes CoGTA, working with

opment to the benefit of munici-

consequence management by

National Treasury and the AG,

palities,” the Minister said.

municipal leadership.”

developed a post-audit action

SALGA’s National Executive Committee will communicate directly with mayors and ac-

52

The department has identified

plan for municipalities to improve

a number of municipalities in dis-

their financial performance.

tress and will continue to work with

“The regression displayed in the

National Treasury to stabilise them.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


FEATURE

Equipping public servants to deliver A new partnership between

Development Programme is

recognition of the acquired learn-

the National School of

intended for administrators and

ing and opens up opportunities

Government (NSG) and

first line supervisors.

for further study in related fields.

higher education institutions

• The Emerging Management De-

“The partnership will also benefit

(HEIs) is set to extend the reach of

velopment Programme targets

the communities that we serve be-

management training for public

emerging managers who are

cause improved training for public

servants.

junior managers and supervi-

servants means a more capable

sors.

and professional public service for

The NSG has concluded and signed partnership agreements

• The Advanced Management

the public,” he said.

with the University of the Free State,

Development Programme

North West University, University of

(AMDP) is being designed for

involves a combination of HEIs

Fort Hare, University of the Western

middle managers and prepares

that have been partners with the

Cape and Tshwane University of

them for basic challenges of

NSG and its predecessors (PALA-

Technology.

senior management service.

MA and the South African Man-

The partnership will enable

• The Executive Development

The 2020-2023 contractual cycle

agement Development Institute) in the past.

the delivery of the Integrated

Programme (EDP) is intended

Management Development

for senior managers, chief

Programme (IMDP) throughout

directors and directors who are

EMDP and AMDP included the

the country. The IMDP is a profes-

central to strategic decision-

University of Limpopo, University of

sional development framework for

making within public service

Pretoria and Stellenbosch Univer-

public sector supervisors, manag-

departments and public sector

sity. For the EDP, the early delivery

ers and leaders. It promotes the

institutions.

partners were the Nelson Man-

Previous delivery partners for the

use of sound management and

Public Service and Administra-

dela Metropolitan University (now

leadership principles in a context

tion Minister Senzo Mchunu said

Nelson Mandela University), North

of people-oriented development

the partnership enables the

West University and Vaal University

and service.

NSG to provide the programme

of Technology.

The IMDP Model comprises four

throughout the country which

Public servants who want to

management and leadership

widens the reach of training and

enrol in the programme relevant

development programmes for dif-

professional development.

to them can do so through the

ferent target groups: • The Foundation Management

54

“The partnership will greatly benefit the participants as it provides

department in which they are employed.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

SMMEs need govt support S

mall, medium and micro en-

do business with the state are

paying suppliers are felt by the

terprises (SMMEs), which are

promptly paid. Failure to do so

poorest in society, Seloane says. To

important partners of govern-

could jeopardise their survival and

mitigate the impact of the corona-

ment in the delivery of services to

impact heavily on the people who

virus on people, the PSC calls on

communities across the country,

depend on the company for an

government and business to work

cannot function optimally if their

income.

together to prevent an increase in

invoices are not paid on time. This is especially true now, with the economy heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic and many

Government stipulates that valid invoices and claims should be paid within a 30-day period. “While there are pockets of

the unemployment statistics. “With government’s dedicated efforts to stimulate and support SMMEs, departments must do their

SMMEs badly affected, says the

improvement, several departments

part and ensure that suppliers are

Public Service Commission (PSC). It

have repeatedly defaulted on

paid on time; failure of which will

has called on government depart-

this requirement. With the arrival

be detrimental to their survival and

ments, municipalities and other

of the coronavirus pandemic,

negate government’s job-creation

government entities to timeously

many SMMEs, which were already

measures.”

pay businesses that supply ser-

struggling to keep their businesses

vices to the state.

afloat, found their operations being

of departments to pay is primar-

put under further pressure due to

ily due to them battling historical

by the state has the potential

the non-payment of invoices by

debt. Some departments have ap-

to force the business to close its

government,” says the PSC’s Com-

proached the National Treasury to

doors. It is, therefore, essential that

missioner, Michael Seloane.

help pay off their debt to suppliers.

Delays in payment to an SMME

the thousands of businesses that

56

The worst effects of the state not

According to Seloane, the failure

Other challenges identified by

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


the PSC interventions are mainly

invoice tracking and officials who

systematic which include the lack

are found to be defaulting should

the impact this non-compliance

of internal controls regarding the

be disciplined.

has on the operations of SMMEs,

tracking and monitoring of invoices

The PSC also recommended that

“The PSC cannot overemphasise

especially in the current econom-

from date of receipt until payment

the President consider the inclu-

is made. This leads to misfiled, mis-

sion of compliance oversight for

“Business is under enormous

placed or unrecorded invoices.

the payment of suppliers within

duress now, with most facing a

30 days, as provided by the Public

bleak future due to the nation-

the IT systems (BAS, LOGIS) result

Finance Management Act (PFMA),

wide lockdown.”

in errors that leads to the payment

into the performance agreements

not being fully processed.

of Ministers and MECs.

Furthermore, the inefficiencies of

To address these challenges,

Figures for the last quarter of the

ic climate.

He urged departments to put measures in place to ensure that all suppliers, in particular small

the PSC urges departments to

2019/2020 financial year showed

businesses, are paid for services

start payment processes on time

that some national departments

rendered and goods delivered.

to avoid payment delays due to

had more than 100 unpaid in-

system errors.

voices older than 30 days.

In addition, a department’s sys-

Seloane says the current unem-

“The PFMA still applies and all efforts must be made to minimise the negative impact on SMMEs.

tem controller must report regular

ployment crisis will worsen if the

We must help ensure that sup-

system errors to the State Informa-

invoices of SMMEs go unpaid and

pliers are able to continue to

tion Technology Agency.

this leads to the closure of busi-

operate and, in turn, pay their

nesses that collectively employ

staff and their own suppliers,” says

millions.

Seloane.

Standard Operating Procedures should be put in place to manage

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

57


FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Keep your GEPF information updated A

s a condition of service,

through which they nominate

pensionable income from the

every public servant in

recipients of their pensionable

GEPF does not form part of the

the country must be-

income in the event that they die

deceased’s estate, which is over-

while employed by government.

seen by an executor.

come a member of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). The purpose of the fund

Spokesperson for the GEPF Smanga Selemeni says that the

“In terms of the Government Employees Pension Law 21 of

is to ensure that when

1996, the GEPF does

public servants retire,

not necessarily follow

they have a source of

the wishes of a will as

income to sustain them. The GEPF also pays

it factors in other dependants that might

an amount to the fi-

not be in that will,”

nancial dependants of

says Selemeni.

a public servant who passes away while in the employ of the state. When a person is

Financial dependency An individual’s pen-

employed by the

sion can be paid out

state, they are given a

to any person, organi-

WP1002 form to fill out,

sation or trust as long

58

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


as they are nominated or can

your money is paid out to those

dated form helps GEPF compare

prove financial dependency. The

who you intended it be paid to.

the claimant’s details against

nomination form helps the GEPF

Selemeni explains that even

allocate the sums beneficiaries

in the case where one has a

get.

nomination form, the majority

those of the pension contributor when they retire. Selemeni says that the GEPF

Selemeni adds that with the

sum of the pension money will

compares details such as signa-

GEPF pension payout, any indi-

likely be paid out to the minor

tures and ID details to make sure

vidual who can prove that they

children. Even with this clause, the

that the money is paid out to the

were financially sustained by the

nomination of beneficiaries helps

rightful owner.

deceased will be entitled to a

to avoid confusion and delayed

share of the pension.

payouts.

“If you were married but you were having an extra marital affair

The nomination form can be completed as many times an indi-

“This internal verification process takes place behind the scenes. If the details match, then we pay out the pension within 60 days but

and that person

if there is a discrep-

can prove that

ancy, it will cause

you were giving them money to sustain themselves, they can claim a share of your pensionable income.

An updated nomination form is important in cases where a person changes their details, like surnames or signature.

a delay. This means that we may end up not paying the pension within that time.” When GEPF members retire, they have two op-

“If you have a

tions on what to do

child that you have not acknowledged, a DNA

vidual wishes. “You can change it

with their pension fund. A public

test will be done and once it is

as often as you want. You should

servant can choose to receive a

proven that the child is indeed

do this every time your depend-

third of their pension immediately,

yours, then the GEPF will structure

ants change, due to birth, death

with the rest paid out over several

the benefit so that the child gets

or divorce. You must, however,

months. The other option is for

a share.”

remember that the last updated

a pensioner to receive the full

form is the one that we are going

amount, which they can invest in

with.”

a preservation fund.

Accurate nomination form

An updated nomination form

The GEPF nomination form can

It is important to have an up-

is important in cases where a

be obtained from all state human

dated and accurate nomination

person changes their details, like

resources offices or on the GEPF’s

form as this will help ensure that

surnames or signature. The up-

website: www.gepf.gov.za.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

59


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K


Writer: Dale Hes

HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Protect your mental health during COVID-19

T

he coronavirus disease has

ones will get sick and that the

health and be

had a huge impact on our

lockdown may have resulted in

aware of any

lives, bringing about fear and

a rise in stress in the home or at

symptoms that might

work.

become severe.

uncertainty and an increased risk of people suffering from mental

“Many people may be in finan-

health issues, such as depression

cial distress or stuck in a home en-

Get help

and anxiety.

vironment where they are abused.

Dr Naicker says that if your symp-

“There are a number of other

toms become severe, then you

Naicker, a neuropsychiatrist at the

stresses, such as having to care

should seek professional help.

Tara Psychiatric Hospital in Johan-

for children. And, in many cases,

“If you’re feeling anxious, for ex-

nesburg, we should all focus on

there may be a rise in substance

ample, and that turns into having

taking care of our mental well-be-

abuse as people use negative

panic attacks, then you should

ing during this time as people are

coping skills to try and deal with

seek help. The same applies if

under an abnormal level of stress.

increased stress.”

you’re having negative thoughts

According to Dr Pevashnee

A neuropsychiatrist is a psychia-

that might turn into suicidal

and treating people who have

Find healthy ways to cope

sicknesses that affect the brain.

Dr Naicker says that when people

through platforms such as the

The sickness may influence how a

experience feelings of anxiety

South African Depression and

person behaves and their psycho-

or depression, the first step they

Anxiety Group’s (SADAG) helpline.

logical well-being.

must take is to practise self-help

“If you’re still struggling, then you

trist who specialises in diagnosing

“With any change, we can expect a distress reaction from

techniques. “You should practise healthy

thoughts.” She advises people to get help

should make an appointment to see your doctor or a mental

people, communities and society.

lifestyle behaviours, such as get-

health professional. Public facilities

And this is particularly true for this

ting enough rest, exercising and

are open during this time.”

pandemic because it has caused

having a healthy diet. You should

such a big change in society,” she

also rely on your friends and family

Advice from SADAG

says.

for support.”

SADAG has recorded an in-

Dr Naicker explains that people are fearful that they or their loved

62

She adds that people should educate themselves about mental

creased number of calls to its helpline from people experiencing

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


anxiety and depression.

concerned about the coronavirus,

struggling to cope, reach out to

you’re not alone. Yet, for some of us,

the SADAG, speak to friends or

found that the following issues

this concern can quickly grow into

family or contact your therapist

were the most commonly reported:

anxiety, even panic.”

if you have one.

In an online survey, the group

• Anxiety and panic (55 percent). • Financial stress and pressure (46 percent). • Depression (40 percent). • Poor family relations (30 percent). • Feelings of suicide (12 percent). • Substance abuse (six percent). SADAG clinical psychologist

SADAG offers the following tips to

control, such as thinking posi-

• Maintain a daily routine as

tively and keeping busy.

much as possible. • Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news or

cause you to feel even more distressed or anxious. • Create a list of things you can

to feel concerned during this time.

ing a book or trying out a new

and well-being. So, if you’re feeling

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

protect yourself from the coronavirus.

too much negative news can

do to keep busy, such as read-

overwhelmed about our safety

• Take the necessary steps to

listening to the radio. Hearing

Dessy Tzoneva says that it is natural “It’s natural to feel worried and

• Focus on the things you can

manage stress and anxiety:

hobby. • Don’t be afraid to speak up.

*If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health concerns, reach out to the SADAG for free telephonic counselling. Call 0800 21 22 23, 0800 70 80 90 or 0800 456 789.

If you feel like you are really

63


Writers: Silusapho Nyanda

FINANCIAL FITNESS

Have you considered retail savings bonds? T

he impact of the corona-

nent residents of the Republic of

Treasury’s office in Pretoria or on

virus (COVID-19) on the

South Africa who are in pos-

the RSA Retail Savings Bond web-

South African economy has

session of a valid South African

site (www.rsaretailbonds.gov.za).

made it clear how important it is

identity number and who have a

for individuals including public

bank account with any financial

an RSA Fixed-rate Retail Savings

servants – to have savings and

institution in the Republic, are

Bond or an RSA Inflation-linked

investments.

eligible to purchase RSA Retail

Retail Savings Bond.

One of the safest investments is a Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Investors can choose either

Savings Bonds. People under the age of 18

Fixed interest rate

Retail Savings Bond. These are

years who have written parental

Fixed-rate bonds are available

government-backed bonds that

consent, are married or have

for two-, three- or five-year invest-

can be bought by members of

been granted majority status in

ment terms. They earn a market-

the public and are in essence an

accordance with the provisions

related fixed interest rate, which

investment with the South African

of the Age of Majority Act, 1972

is priced off the current govern-

Government. The bonds earn

(Act No 57 of 1972) are also able

ment bond yield curve and is

buyers a fixed or inflation-linked

to purchase bonds.

payable on the interest payment

interest rate for the term of the investment. South African citizens or perma-

64

RSA Retail Savings Bonds can

dates until maturity. The longer

be purchased at any South Afri-

the investment term, the higher

can Post Office, at the National

the interest rate.

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


Investors in fixed-rate bonds can

When buying RSA Retail Savings

investing in retail savings bonds,

earn the best available interest

Bonds online, a person must first

use the calculator available on

rate over the life of their invest-

register, then select which type of

the RSA Retail Savings Bonds

ments because they have the op-

bond and maturity they want. The

website.

tion of restarting their investment

minimum investment amount is

after a year at the new prevailing

R1 000 while the maximum is R5

interest rate. The restart option

million.

also allows an investor to change their investment period. Holders of these bonds may

Fixed-rate bonds allow those who are 60 years and above to

*Information courtesy of the RSARetail Savings Bonds website: https://secure. rsaretailbonds.gov.za/

receive their interest on a monthly

also choose not to receive their

basis, while all others are paid

interest payments on the pay-

twice annually, on 31 March and

ment dates, but rather to reinvest

30 September.

them. Under special circumstances, they may also be allowed

Inflation-linked bonds

to withdraw their investment in

In the case of inflation-linked

the first 12 months of buying the

bonds, the capital amount

bonds. In such an event, investors

invested in each of the three

must submit a formal application

maturities available is adjusted

to the National Treasury, setting

for inflation semi-annually on the

out the particulars of the extraor-

interest payment dates, which are

dinary changes in their circum-

31 May and 30 November. The in-

stances that necessitate their

flation rate used is the consumer

need for immediate funds.

price index published monthly by

The Inflation-linked Retail Savings Bond series consists of

Statistics South Africa. Investors are notified by the Na-

bonds with either three-, five- or

tional Treasury of any RSA Retail

10-year maturity terms. The capi-

Savings Bonds that are due for

tal amount is inflation adjusted

maturity at least six weeks prior to

semi-annually on the interest

the maturity date.

payment dates until maturity. A

Bonds cannot be transferred

floating interest rate is applicable,

to a third party or be used as

derived from the government

collateral to secure a loan. They

inflation-linked bond yield curve.

are only sold through the formal

The interest is payable until ma-

channels. In order to calculate

turity.

how much you will make by

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

65


NICE-TO-HAVES FEATURE

Writer: Nicholas Francis

Sweet dreams

5

T

he bedroom provides the perfect retreat for our weary minds and bodies, even accommodating

surprise breakfasts on special days and late-night pizzas while binge watching the latest series. If you are looking to spruce up your bedroom, here are some items you should consider.

8

7

66

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


1.

Sixth Floor reversible cotton duvet set, R524, available at Superbalist.

2.

3

Private Collection cable embossed fleece throw, R179.95, available at Edgars.

3.

Printed Glastonbury leaf scatter cushion, 50x50cm, R139.99 available at Mr Price Home.

4.

Goldair tie down electric blanket queen, R549, available at Takealot.com.

5.

Chrome lamp set, R149, available at Sheet Street.

6.

Anke Products soy candle, R224, available at Superbalist.

7.

Flokati rug, 120x180cm, R799.99, available at Sheet Street.

8.

Basics Isaiah bedside table, R974, available at Superbalist. 6 2

4 1

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

67


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GROOMING AND STYLE FEATURE

Writer: Nicholas Francis

5 1 2

Wrapped up and ready to go 3

T

he winter chill is in the air and it’s time to cover up and keep warm. Every wardrobe needs some basic yet fashionable winter warmers that work well with any outfit. Here are a few essentials to add to your collection that are good to go from Monday to Sunday.

For her 1.

Rubi Willa wide rib beanie, R179, available at Superbalist.

2.

Edit knitted fringed scarf, R249, available at Woolworths.

3.

Oakridge cable knit pullover, R189.99, available at Mr Price.

4. 6

Studio W belted melton coat, R1 299, available at Woolworths.

5.

Black Magic gloves, R110, available at Truworths.

6.

Kelso Tall belted relaxed skinny jeans, R399.95, available at Edgars.

7.

Jada pin tuck ankle boot, R499, available at Superbalist.

7

70

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

4


2

4

For him 1.

Fine rib fisherman beanie, R149, available at Superbalist.

2.

Rib knit scarf, R150, available at Woolworths.

3.

J Exchange cable knit pullover, R399.95, available at Edgars.

4.

Truworths funnel neck coat, R1 399, available at Truworths.

5.

1

Fingerless gloves, R49.99, available at Mr Price.

6.

Stone Harbour straight jeans, R499.95, available at Edgars.

7.

Desert boot R279.99, available at Mr Price.

6

3

7

5

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

71


Compiled by: Gilda Narsimdas Images: Anita Reed/Disney Channel

FEATURE FOOD AND WINE

Chicken dishes

that rule the roost

C

1ml salt

most cultures and countries. Cook

Chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce and pickled cucumber Ingredients:

and author Christine Capendale

80g organic peanut butter

4 bamboo skewers, soaked in

shared these chicken dishes from

90ml coconut milk

water

her kids cooking show Disney

15ml lime juice

Toasted peanuts for garnishing

Cookabout. These recipes are

5ml freshly grated ginger

inspired by South Africa and Asia,

1 garlic clove, crushed

Pickled cucumber

with each dish as delicious as the

2.5ml ground cumin

2.5ml salt

next.

2.5ml curry powder

5ml chopped dill

2.5ml paprika

150g sliced baby cucumbers

hicken is one of the most versatile proteins to cook and is a firm favourite in

Pinch of chili flakes

Black pepper 300g chicken tenderloins or fillet

30ml spring onions, thinly sliced 50ml white vinegar (use apple cider vinegar preferably) 30ml lemon juice 30ml honey

Method Mix together the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, ginger, garlic and the spices. Reserve half of the marinade for dipping. Marinate the chicken in the other half

72

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


of the sauce. Place in a Ziploc

rinsed well

the cooked baby beetroot into

bag, toss well to coat the chicken

1 cooked corn on the cob

wedges or halves and place in a

and then leave it in the fridge for

100g baby tomatoes

small ovenproof dish, lined with

at least 15 minutes.

200g red kidney beans, rinsed

baking paper. Sprinkle with 5ml of

and drained

the olive oil and season with salt

juice, honey, salt and the dill in

30g butter lettuce leaves

and pepper. Roast in the oven for

a small saucepan and bring to

80g feta, cubed salt and freshly

20 minutes and then allow to cool.

Combine the vinegar, lemon

the boil. Pour the hot liquid over

ground black pepper

Pound out the chicken fillets to

the sliced cucumber and spring

make them thinner and of even

onions and place in a sealed

thickness. Mix the other 5ml olive oil and barbecue spice, rub

container to pickle. Shake or turn

over the chicken fillets

it upside down every few minutes to make sure all the

and marinate for

vegetables are coated

about 15 minutes.

with the liquid. This

Combine all the

can be made the

ingredients for

day before and left

the dressing

in the fridge.

and mix well.

Thread the

Keep aside.

chicken onto the

Use a po-

soaked skewers.

tato peeler

Heat a griddle

and cut the carrot into

pan on medium

thin ribbons.

heat and cook

Use a knife and

the skewers on both

cut the corn off

sides until cooked and

the cob. Mix the

golden brown. Serve with

baby tomatoes, corn

the reserved marinade and

and kidney beans and toss

the pickled cucumbers. Garnish

with two-thirds of the dressing.

with the toasted peanuts.

Add the carrot ribbons. Heat a

Kasi chicken and roasted beetroot salad (7 colours) Ingredients

Dressing

hot and grill the chicken fillets for

15ml olive oil

about four minutes on each side

150g baby beetroot, par-boiled

40ml basil pesto

until they are golden brown and

and peeled

30ml freshly squeezed lemon

cooked. Season with salt and

10ml olive oil

juice

black pepper. To serve, divide the

griddle pan on medium heat until

2 chicken breast fillets 2.5ml barbecue spice 1 small carrot, trimmed and

Public Sector Manager • July 2020

lettuce leaves between two plates

Method

and spoon the tomato mixture on

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Cut

top. Add the feta and the roasted

73


FOOD AND WINE FEATURE

beetroot. Lastly, slice the chicken

cut into chunks

stick, turmeric, garam masala).

fillets and place on top of the

200ml chopped, tinned tomato

Cook for a few minutes until the

salads. Drizzle with the rest of the

200ml chicken stock

onion is soft. Stir all the time. Add

dressing and serve immediately.

5ml honey

the chicken and cook for another

60ml low-fat plain yoghurt

few minutes while stirring. Add

Chicken curry with peach and spring onion sambal

Salt and pepper for seasoning

the tomato, stock and the honey,

30ml chopped red pepper

reduce the heat and bring to a

Ingredients

15ml lemon juice

gentle simmer. Place the lid on

1 onion, finely chopped

2.5ml lemon zest

the pan and simmer for about 10

2 garlic cloves, crushed

15ml chopped coriander

minutes until cooked. Add more

10ml grated ginger

1 nectarine, pitted and cubed

liquid if needed. Taste and adjust

15ml sunflower oil

(may substitute with pineapple

the seasoning.

½ small chilli, seeded and chopped or use 2.5 ml dried

or mango)

60ml thinly sliced spring onion

chilli flakes

Stir in the yoghurt just before serving. Serve the chicken curry with brown basmati rice and the

2.5ml cumin seeds

Method

peach and spring onion sambal

1 cinnamon stick

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying

on the side.

2.5 ml turmeric

pan on medium heat and add

2.5ml garam masala

the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and

er all the ingredients and spoon

350g deboned chicken thighs,

all the spices (cumin, cinnamon

into a small serving bowl.

74

To make the sambal: Mix togeth-

Public Sector Manager • July 2020


Africology_Design_Women_Awards_Standerd_Bank.pdf Africology_Design_Women_Awards_Standerd_Bank.pdf 1 2019/07/25 08:49

1

2019/07/25

08:49

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1

2019/07/25

08:49

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Profile for Topco Media

PSM July 2020  

The Public Sector Manager communicates with a strategic component of government’s target audiences – senior public sector managers. The maga...

PSM July 2020  

The Public Sector Manager communicates with a strategic component of government’s target audiences – senior public sector managers. The maga...

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