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18 July 2012

Cadre deployment statistic incorrectly construed

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

With reference to an E-TV news interview by Prof. Modimowabarwa Kanyane, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) would like to clarify that a statistic from  a Public Service Commission report, entitled Human Resources Development Strategy for the Public Service, 2002 – 2006, published in April 2002, was incorrectly construed and quoted.

In a section focussing on the features of the public service, the report stated as follows:

Keeping effective managers and people with scarce skills. The management cadre of the Public Service remains alarmingly small (0,4% of the entire Public Service) compared with the very broad base of production-level, skilled workers. To aggravate this even further, the distribution of senior managers is skewed between the national and provincial departments. Every effort must be made to retain people with identified scarce skills in the Public Service.”

Dr Narnia Bohler Muller, acting executive director of the Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery programme at the HSRC, underlined the fact that this statistic (0.4%) was not about political appointees in government, was not specifically about ANC cadre deployees in government, and was not about the skills levels of these political appointees.

This 2002 statement is about the size of the management cohort in the public service and was misinterpreted as a statement saying that only 4% of ANC deployees in the public service were appropriately skilled.

This statement was incorrectly construed and quoted, Dr Bohler-Muller said. She underlined the fact that

(a) the HSRC has a media policy that requires researchers to base their comments and critiques on reliable and contemporary research findings; and

(b) that media training is provided to researchers to facilitate the accurate communication of knowledge-based comment and critique.