The Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that about 34 Director-General (DG) and Head of Department (HOD) positions in government countrywide have been without permanent appointments for years now.

The party has labelled this as abuse by the governing ANC, and blame the state of affairs for poor or non-existent service delivery on the absence of substantive positions such as HODs or DGs.

“As a case in point, the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Health has had an HoD vacancy for 7.5 years. This, despite the Public Service Act and the Public Service Regulations requiring that an acting official may not be in a post for more than 12 consecutive calendar months,” the DA said.

The party claims that currently there are eight national, and one provincial DG appointed in an acting capacity, and that about 25 of 87 provincial departments are without permanent HODs.

It said that this leaves departments vulnerable to exploitation and undue influence by the government on the appointment of key positions in the public service, which is non-political in nature.

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“The DA will submit follow-up parliamentary questions to further interrogate the issue on why such key positions have not been filled in an effort to ensure that government meets its service delivery commitments,’ reads the statement.

It added that the ruling ANC government appears to have abused this loophole with a revolving door of acting DGs and HODs, through cadre deployment which “is driving the country to its knees.”

It said that filling key public service positions was the only way to ensure stability in departments and the first step towards ensuring effective service delivery.

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