MIKE SILUMA: Role of human resources crucial to Ramaphosa’s grand plan

Creating Ramaphosa’s ‘capable state’ requires human resources practices that enable it to happen

25 October 2020 - 00:09 By Mike Siluma

A thoughtful economist friend is wont to argue that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration doesn’t have a structural reform problem, it has a human resources problem. The commitment to reforms that would remove constraints to investment, make it easier to do business and boost growth and jobs may be there. It’s the appetite and ability among those who people the public sector that’s often lacking. One legacy of state capture was that even apart from the cronyism and corruption, independent-minded public servants with initiative and experience weren't exactly encouraged. And though this administration might be committed to rooting out corruption, there’s little sign it’s changing the bureaucratic, compliance-driven public sector mindset — nor the habit of appointing underwhelming, inappropriate people to senior positions. Unblocking constraints and creating Ramaphosa’s “capable state” requires human resources practices — management, training and incentives — that enable it to happen. Speeches and strategic plans won’t do it...

There’s never been a more important time to support independent media.

From World War 1 to present-day cosmopolitan South Africa and beyond, the Sunday Times has been a pillar in covering the stories that matter to you.

For just R80 you can become a premium member (digital access) and support a publication that has played an important political and social role in South Africa for over a century of Sundays. You can cancel anytime.

Already subscribed? Sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.