Under the theme: “Developing Human Capability for Productivity in the Public Sector”,
more than 500 academics, researchers, Human Resource Development (HRD)
managers and practitioners converged in Kimberley for very successful deliberations on how to improve productivity in the public sector as part of the PSTF conference.
The PSTF is a non-statutory body that was established in 1997 to advocate HRD in the public sector.
This body functions under the stewardship of the PSTF Advisory Committee comprising members nominated from various interest groups that are also key role players in education, training and development.
The keynote address by Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi emphasised the need for highly skilled trainers who would assist
in the development of a capable and career orientated developmental public service.
This also echoed emphasis made in the National Development Plan, stating how critical
it is for South Africa to commit investments towards building a capable developmental state. Improving public sector productivity
The notion of capacity building as a catalyst for improved productivity in the public service was interrogated and debated from different viewpoints.
Reflections focused on the academic and workplace experience and approaches aimed at developing human capability for improved productivity in the public sector.
In line with the objectives of the conference, papers presented triggered discussions on skills development strategies;
results factors for partnerships among the private sector, government institutions, social partners and departmental initiatives for skills development in the public sector;
and the implementation and coordination challenges to be addressed
to optimise existing opportunities in developing required competencies for the public sector.
Public service productivity has been difficult to measure in the absence
of an overarching productivity management and measurement framework designed for the sector, supported
by policy guidelines and tools and setting standards on how to measure productivity.
This, it can be argued, is a recipe for disconnect between performance rewarding and productivity results.
In an effort to address this gap, the Department of Public Service
and Administration is leading the policy process for productivity management in the public service,
including finding productivity linkages between service quality and service quantity.
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