Index of Sections
- Basic values and principles governing public administration
- Public Service Commission
- Public Service
Basic values and principles governing public administration
195. (1) Public administration must be governed by the democratic values
and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles:
- A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.
- Efficient, economic and effective use of resources must be promoted.
- Public administration must be development-oriented.
- Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without
- People's needs must be responded to, and the public must be encouraged
to participate in policy-making.
- Public administration must be accountable.
- Transparency must be fostered by providing the public with timely,
accessible and accurate information.
- Good human-resource management and career-development practices, to
maximise human potential, must be cultivated.
- Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African
people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability,
objectivity, fairness, and the need to redress the imbalances of the past
to achieve broad representation.
(2) The above principles apply to
- administration in every sphere of government;
- organs of state; and
- public enterprises.
(3) National legislation must ensure the promotion of the values and
principles listed in subsection (1).
(4) The appointment in public administration of a number of persons
on policy considerations is not precluded, but national legislation must
regulate these appointments in the public service.
(5) Legislation regulating public administration may differentiate between
different sectors, administrations or institutions.
(6) The nature and functions of different sectors, administrations or
institutions of public administration are relevant factors to be taken
into account in legislation regulating public administration.
Public Service Commission
196. (1) There is a single Public Service Commission for the Republic.
(2) The Commission is independent and must be impartial, and must exercise
its powers and perform its functions without fear, favour or prejudice
in the interest of the maintenance of effective and efficient public administration
and a high standard of professional ethics in the public service. The Commission
must be regulated by national legislation.
(3) Other organs of state, through legislative and other measures, must
assist and protect the Commission to ensure the independence, impartiality,
dignity and effectiveness of the Commission. No person or organ of state
may interfere with the functioning of the Commission.
(4) The powers and functions of the Commission are -
- to promote the values and principles set out in section 195, throughout
the public service;
- to investigate, monitor and evaluate the organisation and administration,
and the personnel practices, of the public service;
- to propose measures to ensure effective and efficient performance within
the public service;
- to give directions aimed at ensuring that personnel procedures relating
to recruitment, transfers, promotions and dismissals comply with the values
and principles set out in section 195;
- to report in respect of its activities and the performance of its functions,
including any finding it may make and directions and advice it may give,
and to provide an evaluation of the extent to which the values and principles
set out in section 195 are complied with; and
- either of its own accord or on receipt of any complaint
- to investigate and evaluate the application of personnel and public
administration practices, and to report to the relevant executive authority
- to investigate grievances of employees in the public service concerning
official acts or omissions, and recommend appropriate remedies;
- to monitor and investigate adherence to applicable procedures in the
public service; and
- to advise national and provincial organs of state regarding personnel
practices in the public service, including those relating to the recruitment,
appointment, transfer, discharge and other aspects of the careers of employees
in the public service.
(5) The Commission is accountable to the National Assembly.
(6) The Commission must report at least once a year in terms of subsection
- to the National Assembly; and
- in respect of its activities in a province, to the legislature of that
(7) The Commission has the following 14 commissioners appointed by the
- Five commissioners approved by the National Assembly in accordance
with subsection (8)(a); and
- one commissioner for each province nominated by the Premier of the
province in accordance with subsection (8)(b).
- A commissioner appointed in terms of subsection (7)(a) must be
- recommended by a committee of the National Assembly that is proportionally
composed of members of all parties represented in the Assembly; and
- approved by the Assembly by a resolution adopted with a supporting
vote of a majority of its members.
- A commissioner nominated by the Premier of a province must be
- recommended by a committee of the provincial legislature that is proportionally
composed of members of all parties represented in the legislature; and
- approved by the legislature by a resolution adopted with a supporting
vote of a majority of its members.
(9) An Act of Parliament must regulate the procedure for the appointment
(10) A commissioner is appointed for a term of five years, which is
renewable for one additional term only, and must be a woman or a man who
- a South African citizen; and
- a fit and proper person with knowledge of, or experience in, administration,
management or the provision of public services.
(11) A commissioner may be removed from office only on
- the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence;
- a finding to that effect by a committee of the National Assembly or,
in the case of a commissioner nominated by the Premier of a province, by
a committee of the legislature of that province; and
- the adoption by the Assembly or the provincial legislature concerned,
of a resolution with a supporting vote of a majority of its members calling
for the commissioner's removal from office.
(12) The President must remove the relevant commissioner from office
- the adoption by the Assembly of a resolution calling for that commissioner's
- written notification by the Premier that the provincial legislature
has adopted a resolution calling for that commissioner's removal.
(13) Commissioners referred to in subsection (7)(b) may exercise the
powers and perform the functions of the Commission in their provinces as
prescribed by national legislation.
197. (1) Within public administration there is a public service for
the Republic, which must function, and be structured, in terms of national
legislation, and which must loyally execute the lawful policies of the
government of the day.
(2) The terms and conditions of employment in the public service must
be regulated by national legislation. Employees are entitled to a fair
pension as regulated by national legislation.
(3) No employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced
only because that person supports a particular political party or cause.
(4) Provincial governments are responsible for the recruitment, appointment,
promotion, transfer and dismissal of members of the public service in their
administrations within a framework of uniform norms and standards applying
to the public service.