Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Her department is getting its act together, according to Minister of Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
"We are moulting the old skin of Home Affairs and what is now emerging is a brighter, better, more efficient organisation," she said in Cape Town yesterday.
She said the department's turnaround project was starting to bear fruit after a year of implementation.
"Its ultimate success will be measured by its ability to resolve the business shortcomings we have, and therefore make a real impact on the experience of our clients on the ground."
While new systems and re-engineered processes were crucial, the changes at Home Affairs would be driven and sustained only if it had committed and skilled people to implement the new processes, she said.
One of the key elements of the turnaround project was to get the right people into the right jobs.
This meant attracting skilled staff to the more than 3000 positions required by the new Home Affairs model.
"But it also means that, as we migrate from the old model to the new, we take our existing staff with us," she said.
"We should ensure that people are able to do the jobs they are required to do and that they are placed in positions in terms of their strengths, skill level and experience."
Referring to reports last week that more than 70 percent of senior managers did not have the skills to perform their jobs, Mapisa-Nqakula said the competency tests were done in 2006 before the start of the turnaround project.
They were conducted on only 80 top level managers and were specifically to identify weaknesses in management and leadership skills.
The results of the tests were used to develop training and development programmes essential to addressing the problems in the department.
"In September and October this year, as part of our restructuring and in line with our stated objective of ensuring that the right people are in the right positions, we repeated the competency tests on the same level of managers and this time 76 percent of the senior managers passed the tests," Mapisa-Nqakula said.
"This is a clear indication that the development programmes for staff, contained in the turnaround programme, are bearing fruit." - Sapa