4000 EMPLOYED IN Mpumalanga

SPEAKING OUT:Ntime Skosana. PHOTO: ALFRED MOSELAKGOMO. 17/07/08. © Sowetan.
SPEAKING OUT:Ntime Skosana. PHOTO: ALFRED MOSELAKGOMO. 17/07/08. © Sowetan.

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga's provincial government has over the last three months recruited more than 4000 new employees in an effort to fill all posts that were vacant at the end of last month.

This emerged from a cabinet meeting in Nelspruit yesterday.

Provincial government spokesman Ntime Skosana said that between March and June this year the government had recruited 4054 new employees, reducing the 10115 vacancies by more than 40percent.

"The departments have, on average, filled 70 percent of the vacant posts in about seven departments out of a total of 10," Skosana said.

"The department of safety and security civilian secretariat now has a 100percent staff complement, but the challenge remains in bigger and more specialised departments such as education, health and social development, where scarce professional skills are required.

"We have set the end of August as our target to fill these posts."

The deadline for filling vacant government posts was announced by President Thabo Mbeki during his state of the nation address this year.

Premier Thabang Makwetla echoed Mbeki's sentiments when he opened the provincial legislature in February by stating that his provincial and municipal administration would follow suit by ensuring that all vacant posts were filled.

Skosana said the high number of vacancies and inadequate skills in the public sector had often been cited as key reasons for delayed service delivery.

"Filling vacant posts in the province forms part of an ongoing intervention aimed at improving service delivery and reducing unemployment, particularly among young people," Skosana said.

"In order to speed up the process, the provincial cabinet took a decision to employ the services of private sector recruitment agencies."