HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo has ordered the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to cancel all pending letters of employment or transfers within the Ministry of Health, saying the disintegrated employment process is creating problems.
A letter of staff appointment of a radiography technologist to the civil service on probation from PSMD has been circulating on social media, with critics saying some people with “connections” are getting employed even before government advertises for the recruitment of 11,200 health workers.
But speaking during a virtual meeting with Permanent Secretaries and provincial health directors, Tuesday, Masebo said the senior officials were creating problems.
“But you cannot sit as a civil servant and begin to be seen to be employing people rightly so, or wrongly so. It is not accepted. And I hope that the people from the cabinet office are here on this forum and I hope that there is somebody from PSMD. You are creating problems for us,” Masebo said.
“That is why the President had stopped even transfers and that is why in this Ministry we are not dealing with transfers because of fear that we may be misunderstood. Now you are telling me that there was a letter which Ngulube did. Six or seven months later, a letter can just be sitting on the table?”
Meanwhile, one of the Directors during the virtual meeting was heard justifying that depending on the circumstances, some letters of employment could have been written eight months ago pending formalisation.
“Honourable Minister, sometimes even longer than that depending on the circumstance. You can have a letter which was written even eight months ago and the response comes now. You are correct Minister, let it be withdrawn. With guidance, I think what will be the best is we can do a letter for PS to just cancel everything that we have done,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is there are letters which are still not received by the Ministry. If we did a letter to stop PSMD and the commission from acting on those letters, I think that will be the best way to do it. These people honourable Minister are not working. The letters were written way back and then they were with the commission and PSMD.”
In response, Masebo directed that letters be written to PSMD and Secretary to Cabinet in order to cancel all pending letters of employment or transfers within the Ministry.
“Unless that person is already in employment and now you are just formalising it. But if that person is not in employment, even if he was employed and never entered the office, you cannot formalise an employment. That is wrong and I will not accept that person. My question is these people who are being given these letters are they already working and in employment or these are people who are waiting or promised and now you are formalising? What is the story? Can you just give me a better explanation on that? That is not acceptable. PS take note. Before you leave the office tonight, write a letter to the Secretary to Cabinet and PSMD and tell them to cancel all those,” said Masebo.