The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday revealed that the majority of grievances it received from civil servants in the first quarter of 2018 relate to allegations of unfair treatment by superiors, followed by salary problems.
Speaking at a media briefing, Public Service Commissioner Michael Seloane said: “With regards to the overall number of grievances handled by the PSC, up to 31 March 2018, the PSC dealt with 654 grievances including 86 carry-over cases from the previous financial year.
"The total number of grievances handled by the PSC, up to the end of March 2018 increased by 209, that is 47 percent [increase].
“I may as well emphasise here that the grievances that come to the PSC are very small, compared to the grievances that are handled in the departments. The ones that come to the PSC are as a result of the departments failing to resolve them to the satisfaction of the aggrieved within the departments.”
The PSC manages the national anti-corruption hotline, on behalf of the South African government, as it was mandated by Cabinet in 2002.
A PSC bulletin released on Tuesday indicates that of the 388 “properly referred grievances” for the period ending 31 March 2018, a total of 302 [78 percent] of the grievances had been concluded and 86 [22 percent] grievances remained pending.
Of the 302 grievances, 46 [15 percent] were found to be substantiated, 78 [26 percent] were found to be unsubstantiated and eight [three percent] were found to be “partially substantiated”.
A total of 170 grievances were closed after the matters were resolved at departmental level as a result of the intervention of the PSC.
“Most of the grievances received relate to unfair treatment [29 percent] and salary problems [28 percent] bringing the total number of grievances that fall in these two categories to 228 cases [58 percent]," said the PSC bulletin titled “The Pulse of the Public Service”.
"Unfair treatment grievances are grievances mostly influenced by perceptions of unprofessional conduct by supervisors. For example, an employee may feel that his/her supervisor dislikes him/her, thus resulting in victimisation, favouritism and inconsistent treatment of employees,”
Seloane said in the 2017/18 financial year, the PSC received almost 900 complaints of alleged corruption within the public service.
“The PSC received a total of 882 complaints of alleged corruption during the financial year 2017/18, and these complaints were reported through the anti-corruption hotline and they were referred for investigation to relevant departments.
"A total of 282 complaints were reported through the national anti-corruption hotline and referred to departments during the fourth quarter [of 2017]. This number presents a significant increase of complaints referred for investigation when compared to the previous quarter,” said Seloane.
“The majority of complaints, which is 197, referred to social grant fraud and were referred to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).”
As at March 2018, the vacancy rate in the public service had decreased to 6,2 compared to 7,6 in the previous quarter. That improvement in filling job posts was attributed to the reduction of vacancies within the South African Police Service.