PSC assesses devolution progress


By Mvelo Zondo

A team from the Public Service Commission (PSC) was in Gwanda on Monday and met provincial
heads of government departments to assess and understand the way devolution is being
implemented in Matabeleland South Province.

PSC vice chairperson, Dr Nomalanga Ndiweni, who led the team, outlined its
mission before responding to the issues raised by the senior government officers.

As the Public Service Commission, we want to know who is doing what and
where it is being done, she explained.

"I am happy to announce that Matabeleland South is on course on devolution but needs serious
support from the PSC and Treasury. I know that there are some cases where budgets are released on
paper and not disbursed to beneficiaries, which makes implementation of work impossible."

During the engagement, senior government officers told the PSC team that their biggest challenge
was understaffing, shortage of office space and residential accommodation for staff members, as
well as delays in releasing funds for projects.

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic College principal, Dr Ngoni Moyo, said the Government should
prioritise the welfare of workers, especially on housing challenges that staffers were facing.
In as much as we are understaffed, our challenge is that of staff houses, he said.
We might be crying that we want more staff members yet we don’t have houses to accommodate
them. I am, therefore, appealing to my employer to prioritise the welfare of its employees by
building staff houses and even incentivising us with houses.
Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development provincial development
officer, Merjury Sikhundla, complained about the delay in releasing devolution funds.
Devolution funds are taking too long to be released. The planning process of projects and their
implementation must not be miles apart.
Suppose I would have been allocated 500 litres of fuel to implement our targeted projects and that
fuel funding comes after three months. When I finally get the funds they will be enough to purchase
300 litres, meaning that I won’t be able to complete my work. At the end of the day the same
employer will punish me.

In her response, Dr Ndiweni said: "The serious shortage of houses and office space is a cause for
concern and the Government will address it as a matter of urgency.

Workers need to work and live in conducive environments. The issue of late disbursement of funds
from the Treasury has been noted and should also be addressed soon.
The PSC team will conduct other meetings in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North before moving to
other provinces.

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