Provincial Treasury Bursary Awards Speech
In my budget speech earlier this year, I identified talent management as a key component of my plans for this administration. This involves finding solutions for the high vacancy and attrition rates in this department's divisions, career planning, competency building, and in the words of the Premier, achieving the objective of "fitness for purpose".
A large portion of Treasury's budget is spent on staff salaries and wages, and in order to get good value for money, we need to fill posts with quality employees, who will substantiate our investment.
As with most finance institutions, Provincial Treasury has struggled in the past to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of capable and dedicated staff. Our internal and external bursary programmes were developed as a direct result of this, and since they began, we have largely succeeded in filling the 37% vacancy rate we had. The results of this investment stand for themselves: the quality of staff that we now have in auditing, accounting, management and corporate governance is exceptional.
Most of our new employees are young, enthusiastic and very well trained - they have lots of potential and great new ideas.This leads me to believe that exciting possibilities for the MTEF period lie ahead.
Even though we are facing major budget cuts due to the economic climate that we currently find ourselves in, we will do everything that we can to ensure that this programme continues in future years. Education is the first crucial step toward economic growth and the future development of South Africa, and without it, we will always lag behind our Western counterparts.
This year, the caliber of applicants for our bursaries was especially high. Ten current members of staff were successful in applying for bursaries, while out of 90 external applicants, 9 were successful. We also have 6 Nedbank bursars. I am very excited about the group that we have chosen. I am hoping that upon completion of their studies, they will return to Provincial Treasury with a strong desire to further assist this new administration with its goal of becoming the most efficient and highest rated province by far. I have no doubt that in future years, this group will form part of the leadership team at Provincial Treasury, and I wish them well in the endeavours that they are facing.