The first phase of the Department of Labour’s (DoL) organisational review strategy named Project Shanduka designed to unlock service delivery has begun and will reach impetus in the next 18-22 months, Director General Nkosinathi Nhleko revealed.
Nhleko was speaking ahead of the start of a two-day report-back visit which starts today (February 4) in KwaZulu-Natal. The Director-General will be visiting the province to give staff a feed-back on the progress made in the implementation of Project Shanduka.
“Project Shanduka is a change management process. Its objective is to respond to concerns that were raised by rank and file in the employ of the department. The roadshows we are about to embark on are part of an exercise to provide feedback on progress to date.
“The strategy is being implemented already. It will address the issues around lack of tools of trade, the optimal utilisation of people according to their competence, address full utilisation of resources and deal with issues of accommodation. Where there is a need to redeploy resources we will do so. We need to structure at the top and ensure that there is a ‘bulge’ at the bottom where service delivery occurs,” Nhleko said.
According to Nhleko, 2013 takes place within a decade of a dedicated cadre. He said this calls for a period of renewal in which civil servants rededicate themselves towards increased productivity and increase work ethic to ensure a smooth service delivery.
As part of his orientation, he went on a fact-finding mission of how the department functions. During his sojourn Nhleko was accompanied by a delegation of senior managers in the department.
The objectives of the fact finding mission were to: examine the unique driving economic factors for each of the DoL provincial offices and their direct bearing on the demand for service delivery; gauge staff sentiment on the ground and be able to make an analysis of the state of health of the DoL as an organisation; assess the capacity of the provincial offices to implement and enforce the policies and legislation of the DoL; devise informed intervention mechanisms to the challenges faced by the department; and mobilise necessary resources to deal with these challenges by leveraging the current financial allocation of the department and/or requesting additional funding from the National Treasury.
A report compiled by the department following Nhleko’s national tour to DoL operations unveiled that DoL is besieged by a number of challenges, however, it is not on the brink of collapse. The report found that the DoL has a dedicated and hardworking workforce that is interested in service delivery and the modernisation of service delivery by the department.
Project Shanduka’s intention is to elevate the Department of Labour into being ‘an employer of choice and centre of training’ – while also become a client-centric organisation. Further to that the project would also address matters in regard to optimum number, size and geographical spread and location of service delivery points.
The next stop of Nhleko’s visit will be Western Cape on February 13-14 and the Eastern Cape on February 25 and 26.