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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Chapter 13 - Public Service Commission And Public Service

Public Service Commission

209 Establishment

(1) There shall be a Public Service Commission for the Republic, which shall have the powers and functions entrusted to it by this Constitution or by a law of a competent authority.

(2) The Commission shall in respect of the exercise and performance of its powers and functions be accountable to Parliament.

210 Powers and functions

(1) The Commission shall be competent-

(2) Until amended by law, the powers and functions of the Commission set out in subsection (1) shall be exercised and performed in accordance with the laws in force at the commencement of this Constitution.

(3) A recommendation or direction of the Commission shall be implemented by the appropriate person or institution within six months unless-

(4) The Commission may appoint, in a manner prescribed by law, such persons as may be necessary for the discharge of its work.

(5) Expenditure incurred in connection with the exercise and the performance of the powers and functions of the Commission in terms of this Constitution or any other law shall be defrayed from money appropriated by Parliament and from fees raised or money obtained in a manner authorised by an Act of Parliament.

(6) On the recommendation of the Commission the President may assign by proclamation in the Gazette any power or function of the Commission to a provincial service commission.

(7) The Commission shall annually submit a report on its activities to Parliament.

211 Composition


(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed to the Commission if he or she-

(3) The composition, appointment, tenure, vacation of office, conditions of service and functioning of the Commission shall be as determined by Act of Parliament, and such Act shall ensure the independence and impartiality of the Commission and the efficient and effective exercise and performance of its powers and functions.

The Public Service

212 The Public Service

(1) There shall be a public service for the Republic, structured in terms of a law to provide effective public administration.

(2) Such public service shall-

(3) Employment in the public service shall be accessible to all South African citizens who comply with the requirements determined or prescribed by or under any law for employment in such service.

(4) In the making of any appointment or the filling of any post in the public service, the qualifications, level of training, merit, efficiency and suitability of the persons who qualify for the appointment, promotion or transfer concerned, and such conditions as may be determined or prescribed by or under any law, shall be taken into account.

(5) Subsection (4) shall not preclude measures to promote the objectives set out in subsection (2).

(6) Provision shall be made by law for a pension for a member of the public service by means of a pension fund or funds established by law, and members of the public service who are required by law to be members of a pension fund shall be entitled to fair representation on the body which manages the applicable fund.


(8) For the purposes of this section the public service shall include the permanent force of the National Defence Force referred to in section 226 (1).

Provincial Service Commissions

213 Provincial Service Commissions

(1) A provincial legislature may provide by law for a provincial service commission and, subject to norms and standards applying nationally, such commission shall, in respect of public servants employed by the province, be competent-

(2) The provisions of sections 210 (2), (3), (4), (5) and (7) and 211 pertaining to the Public Service Commission, shall mutatis mutandis apply to a provincial service commission, except that any reference to an Act of Parliament, Parliament or the President shall be deemed to be a reference to a provincial law, a provincial legislature or the Premier of a province, respectively.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.