Writing the difficult thoughts


Dear colleague,

I thought I should write this letter to express my opinion about my experience and share my insights on important xxx matters.

  1. Training and development to the CA (SA) Trainee
  • The shortlisting date for the xxx refers
  • That the recruitment does not allow for the trainee to be given exposure on how to prepare and contribute to panel selection and to participate in the shortlisting process and ultimately the interviews
  • This despite the fact that this process is part of his training plan
  • I have made observations and this has been my thoughts, that:


  1. The recruitment policy needs to be updated to include training of employees outside the xxx unit in order to gain exposure
  2. Especially if it relates to the unit which is relevant to their training
  • A trainee at SRxxx, is mostly likely to face challenges of recruitment and placement in a work environment
  1. Recruitment and selection is a very important process and gives insight on how to choose the right person for the position
  2. These and more skills are pertinent in ensuring that a manager is fully equipped with such a skill
  3. Our CA( SA) trainee, is an SR level xxx, once qualified, he enters permanent employment at SR level xxxx and the likelihood that they will be excepted to partake in their units selection and interview is high
  • I further base the above on my own personal experience here as I walked into an environment where there were 8 vacant post and I had no resources
  • I had to first find alternative methods on how to solve the problem , as there was no xxx fully equipped with the Public Service procedures
  • In the interim, we had to make do with interns, a process which had never been done xxx xxx and I am very proud to have initiated it
  • Constantly looking for solutions and various methods of solving problems, is key to the success of a manager
  • This is fully represented by the CMC’s in our performance agreements
  • It has taken almost 4 years to fill the vacancy at xxx xxx for obvious reasons and to date there are still existing limiting factors, to which we are using the job rotation strategy to try close the gap
  • The point I am trying to emphasise is this, a manager at SRxxxx is expected to be resourceful and to always challenge the manner with which things are being done
  • It is an inherent part of the position


  • With that being said, I wish to request that the trainee be considered for inclusion in the selection and interview process for the xxx , as arranged for the xxxx
  • Furthermore, considerations must be made in the future to expose our candidates to such valuable experience
  • We are planning to access more CA(SA) trainees for xxxx and it would be excellent if we are able to expose them to decision making including xxxxx


  1. Our manner of communicating


  • Over the working time that we have had together, our working relationship has improved for the better
  • However, there are specific areas that are of great concern to me, in the manner with which we communicate
  • So I have decided to put these here, so that we can both have clarity of the issues
  • I find that 9 out of 10 times, when we are having a difference of opinion, you always say to me “Government does not work that way”
  • I have listened over and over to this statement and it is not until recently that you raised this again in a meeting it left me saddened and disappointed
  • Our lack of fighting fair and lack of cohesion has given power to the notion that women in power can never see eye to eye, nor can they work together
  • Now this is the notion that I don’t believe in it and I refuse to support the narrative

Let us change the narrative

  • I think we can both agree that xxx is a unique environment
  • It is both new to you and surely new to me also
  • This then says to me, neither of us can claim to be perfect for the environment, by either previous experience or other means
  • All that we possess is the willingness to improve and see the entity getting better
  • Whether it is by PSA on your end and BCEA on my end, our goal post is the same, to see xxx making an impact to the society of the disadvantaged
  • I therefore feel that, your comments towards me, have a potential of damaging my self – esteem and can have a negative impact on my capabilities and how I feel about myself. Especially because you are a xxxxxxxxx.
  • I strongly believe that I could brush it off if it were not from xxxxx but by virtue and nature of your position, I expect a different and the opposite to what I am receiving currently
  • Being told to leave xxxx because people like me do not belong here, especially when I am trying to challenge the status quo, is very worrying to me
  • I know that government is bureaucratic in nature and I understand that, but the degree of your expression has left me to wonder how we are ever going to change our country as a whole.
  • I respect the desire to comply and all, but the take on policy as being cast on stone, in a changing environment is very worrying
  • To use an example of a trainee above, if xxxx does not stand up, to include candidates who are being trained in one of the very scarce resources in South Africa, because the policy is silent on the matter, who will stand up to challenge the status quo?
  • Who is going to say in government, that we as empowered managers are making a contribution to our  society and are intentionally training our people in this rare commodity?
  • I think many at times, we as xxx need to realise that we have the power to ask and challenge the policies to work for us.
  • Your response on the matter which said, if we do, who will account, is one that is concerning
  • I believe we are not just hired to push paper, but we must compliment and close the gap between the entity’s strategy, the vision and political will.
  • If we continue to do things as they are, the policy makers assume that the policy is still relevant, meanwhile the goal post has moved ten steps further
  • I acknowledge that bringing change to public service is very difficult, but I think we are partly responsible for that because we feel we have no power to contribute to the changes we desire
  • Meanwhile we have the power to say stop, this is no longer relevant
  • My personal belief is, we need to create the work environment that we desire, this I believe is possible in government
  • I personally am not afraid of being unpopular in order to achieve impact, I do believe that we can complement each other
  • I therefore cannot be silent, knowing that black CA’s are a rare skill , yet agree to the fact that I cannot expose them to critical training, due to fear of accounting or a silent policy or anything related
  • I think this is how we are going to change our country and ultimately change the course of a black child!

Going forward

  • Moving forward, I would like you to accommodate the fact that, I have something to give , whilst you also have something to give
  • I would request that we put our efforts , together to build
  • Let us work together and not against each other
  • Regardless of how unfamiliar my methods and approach may be to you
  • You have a role to play as a xxxx
  • And I believe one of them is to build and not to destroy
  • I also have a role to play and compliance is at the core of what I do, so my intention is never to NOT comply, it is not in my nature
  • Be willing to receive a different opinion without patronising the opinion giver
  • And lastly, you must give me a benefit of a doubt, always


xxxx, we are the ones we have been waiting for, no one is coming to save us!! We have to save ourselves and we have the power to do so. And I am glad I cannot blame a white man or apartheid in this instance, it is indeed up to us.




Nomusa Malatji



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