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Dr. Pheme was a man of impeccable character - Premier

By Maanda Mulaudzi

The name of Dr. Pheme could not be found on the same page with words such as corruption, nepotism, favouritism, laziness. He remains a man of impeccable character and admirable work ethic. We can learn so much from what made Dr. Pheme the man we all so admired. Premier Chupu Mathabatha said this during the farewell dinner for the retiring Dr. PP Pheme which was held at the Ranch Hotel on 07 October 2015. He  was the Acting Director-General of the Limpopo Province. He served the public over four decades.

Before 1994 he worked for the then Lebowa Homeland in the Office of the Chief Minister as Secretary and later Head of the Department. In climbing up the administrative ladder Dr. Pheme worked as an administrative clerk, a human resources officer, a training officer, deputy secretary for the chief Minister, Chief Director for Corporate Service, Head of Department and Deputy Director-General.

He was part of the team that amalgamated Lebowa, Gazankulu, Venda and Transvaal Provincial Administration to create the current Limpopo Provincial Government. “Those who wish to remain in the public service as long as Dr. Pheme did, should know that some of the qualities that sustained him for such a long period are honesty, loyality and personal intergrity”.he said.

In his words of appreciation, Dr. Pheme remarked that some civil servants  were holding  a view that staying long  in an environment was a sign that the skill that you have cannot be sold somewhere and that such a worker does not add value as he/she gets blunted by the environment. He said that his own understanding and observations were that workers might stay at one job for fear of the unknown.

He said that during his career as civil servant he was directed into areas that he actually disliked but obliged and this helped in the long run. “I was sent to Education twice and to Agriculture for a full twelve months. Prior to 1994 I was transferred to the PSC four times without having applied for the transfer. One issue that is almost impossible today is to rotate employees. This makes employees knowledgeable in only a portion of their administrative duties because they cannot be shifted without complaint.