The legislative mandate for the NSG is derived from Section 4 of the Public Service Act, as follows:

1. There shall be a training institution listed as a national department (in Schedule 1).
2. The management and administration of such institution shall be under the control of the Minister.
3. Such institution-

  • shall provide such training or cause such training to be provided or conduct such examinations or tests or cause such examinations or tests to be conducted as the Head of the institute may with the approval of the Minister decide or as may be prescribed as a qualification for the appointment or transfer of persons in or to the public service;
  • may issue diplomas or certificates or cause diplomas or certificates to be issued to persons who have passed such examinations.

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, assented the Public Administration Management Act (PAM Act) on the 19th December 2014. According to Chapter 4, Section 11 of the Act, provision is made for the establishment of the National School of Government. The Act takes effect on a date determined by the President by proclamation in the Gazzette. Furthermore, different dates may be so determined in respect of different provisions of the Act.


The National School of Government (NSG) aims to contribute to establishing a capable, professional and responsive public sector that is committed to, and has institutionalised, the values and policies of a developmental state. This would be a public sector that delivers services that are able to address the challenges of poverty and inequality.


The NSG is responsible for learning and development programmes in a uniform public sector with the objective of developing a professional, responsive and capable public sector, driven by the imperative of a developmental state. A culture and ethos of service will be imbued throughout the public sector, meeting the expectations of stakeholders and communities, and based on policy commitments of government.


Three core values that define the NSG. These are learn, grow, and serve.

Capacity for Learning is an essential foundation for South Africa’s future development, and this value will find expression in the NSG. The NSG assists public organisations to continuously improve outcomes and impact by institutionalising effective and reliable learning. As the ultimate purpose of all the NSG’s learning and development programmes and services is improved performance of public sector institutions, there will be an organisational development focus in every aspect of design, development and delivery ensuring that capacity issues are approached holistically, developmentally and systematically.

With learning there is Growth. The content of learning and development will be socially and politically progressive, national in character but supported by and reflective of the needs and challenges of local contexts. Learning programmes are designed to be dynamic and developmental; they ensure that public servants are able to access relevant knowledge and develop critical, reflective, analytical and problem solving skills that will enable them to be responsive to the needs and demands that confront the public sector. The NSG’s research and knowledge management support services ensures that public servants will be able to contribute to the ongoing development of policy-relevant knowledge through their own learning and development process.

Serving and a professional, responsive service-orientation are central to a developmental state. The NSG will emphasise partnerships, consultation and engagement in the development of a national Learning and Development Strategy,

with the objective of developing collective leadership for a uniform professional and capable public service, imbued with a culture and ethos of service. The NSG will be grounded in the democratic ethos and values of the South African Constitution and contribute to institutionalising the values and principles of public service it outlines.

These include the following:

  • Accountability
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Consistency
  • Excellence
  • Fairness
  • Social justice

The work of the NSG will be shaped by the following foundational values.

  • Lead by example
  • Achieve excellence through collaboration
  • Innovate continuously
  • Flexible, responsive and needs-driven services