Civil Service work can be highly rewarding- Temabhengu

15 November 2023

Temabhengu Hlophe is an Assistant Economist/Planning Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy. Since joining the civil service in December 2020, she has worked on projects with international organisations such as the World Bank. In the latest instalment of our civil servants’ blog, she talks about her role as an economist in Government.

Government Communications (GC): “What is your current job now and what does it entail?”

Temabhengu Hlophe (TH): “I am currently an Assistant Economist/Planning Officer under the Planning Unit at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy. My responsibilities include: budgeting (capital and recurrent); coordinating the activities of the Ministry (departments and Parastatals) i.e. preparing budget performance reports; advising on appropriate sectoral policies and ensure that they are consistent with the various strategies implemented by government (SSDIG, NDS, PRSAP, NDP); appraising all project proposals to be included in the Capital Estimates and rolling three-year development plans by undertaking cost benefit or cost effectiveness analysis of project proposals, among others.

The Planning Cadre under the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) was established to lead in overall development planning for the country, and monitoring of the economic performance. It does that through the production of national development documents such as the national development strategy/vision, poverty reduction strategy and development plans. It assists Government in formulating, co-ordinating and implementing economic policies, strategies/plans and intervention measures that will effectively and efficiently accomplish the country’s major economic and development objectives. The cadre was also tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the impact of development programs and projects in meeting the objectives of the country as set out in the National Development Strategy and National Development Plan.”

GC: “What is the biggest project that you have been involved in working for Government?”

TH: “It is hard to pick one but I have worked with the Energy department on the World Bank Multi-Tier Energy Access Survey which aims at capturing the multidimensional nature of energy access focusing on a range of technologies and sources that can provide energy. This survey will inform future policy aspirations especially towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 – Ensure access to affordable and clean energy.”

GC: “What do you love the most about working in Government?”

TH: “Working for government can be highly rewarding as it often involves serving the public and contributing to the well-being of society. There are also many opportunities you are exposed to. As a government employee, one gets to work with international organisations and meet different people. With government you even have the opportunity to work with international organisations on contract without having to resign. I also appreciate that Government encourages human capital development by allowing its employees to further their studies on a full time basis while retaining their jobs. Government also has partnerships with training institutions for capacitating her employees with short training courses. I have taken quite a few this year to upskill myself.”

GC: “What do you love the most about your job and profession?”

TH: “Being an economist comes in shades of grey. It offers a lot of opportunities in governments, consultancy and in academia. It promotes and demonstrates strong analytical skills and research ability alongside, by its nature, a strong awareness of current events and their wider impact. Economics are a way of looking at problems, balancing unlimited wants with limited resources and that is something that I apply to my personal life too.”

GC: “What would you say are some of the challenges that come with your job?”

TH: “Government is a social service provider. It is not an income generating entity so as economists we have to bear in mind that a majority of the capital projects government implements will have more social benefits than financial benefits. Working with limited budgets is a major challenge too.”

GC: “What lessons have you learnt working for Government?”

TH: “Have a growth mind-set. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon. Irrespective of one's post or experience, it is important to upskill yourself.”

GC: “What advice would you have for someone who wants to work for Government?”

TH: “Determine your interests and skills to find a role that aligns with your passions and strengths. Government offers a wide range of job opportunities from policy analysis, law enforcement, healthcare, education, finance, tourism and more. Internships are a great way to gain experience and learn about Government processes. Be persistent in your pursuit of your government career and stay committed to your goals.”

GC: “What are your aspirations for the future in Government?”

TH: “I am still new in the Civil Service but I aspire to work under Planning Units in other Ministries to assist/direct me towards the field of Economics I will specialise in when I eventually pursue another MSc degree or PhD.”


Follow Government on social media:

Facebook: Eswatini Government

Twitter: @EswatiniGovern1

Instagram: @eswatini_government

LinkedIn: Eswatini Government

OffCanvas Menu