The leaders (top executives and senior managers) in the South African public service need to understand its environment that demands greater responsiveness and creativity than any other time in the history. With growing unemployment rate, which increased to 26.7% in the three months to March of 2016 from 24.5% in the previous quarter; as well as increasing service delivery protests, which reported to have reached 70 between January and April 2016; and harsh complex global processes; leaders in the South African public service are required to be able to counter-act these challenges diligently in order to achieve the country's developmental goals and objectives. To theoretically and empirically position the contestations of this article, the literature study method was adopted. The article seeks to highlight some competencies that should be given attention for today's and tomorrow's leaders in the public service in order to steer the South African society to achieve the aspirations of the developmental state and National Development Plan (NDP) vision 2030. The paper acknowledges the central interventions that have been introduced to improve public service operations, and it further suggests that it could be of assistance if a competence profile of leaders is clearly defined based on the current challenges faced by the country, and at the same time emphasising the values and principles enshrined in the South African Constitution (1996). When considering general trends of leadership development from countries such as United Kingdom and the United States, one finds that the first step taken to develop future leaders was to define their competence profile. Therefore, the purpose of the article is simply to add to the interventions in the South African public service, considering the shifting contexts that require today's and tomorrow's leaders to possess certain skills and competencies that would be instrumental for them to navigate and guide the country through a complex and ever-evolving environment with confidence and success. To this end, the competence profile framework is proposed.