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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reforming the Public Service in South Africa: A Policy Framework
Author:Ncholo, Paseka
Periodical:Public Administration and Development
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:civil service reform
Politics and Government
Development and Technology
External link:https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-162X(200005)20:2<87::AID-PAD117>3.0.CO;2-H
Abstract:The public service in South Africa is experiencing a paradigm shift in its attempt to govern effectively and efficiently. Pressure for change was self-propelled by the new democratic government, but it also came from citizens, many of whom had voted for the first time in 1994. The legislative public sector reform programme had its roots in principles drawn from both the 1993 and 1996 Constitutions. The intention of the administrative reform was to replace the rule-bound, command-and-control approach of the apartheid regime with one that aimed to reorient public servants to 'serve the public' in a customer-focused way. The achievements of integrating the ethnically fragmented public service and of promoting a more representative bureaucracy are outlined, as well as the promotion of a more transparent form of administration. However, the process of reform has not always run smoothly. The author of this paper was the chairperson of an investigation into the operations of provincial governments which uncovered evidence of administrative malpractice, poor delegation and coordination, and the employment of supernumeraries and fictitious employees, the so-called ghost workers. A major challenge in the public sector transformation process will be to develop the capacity and skills needed to operate in a new paradigm of decentralized management. Bibliogr., sum.