Key Points:

  • South Africa’s public service is failing due to incompetence of public servants; poor management systems in public institutions; ambitious state objectives that exceed our capacity and a political context that is not conducive to an efficient system.
  • By assessing the nine values of public administration as stipulated in the constitution, the Public Service Commission reported the performance of public service across 75 government departments at an overall average of 55 percent.
  • The technical design of South Africa’s reform of the public service must be tailored to our specific political economy challenges.
  • Reform of the South African public service must be affordable; there must be clear goals, effective monitoring and accountability; good management practices must be instituted; and corruption must be fought effectively.