n Journal of Public Administration - The South African senior public service : roles and the structure in post-1994 departments

Volume 36, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This paper analyses the roles of South Africa's senior public servants and the challenges they face in national and provincial departments. 'Senior public service' here refers to the managerial positions from assistant director level. At provincial levels, the study cover only the departments of Health and Education in Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal; at national level, the departments of Health and Public Service and Administration.

The paper examines the roles of these officials (180) and how departmental or ministerial structures affect them, including the influence on these roles by the politicians in their departments or ministries. For this purpose, the literature on comparable executives, covering relationships between government ministers and public servants around the world was helpful. The overall changes occurring in South Africa's public service are important for study, but this paper specifically focuses on only those affecting the senior public servants. It argues that the departmental or ministerial structures affect the roles of the senior public service, and that this possibly determines the nature of change inside the public service. The discussion focuses on the top echelons of the public service to investigate how this group of officials implement South Africa's new public policies.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error