n Journal of Public Administration - Improving public service delivery in the new South Africa : some reflections

Special issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article seeks to reflect on post-apartheid South Africa's efforts in providing sustainable public service delivery. In that regard the article tries to analyze the opportunities and challenges in public service delivery in present-day South Africa and to explore the various ways through which the country can take advantage of those opportunities and meet those challenges. As a point of departure the article begins by examining intergovernmental relations and proceeds to discuss the need for transformation of the public service in the context of historical realities and human rights obligations. The discussion then turns to the importance of the so-called principles and the alternative forms of service delivery. It is then concluded that service delivery is a continuous process that requires long-term commitment, a shared vision, clear strategies and cooperation from various sectors of the society. Integration, cooperation and coordination are also of crucial importance at the level of policy and strategy formulation where national, provincial and local spheres of government have to work together in conjunction with other role players and other institutions that carry out actual delivery. It is also concluded that transformation of the public service needs to be hastened and more use of alternative forms of service delivery considered. Furthermore, the role of non-state actors should not be underestimated. In particular, NGOs should be given more space and opportunity to be involved in public service delivery.

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