n Journal of Public Administration - Reflections on South Africa as a developmental state

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The article reflects on the progress the South African government is making in realising the imperatives of a developmental state. It examines contemporary engagements on the issue of a developmental state. At the outset, the article unpacks the theoretical antecedents of a developmental state to develop a framework for analysis. In the context of this framework, the article argues that a developmental state is premised on two dimensions, namely social and economic. These dimensions are used as a framework to understand how South Africa fares as a developmental state. In engaging with this question, the article makes an observation that, notwithstanding service delivery challenges in the country, the government is seemingly making significant strides in its attempts to realise the social imperatives of a developmental state. On the economic front, a similar deduction is difficult to make as debates in this regard are so polarised. The article recommends that research on Black Economic Empowerment and its impact in maximising citizen participation in the mainstream economy should be undertaken.

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