n Journal of Public Administration - Sustaining good governance : is ethics and anti-corruption initiatives and agencies the answer?

Volume 42, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The environments of public organisations have become characterised by complexity, speed and fragmentation. Although economic efficiency still serves as an important guiding principle, its twin brother, hierarchy, is no longer an organisational principle. In its place, public organisations now emphasise co-operative relationships in the context of politically-driven structures. The relevance of co-operation has acquired a new significance in changing contexts that place more emphasis on relationship authority. A significant feature of co-operative relationships is the aspect of trust. It is contended that trust represents strength in all human relations. It is described as the social glue that holds together complex relational phenomena, leading to the belief that lack of trust between parties operating in network forms could lead to failure to attain set objectives, tensions between networking parties and general lack of co-operation. Governance, in particular, good governance, cannot be conceived in the absence of the aspect of trust between governance partners. Trust itself is inconceivable in the absence of ethics and a concerted effort to fight corruption (ant-corruption initiatives). Establishing good governance and the sustenance thereof pose challenges to governments in transition such as South Africa. Good governance and its sustenance is a product of unrelenting strive not only for clean government but of unwavering concerted effort by all stakeholders in governance to uphold ethicality and leave no room or little space for corrupt tendencies through strong and un-biased anti-corruption agencies. This article argues for ethics and anti-corruption initiatives in establishing and sustaining good governance. The point of departure is South Africa, which is considered a country in transition.

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