n Journal of Public Administration - The Tripartite Alliance as a in promoting public interest and accountability in the post-Apartheid South African governance

Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Civil society, a term employed to name the space of those persuaded to join associations, in voluntary membership to collectively establish unions, churches, political parties, cooperation, neighbourhoods, schools of thoughts, societies to promote or prevent actions in government, influence policy, enhancing accountability and safeguard the interest of the public from exploitation by holding public officials accountable for their action in government. Civil society in developing democracies, remain the space where societies can be channelled to express their interest, and thereby be an agent to convey such information to the authorities. In South Africa, one of the largest players in that space of human association is the Tripartite Alliance, a collective of the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist Party (SACP), with thousands affiliates where COSATU is constituted of the labour unions and ANC being the government of the day. While currently ANC is a ruling party, the two subordinates play a significant role in influencing resolutions of the ANC policy and in some cases their leaders are deployed in the government institutions as political office bearers. This paper seeks to presents the contextual interface between government and civil society, the role of civil society in promoting public interest and accountability in government action, it further examine the ability of the Tripartite Alliance in promoting accountability in the South African government activity.

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