n Journal of Public Administration - The praxis of governance in surmounting new frontiers : implications for the South African Public Service as a member of the BRICS states

Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Within the international community, democracy and governance are widely advocated as intrinsically desirable goals. Governance capacity also plays a vital role in advancing human security, enabling states to respond effectively to citizen's demands. Governance allows citizens to express their demands, hold public officials to account and rid themselves of ineffective leaders. Nevertheless, alternative schools of thought dispute their consequences and as the most effective strategy for achieving critical developmental objectives. Research has shown that countries that demonstrate adherence to high governance standards tend to outperform those which do not. The success of BRICS nations as the fastest growing emerging markets comes from a trend toward good governance, a concept virtually unheard of in these nations just a decade ago. Against this landscape, South Africa is perceived to have failed to unlock its potential because of the intrusive role of a controlling government, which has impacted the Public Service. It is perceived that the "new South African Public Service" is bereft of good governance and is in a survival crisis because of the political modalities of 1994. This paper contrasts the Public Service governance practices between South Africa and its bullish BRIC counterparts and examines whether the South African public service can demonstrate its capacity to rise above its current governance malaise and emulate, if not outperform the successes of its BRIC counterparts.

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