n Journal of Public Administration - Institutions supporting democracy : noise makers without teeth?

Volume 49, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Institutions supporting democracy, as constituted by Chapter 9 of the 1996 , are crucial oversight instruments. Established to promote good governance, some are more vocal than others. The three most vocal of these are the Office of the Auditor-General, the Office of the Public Protector and the Public Service Commission. However, the extent to which their noisemaking is translated into good governance remains a bone of contention. While the findings of these institutions in most cases suggest clear corrupt tendencies by the executive branch, and recommendations are made, they seldom draw meaningful reaction. Corruption appears to be increasing, irrespective of the noise that the institutions make. This paper argues that the effect of corruption in South Africa has seriously constrained the development of the national economy and inhibited good governance. That is, whereas the South African government has vocal institutions supporting democracy, perpetrators of corruption are not held accountable. This paper insinuates that a major contributing factor to this effect is insufficient coordination of anti-corruption institutions such as the Public Service Commission, the Office of the Public Protector, the Office of the Auditor-General and the South African Police Service, among others. Therefore, the paper calls for coordinated close collaboration of the institutions supporting democracy and encouragement of political willingness among the lawmakers to hold the executive accountable.

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