n Journal of Public Administration - Developing effective policies and frameworks to improve governance performance in South Africa

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Government performance in South Africa is perceived to be on the decline. This has been confirmed by the latest polls on public perceptions with regard to the performance of government in handling key policy areas. The government is said to be under-performing in the areas of developing and implementing effective policies in education, the economy, with specific focus on job creation, and the public service with special reference to corruption, health, land reform and crime. Many policies have been developed over the years starting with the Reconstruction and Development Programmes, which were aimed at redressing the past imbalances and improving the socio-economic status of the majority of South Africans. However, not much has been achieved. Therefore, this article envisages highlighting the challenges faced by the government in developing and implementing policies and strategies, and to present the considered view on guidelines for policy enhancement. A desktop analysis is adopted to present arguments and to develop guidelines unique to the South African context. However, other countries with characteristics similar to those of South Africa may benefit from the findings. One of the major findings in this article is that policies developed in the country are generally not easily digestible by the operational staff that are supposed to implement them. Furthermore, few follow-ups are made in assessing the effectiveness of policies. Instead, more policies are developed to remedy problematic situations. This article, therefore, argues that form and fibre should be part and parcel of every policy that is developed and that the government should engage in reflective practice rather than overlook its past faults.

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