n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die huidige stand van beleidsbestuur in die Suid-Afrikaanse openbare sektor

Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Een van die opwindendste uitdagings wat die regering in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika in die gesig gestaar het, was nie net die daarstelling van 'n verteenwoordigende openbare sektor nie, maar ook instellings wat kwaliteit dienste kon lewer om die algemene welsyn van alle inwoners te verbeter. Waarskuwings is egter uitgespreek dat die hervormings wat aangegaan word nie slegs op maatskaplike opheffingsdoelwitte moet fokus nie, aangesien hierdie doelwitte slegs bereik kan word indien die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie op 'n standvastige trajek van volgehoue ekonomiese groei en ontwikkeling geplaas kan word. Die huidige stand van groei en ontwikkeling demonstreer 'n oënskynlike tekort aan vooruitgang in terme van die lewering van bepaalde dienste. In hierdie artikel sal aandag gefokus word op wat beleidsbestuur behels, die openbare sektor transformasie wat in Suid-Afrika plaasgevind het en die gepaardgaande veranderinge wat hiermee plaasgevind het, en hoe die veranderinge bereik is om te bepaal of verbetering of agteruitgang van dienste plaasgevind het. Voorstelle word ook gemaak om die openbare sektor verder te verbeter en te versterk.

Change happens at breathtaking speed, placing governments and public administrations in situations that are probably quite different from those they have been used to. Today, developing countries such as South Africa, need to find solutions that are appropriate for today's needs in order to clear up ambiguities around some of the basic principles by which they are governed. However, public administrations will always have to deal with paradoxes, and the challenge is to strike the right balance between the opposing poles that define societies. One of the most exciting challenges that faced the government in post-apartheid South Africa was not only to create a representative public sector, but also institutions which could deliver quality services to improve the living conditions of all citizens. Attempts were made to address the inequalities that remained in the society and expectations generated by earlier election promises to also meet basic needs, develop human resources, democratise the state and build the economy. Caution has been expressed that the reforms undertaken should not only focus on social upliftment objectives, since these objectives can only be achieved if the South African economy can be placed firmly on the path of sustainable economic growth and development. The present state of growth and development seems to demonstrate an apparent lack of progress in terms of the delivery of particular services. The ability of the public service to deliver and expand on the above-mentioned will decide whether the country becomes a stable political economy driving development in Africa or remains a volatile country bedevilled by massive inadequacies in service delivery. The political leadership and management skills of its political office-bearers and the professionalism of its corps of civil servants will also be decisive. It will furthermore depend on the management of policies initiated by the government to ensure the above-mentioned. However, cognisance should be taken of the fact that the challenges of governing are complicated by factors such as the growing complexity of policy issues, the need for a simpler and more transparent political process, the multiplication of controls, countless procedures that hamper change, low public administration productivity, growing financial constraints, and citizens' lack of confidence and trust in the public service. In this article attention will therefore be focused on what policy management entails, the public sector transformation that took place in South Africa and the subsequent changes that it brought about, and how these changes were achieved to determine whether improvement or deterioration of services occurred. Suggestions are made to further improve and strengthen the public sector.

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