n Journal of Public Administration - Transmogrifying Public Administration scholarship and praxis in South Africa

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


The changes in scholarship of Public Administration in South Africa have not sufficiently responded to the profession and scholarship needs of the African Continent. Part of this glaring failure was also ignorantly carried through a change in the name of its professional association from the South African Institute of Public Administration (SAIPA) to the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) in 1999. The thrust of this paper is on two key issues using a descriptive approach. Firstly is to ensure that Public Administration scholarship activities in South Africa evolve to resonate with pertinent continental research needs and the subsequent agenda. In this regard, this paper argues that SAAPAM has perpetuated an untenable closed system research agenda. Therefore, aligning local pan-African notions to African governance challenges requires key scholarship qualities as advanced here to bridge the scholarship and practice divide in South Africa and the continent. Secondly, the bridging of the existing gap between scholarship and practice requires interventions of an intransigent meritorious kind in the public service. This meritocracy is where the appointment of public officials is embedded in the recognition of academic qualifications, especially for senior positions.

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