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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Africanus
Title Public policy making in a post-apartheid South Africa: A preliminary perspective
Volume 38
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 7-23
URL http://www.vusigumede.com/content/academic papers/Public policy making (Journal of Development​Studies paper, 38, 2, pp 7-23).pdf
This article discusses public policy making in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, concentrating on ‘nation building’. Contrary to the characterisation and conclusions reached by Luiz (2002) and Wenzel (2007), among others, on the South African public service and public policy making and associated ‘outcomes’, this article concludes that public policy making in South Africa has been undertaken relatively well and that the consequent ‘results’ are commendable. It presents a preliminary perspective on public policy making in South Africa, describing relevant institutions (including non-state actors) and highlighting some high-level ‘outcomes’ of the South African policy-making approach, as well as presenting some broad views on developments taking place with regard to nation building. The article argues that, first at a theoretical level, the obvious next stage in public sector reforms worldwide, after the new public management reforms, is the integrated governance approach (as described by Halligan 2007). Given how public sector reforms have evolved, it would seem that South Africa has just truly entered a phase of integrated governance. Further, the article posits that the public policies that are being pursued and the manner in which this is being done (in an integrated governance fashion and partnerships with rest of society) constitute an attempt to mediate the neo-classical economic (or neo-liberal) thinking, including constraints imposed by theories (such as public choice theory) on development. In addition, although the ‘integrated governance’ system requires further interrogation, the article tentatively concludes that South Africa has established ideal institutions for the policy-making process and encapsulates most of the salient features of a democratic developmental state.

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