Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation Hosts Ivor Chipkin at Drakensberg Forum

The New South Institute (NSI) is pleased to announce the participation of our co-founder and Executive Director, Ivor Chipkin, in the latest edition of the Drakensberg Inclusive Growth Forum. Organized annually by the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation, this year’s event took place from October 27th to 29th, 2023.

On October 28th, Ivor Chipkin joined an esteemed panel to discuss the critical topic of public administration reform, a subject central to many of the socio-economic and political challenges facing South Africa today. His presentation, available for viewing on the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation’s YouTube channel (between 1:48:00 and 2:03:00 in the linked video), offered a profound analysis of the current state of South Africa’s public administration.

Watch Ivor’s intervention between minutes 1:48:00 and 2:03:00 of the video

Chipkin’s discourse centered on the consequences of the high degree of politicization introduced into the South African public administration by the ANC during the transition period post-apartheid. This politicization, coupled with the adoption of a managerial model of administration prevalent in international trends of the 1990s, has, according to Chipkin, led to a weakening of the South African bureaucracy. This model, primarily pro-flexibilization, undermined bureaucrats’ roles while empowering politically appointed managers, often leading to inefficiencies and challenges in administrative capacity.

Moreover, Chipkin highlighted how this approach has not only affected South Africa but also other parts of the world, raising questions about state capacity and democratic legitimacy. He referenced the “An Agenda for Reform” report, published in July 2023, which he authored, providing thoughtful proposals and suggestions for overcoming these challenges.

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