NSI’s “An Agenda for Reform” Gains Traction in the Media


We are pleased to announce that the New South Institute’s (NSI) policy brief, “An Agenda for Reform,” is sparking crucial conversations across various media platforms. Dr. Ivor Chipkin, the policy brief’s author and NSI’s Executive Director and co-founder, has been engaged in enlightening discussions about the state of public service in South Africa on three notable platforms.

The first opportunity unfolded on the 22nd of June on TV NewzRoom Afrika, followed by a dialogue on Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show, which aired on 702 and Cape Talk radios. Lastly, Dr. Chipkin contributed to the debate on the radio program Power Perspective, hosted by Denzil Taylor on Power 98.7 radio.

Through these dialogues, NSI is fulfilling its essential role as a think tank. By injecting well-researched and insights into public discourse, we aim to shape and contribute to the pressing debates concerning South Africa’s future. Our goal is to foster a society where public institutions are competent to ensure effective service delivery for all citizens.

In his interview with NewzRoom Afrika, Dr. Chipkin discussed the Public Service Act of 1994 and the broader administrative environment in South Africa. He argued for the separation of political and administrative spheres and emphasized the importance of a professional, meritocratically selected class of administrators. Chipkin expressed optimism about the changing political environment, linking government performance to electoral success.

On The Money Show, Dr. Chipkin further delved into the issue of politics and public service. He pointed out the negative effects of politicizing public administration and underlined the necessity of separating political decision-making from administrative tasks. Additionally, he addressed the historical context that led to the current state of public administration and proposed that Section 3 of the Public Service Act be repealed or amended to remedy the damage.

Finally, on the Power Perspective radio program, the conversation revolved around the institutional failure in South Africa as a result of political choices made in 1994. Dr. Chipkin highlighted the importance of professionalizing public service and creating an autonomous bureaucracy for effective governance.

These debates underscore the NSI’s commitment to enhancing public dialogue and instigating reform within public service in South Africa. For further details, we invite you to read the full policy brief, “An Agenda for Reform,” available on our website.

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