SHORT ESSAY | MAY 2011

Why the Past Matters: Histories of the Public Service in South Africa

This paper argues that the state of the public sector in South Africa is heavily influenced by particular histories of state administration related to the legacy of apartheid and the nature of the political transition to democracy. Whilst this theme is explored in a number of scholarly texts, there is a paucity of work in the discipline of public administration which takes into account this legacy, particularly the significance for the viability of a range of public sector reform initiatives, and for the models of public sector management underpinning these reforms.

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