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By Sarah Meny-Gibert and Ryan Brunette

This policy brief focuses on delineating and stabilising the political administrative interface in local government in South Africa. Often framed in policy discussions as part of a process to ‘professionalise’ the public administration – government has mooted a number of proposals in this regard, most prominently with the publication of the National Development Plan in 2013. The impetus to ‘professionalise’ the public administration in South Africa has emerged, over the last decade or so, out of significant concerns with the functioning of the public sector in relation to the pressing developmental needs of the country. This fundamentally includes, though is not limited to, concerns about the impacts of private ‘capture’ of the state on its capabilities.

This policy brief is one of a series developed by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), intended to contribute to a strategy for state reform. The series focuses on specific interventions to achieve integrity, democratic control and effectiveness in the public administration. It is designed to provide reform-minded politicians, public servants and civil society actors with a programme for constructive change upon which they can agree and act.