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PARI’s State Reform programme aims to reduce the influence of corruption and patronage on the public administration so that it better serves its democratic mandate. The programme provides evidence-based recommendations for reforms in key regulatory and administrative institutions with the aim of strengthening them. The programme currently focuses on:

  • Reform to the public procurement system – to improve its integrity and ensure it plays a stronger role in socioeconomic development.
  • Appointment reform and wider professionalisation of the public administration.
  • Institutional reform – to ensure it is appropriately embedded in anti-corruption efforts, including initiatives flowing from the work of the State Capture Commission.

The programme advocates for reforms through research and its dissemination, submissions on legislation, participation in government task teams and working with civil society partners to build momentum for change. We also contribute to scholarly and wider public discussion on topics such as state capture, public procurement and development, anti-corruption and politics, state capacity, and more.

Lead: Dr Sarah Meny-Gibert

Programme Team: Devi Pillay, Ryan Brunette, Professor Jonathan Klaaren (Wits), Dr Thokozani Chilenga-Butao (Wits), and Waseem Holland.

MultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
June 25, 2024

Watch | AfDG: An impartial, professional public administration will take us forward

Pam Yako, representing the Association of former Directors-General (AfDG), talks to Newzroom Afrika about how the public administration in the Government of National Unity (GNU) should operate, just ahead of…
PublicationsReportsState Reform
May 22, 2024

Report | AfDG State Capacity Dialogue Series

Over 2022 and 2023, PARI partnered with the Association of Former Directors-General to host a number of roundtable dialogues on the capacity of the state. These discussions brought together former…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
April 11, 2024

Submissions on the new Public Procurement Bill

PARI and the Joint Strategic Resource (JSR) in NEDLAC have put forward a second round of respective submissions to the Standing Committee on Finance in the National Assembly, on the…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
March 4, 2024

Statement | The Public Service Amendment Bill does not go far enough

Statement on the National Assembly’s passing of the Public Service Amendment Bill Issued by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) 29 February 2024 The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) welcomes…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
February 19, 2024

Public submission to Parliament on the Public Service Commission Bill 2023

PARI and The Ethics Institute welcome the Public Service Commission (PSC) Bill as a step towards ensuring the vision of public administration that is professional, effective, impartial and developmentally directed…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
December 12, 2023

Statement on the Public Procurement Bill 2023

The Public Procurement Bill is deficient and dangerous Parliament’s National Assembly has passed the Public Procurement Bill, sending it to the National Council of Provinces. This Bill is among the…
ConferenceEventsPublicationsReportsState Reform
November 29, 2023

Conference Report | Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations

In October 2023, PARI and CASAC hosted a follow-up to last year's conference, 'Implementing the State Capture Commission Recommendations' — in Johannesburg and online — with the University of Johannesburg…
Local GovtPolicy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
November 28, 2023

Policy brief | ‘Stabilising’ the political-administrative interface in local government: where to from here?

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…
ConferencesEventsNewsState ReformZondo
November 28, 2023

Conference | Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations | 25 & 26 Oct

Welcome to PARI and CASAC's conference on the implementation of the Zondo Commission recommendations. The aim of the conference is to keep the Commission’s work alive in the public imagination,…
ConferencesGalleryMultimediaState ReformZondo
November 6, 2023

Gallery | Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations Conference

Images by Bram Lammers Photography DAY 1 DAY 2
State ReformZondo
November 2, 2023

News Coverage | Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations Conference

The Implementing State Capture Recommendations Conference was held jointly by PARI and CASAC on 25 and 26 October 2023 in Johannesburg. READ MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE Click on the links…
ConferencesEventsMultimediaState CaptureState ReformvideoswebinarsZondo
November 2, 2023

Session by session recordings | Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations Conference

The Implementing State Capture Recommendations Conference was held jointly by PARI and CASAC on 25 and 26 October 2023 in Johannesburg. READ MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE Watch the individual sessions…
ConferencesNewsState ReformZondo
October 27, 2023

Watch | Pillay: It’s difficult to prosecute state capture cases

Researcher for State Reform programme at the Public Affairs Research Institute Devi Pillay says many of the justice and crime fighting institutions in SA have themselves been victims of state…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState ReformZondo
October 23, 2023

Discussion Document | Implementing the Zondo Commission Recommendations: Taking stock of progress and charting a way forward

Overview The Zondo Commission provided strong evidence of state capture and detailed insight into how state capture was organised and facilitated by persons in both the public and private sectors.…
NewsState Reform
October 23, 2023

Livestream | State Capture Commission Conference

The 'Implementing State Capture Commission Recommendations' Conference is hosted by PARI and CASAC, partnering with the University of Johannesburg and News24, on 25 and 26 October 2023. The livestream can…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState ReformZondo
October 18, 2023

Submission on the Draft National State Enterprises Bill

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and Corruption Watch welcome the opportunity to comment on this draft of the National State Enterprises Bill. State-owned enterprises play a significant role in…
NewsPublicationsReportsState Reform
October 6, 2023

Report | State of Parliament and its MPs: Identifying challenges to oversight and proposing solutions

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Parliament is required by the constitution to “scrutinise and oversee executive action”: the key function of the system of separation of powers built into our democracy. The importance…
MultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
September 12, 2023

Watch | Bill to Regulate Public Procurement

On 11 September, eNCA spoke to PARI Research Associate in the State Reform programme, Ryan Brunette, to understand more about why the new Public Procurement Bill, that was introduced to…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
September 12, 2023

Statement on the Public Procurement Bill 2023

The PRWG believes the Public Procurement Bill is flawed and some critical changes still need to be made. "...public concerns must be addressed before the current draft is passed by…
Op EdPublicationsState Reform
September 10, 2023

Op Ed | Procurement Bill Carries Serious Risks For SA, But It Can Be Fixed

By Ryan Brunette The preferential procurement clause, especially, falls short of the constitutional requirement of a national legislative framework. Currently, the clause gives wide discretion to procuring institutions and opens…
BooksEventsNewsPublicationsState Reform
August 21, 2023

Book launch at UP | State Capture in South Africa: How and Why It Happened

The University of Pretoria’s Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS) cordially invites you to the book launch of State Capture in South Africa: How and Why it Happened  with…
MultimediaNewsPublic PolicyState Reformwebinars
August 7, 2023

WATCH | Financial Incentives and Whistleblowing in South Africa

1 August 2023 Facilitated by Jonathan Klaaren (PARI/Wits) with speakers: Steven Powell (ENSAfrica) Sopé Williams-Elegbe (Stellenbosch University) Carika Fritz (Wits University) Ryan Brunette (PARI/CUNY) This webinar is to support discussion…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
August 2, 2023

Public submission to Parliament on the Public Administration and Management Bill 2023

PARI, the Public Service Accountability Monitor, the Ethics Institute, and Corruption Watch have made a joint submission to Parliament on the Public Service Amendment Bill. The Bill is currently before…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
August 2, 2023

Public submission to Parliament on the Public Service Amendment Bill 2023

PARI, the Public Service Accountability Monitor, the Ethics Institute, and Corruption Watch have made a joint submission to Parliament on the Public Service Amendment Bill. The Bill is currently before…
FeaturedMultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
July 20, 2023

Watch | State Capture Book Launch in Joburg

18 July 2023 Rosebank, Johannesburg Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Peter Vale (eds) are in conversation with some of the authors of "State Capture in South Africa: How and why it happened";…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
July 10, 2023

Submission | Public Service Commission Bill

PARI and the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) recently submitted public comment to the  Public Service Commission (PSC) on the draft PSC Bill. The Bill seeks to enhance the conditions…
BooksEventsFeaturedNewsPublicationsState Reform
July 10, 2023

Book launch | State Capture in South Africa: How and Why it Happened

Mbongiseni Buthelezi will be facilitating conversations with some of the authors of the new book, State Capture in South Africa. The launches are set to happen at Exclusive Books in…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsReportsState Reform
July 10, 2023

Joint Strategic Resource | A Strategic Public Procurement Paradigm for South Africa

A Strategic Public Procurement Paradigm for South Africa: Reflections on the development of the Public Procurement Bill South Africa’s public procurement regime, established in the context of public sector reform…
FeaturedMultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
June 23, 2023

A Tell-All Book About State Capture

Devi Pillay chats to Newzroom Afrika about the new Wits University Press publication State Capture in South Africa: How and Why It Happened, edited by PARI's Research Mentor Peter Vale…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
June 22, 2023

Statement | First Anniversary of the Release of the State Capture Commission Report

22 June 2023 Today marks a year since Chief Justice Zondo delivered the Report of the Commission on State Capture to President Ramaphosa marking the end of a 4-year long…
BooksFeaturedPublicationsState ReformZondo
June 19, 2023

New Book | State Capture in South Africa: How and Why It Happened

STATE CAPTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA: HOW AND WHY IT HAPPENED A new Wits University Press publication, edited by Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Peter Vale, this book features authors: Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Peter…
FeaturedMediaMultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
May 26, 2023

Watch | SA Police Not Fit For Purpose

SABC News, 3 May 2023: Findings of a report compiled by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) on the South African Police Service (SAPS) has concluded, that the country's police…
Op EdPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 2023

Op Ed | Consumers bear the brunt as the state squanders vital water resources

Photo 75974734 © Phodo1 | By Dennis Webster Commodified water system runs up against shortcomings of a government hollowed out by venal patronage. There is nothing new about SA’s…
Op EdPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 2023

Op Ed | SA faces multiple water crises across all provinces and sectors

Photo 116472603 © Ian Scammell | By Tshegofatso Mathe The results of years of mismanagement and corruption in the water sector are beginning to show — and it is…
MultimediaNewsOp EdState Reformvideos
May 5, 2023

Watch | Day 2 on the beat for Gauteng’s new crime prevention wardens

May 2, 2023 Devi Pillay chats to Stephen Grootes on Newzroom Afrika the day after Gauteng’s new crime prevention wardens, with just two months training, started their new jobs. Devi's…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
May 2, 2023

Op Ed | The police are not only failing to keep us safe, they are failing in almost every aspect of their duty

Photo 91721708 / Police South Africa © Nerisha Ray Singh | By Devi Pillay Not only are the police themselves often responsible for violence and criminality, but since 2009,…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
April 28, 2023

Submission on the draft Public Service Regulations

In February 2023, the DPSA published the draft Public Service Regulations for public comment. The Regulations seek to amend the 2016 Public Service Regulations (under the Public Service Act). In…
FeaturedNewsOp EdState Reform
March 28, 2023

Op Ed | Failure to Boot Cele Betrays Public Safety

Photo 194995760 / Police South Africa © Nerisha Ray Singh | By Niren Tolsi President Cyril Ramaphosa, unsurprisingly, didn’t boot ineffectual Police Minister Bheki Cele out of his cabinet…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
March 22, 2023

Press Statement | Civil Society Demands Clarity and Transparency in Emergency Procurement

Statement drafted by members of the Procurement Reform Working Group (PRWG). The PRWG was formed in 2020, in response to a sense from experts in the field of procurement reform…
MultimediaNewsState ReformwebinarsZondo
February 21, 2023

Webinar | Who pays the price of state capture?

PARI's Devi Pillay participated in this Open Secrets webinar on 16 February 2023: Who pays the price for State Capture? Look around and we see a strained fiscus, rolling blackouts,…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
January 25, 2023

Op Ed | Social Justice Assembly gathers to address multiple crises facing SA

By Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Nontando Ngamlana First published in The Daily Maverick It feels as though Stage 6 rolling blackouts will be the death of us all. Scheduled blackouts symbolise…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
January 25, 2023

Op Ed | The dangers and limits of the DA’s high court attempt to abolish cadre deployment

Photo 147050604 / South Africa © Vanessa Bentley | By Ryan Brunette First published in  Daily Maverick I have argued before that the practice of political appointments in public…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
December 15, 2022

Op Ed | Transnet turns a new leaf, but there are many cracks in the system

Photo 85499083 / South Africa © Peter Titmuss | By Tshegofatso Mathe Commissioned by PARI, first published in Mail and Guardian Over the past 18 months, state-owned ports and…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
December 12, 2022

Op Ed | Shortcomings of SA’s commuter railways worsen by the day

Photo 251224702 / South Africa © Paul Quinn | By Dennis Webster Commissioned by PARI, first published in Business Live System’s problems are not measured by the distance between…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
October 31, 2022

South Africa Needs Civil Servants Who Are Capture-Proof

By Sarah Meny-Gibert The single biggest key to fighting corruption and stabilising our administration is to change the process by which top public servants are hired – and in doing…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
October 28, 2022

CSWG | Response to the Zondo Commission’s Report

Thursday 27 October 2022   Civil Society Working Group on State Capture (CSWG) Statement:  President’s response to Zondo Commission’s State Capture report must be followed by decisive action.  On the 23rd…
PublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
October 11, 2022

Working Paper | Public Procurement and Corruption in South Africa

Abstract Like many other countries, South Africa depends heavily on its public procurement system and faces persistent issues of corruption within that system.  Its regulatory regimes for public procurement and…
Op EdPublicationsState Reform
October 10, 2022

Op Ed | The lack of political consensus around energy endures with ANC tied up to coal

Photo 114118043 / Coal South Africa © Michael Turner | By Dennis Webster Commissioned by PARI, first published in Business Live Equally stubborn is the gap between what institutions…
PublicationsReportsState CaptureState ReformZondo
October 6, 2022

Report | State Capture Commission Conference

In June 2022 the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture presided over by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered its final report to the President of South Africa. The…
EventsNewsState CaptureState ReformZondo
September 29, 2022

State Capture Commission Conference Page

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and the Council for the Advancement of the Constitution (CASAC) held a conference on  the 14th and  15th of September 2022 to engage meaningfully…
ConferencesNewsState ReformZondo
September 21, 2022

Gallery | State Capture Commission Conference

The State Capture Commission conference was held at University of Johannesburg over 14 and 15 September, hosted by PARI and CASAC. The seven panels aimed at understanding and finding the…
MultimediaNewsState ReformvideosZondo
September 19, 2022

WATCH | Devi Pillay weighs in on the Zondo Commission report

Calling in to Newzroom Afrika from PARI/CASAC's State Capture Commission conference, Devi Pillay discusses the role of law enforcement agencies in state capture, based on her OpEd titled : Zondo…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState CaptureState ReformZondo
September 5, 2022

Summary | The State Capture Commission

ABOUT THIS BRIEF In June 2022 Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed the final report of the Zondo Commission to President Cyril Ramaphosa. The report was the culmination of nearly four…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState ReformZondo
August 31, 2022

Op Ed | Zondo Commission’s Missed Opportunity on Role of Law Enforcement Agencies in State Capture

By Devi Pillay   The Zondo Commission missed an important opportunity to fully contextualise the evidence concerning law enforcement and to analyse its role in State Capture. More work needs…
Civil society organisationsNewsPress releaseState Reform
August 2, 2022

Press Statements | In Support of SAITF and SERI SA against Hate Speech and Threats

PARI has issued and endorsed press statements in support of SERI SA and SAITF in light of hate speech, cyberbullying and incitement of violence by Councillor Nkululeko Mbundu, party representative…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState ReformZondo
July 27, 2022

Op Ed | Public administration reform is critical after a pliant civil service greased the wheels of State Capture

By Devi Pillay   The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has proven that there is an urgent need to professionalise South Africa’s public administration. The commission’s recommendations provide a…
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
July 19, 2022

Declaration of the Conference for Democratic Renewal and Change

PARI is a signatory of the following Defend Our Democracy declaration: Declaration of the Conference for Democratic Renewal and Change as adopted on 2 July 2022 at the Birchwood Hotel…
PublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
July 19, 2022

Working Paper | Remodelling Cabinet Departments in South Africa

Abstract The internal organisational structure of government departments is the primary building block of any country’s system of public administration. It is also intimately entwined with the politics of restructuring…
MultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
June 22, 2022

Watch | Mbongiseni Buthelezi on the fifth state capture report

SABC Morning Live: Today the country awaits the fifth and final installment of the State Capture Report following a delay that drew public criticism, prompting the presidency to issue a…
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
February 11, 2022

Memorandum: State of the Nation Address – The People’s Voice

9 February 2022   We, the undersigned organisations, express serious concern about the state of our nation.   Tomorrow, President Cyril Ramaphosa will report back to the country about what…
BooksPublicationsState ReformZondo
February 9, 2022

Reforming the Public Administration in South Africa: A Path to Professionalisation

A new e-book by Jonathan Klaaren (ed.), Florencia Belvedere and Ryan Brunette. December 2021 Publisher: Siber Ink ISBN: 978-1-928309-37-6   Abstract This short book analyses three distinct and key features…
NewsOp EdPublicationsState Reform
February 4, 2022

Op Ed | The Zondo Report’s Recommendations Must Be Implemented Yesterday

By Ryan Brunette, Jay Kruuse and Tharin Pillay The Zondo report is an impressive undertaking. Drawing on 400 days of hearings and 1.7 million pages of documentary evidence, it is…
MultimediaNewspodcastsState Reform
February 2, 2022

Listen | State Capture Report: Accountability and Rebuilding the Procurement System

Mbongiseni Buthelezi participated in an analysis of Part 1 of the State Capture report on Radio 786 Prime Talk, 2 February 2022: South Africans are paying severely for what appears…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
January 24, 2022

CSWG | Response to the Zondo Commission’s Report

Monday 24 January 2022 Civil Society Working Group on State Capture: Statement – Response to the Zondo Commission’s Report On the 4th of January 2022, the State Capture Inquiry (the…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
January 24, 2022

Press statement: Collective Call to Stop Attacks on Migrants

Press Statement 23 January 2022 Collective call to stop attacks on migrants We, the undersigned organisations, are gravely concerned at the recent targeting of migrants in their homes and at…
NewsState Reform
January 18, 2022

PARI and WITS research featured in state capture report

The "Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture Report: Part 1 Vol. 1: South African Airways and its Associated Companies" was released on 4 Jan 2022.  We congratulate PARI and…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
October 31, 2021

COMPANIES AMENDMENT BILL, 2021 Bill [B-2021] Submission of Public Comments

PARI's State Reform programme and the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) have submitted public comments on the Companies Act Amendment Bill.
NewsState Reformwebinars
September 30, 2021

Launch of the Association of Former Directors-General

Having undergone a consultative process with a small mandated and coordinating group of former DGs, PARI's State Reform has assisted this group in conducting comparative research on the best organisational…
NewsState Reform
June 1, 2021

A High-Level Task Team to Professionalise the Public Service

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi has been appointed to a high-level task team to assist government through the National School of Government (The NSG), to finalise the National Implementation Framework towards the…
NewsPolicy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
May 26, 2021

Proposed amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) and Public Administration Management Act (PAMA)

PARI welcomes the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) which seek to (1) devolve administrative powers to the heads of department while retaining strategic powers with the executive…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
May 12, 2021

Policy Brief | Reforming Appointment and Removal in the Public Service and Municipalities

The deterioration of the state, its inability to move decisively to lift South Africa out of this crisis, is rooted institutionally in the ways in which personnel are appointed to…
NewsState Reform
April 30, 2021

Petition | Raising Our Voice Against State Capture and Corruption

As part of the Civil Society Working Group on State Capture, PARI's State Reform programme has put out a call for voices against state capture and corruption: State capture and…
MultimediaMultimediaNewsState Reform
April 3, 2021

Listen | Building State Capacity for Inclusive Development

Khaya Sithole is in conversation with Busani Ngcaweni, Principal of the National School of Governance and Dr Florencia Belvedere, Lead of the State Reform programme at the Public Affairs Research…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
March 31, 2021

Watch | PARI comments on reforming the state

Dr Florencia Belvedere shares PARI's state reform work at the Consulting Engineers Protecting Lives and Livelihoods Webinar, Episode 3. You can watch the full webinar in the YouTube embed below.…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
March 26, 2021

Call to Action | Defend Our Democracy

It is a crucial moment in our democracy. PARI has joined over 300 organisations and individuals in putting out a call to action to all South Africans. Watch the video…
NewsPublicationsState Reform
March 10, 2021

Politicising the Zondo Commission needs to stop, says Civil Society

We, representatives of civil society, jointly issue this statement condemning former president Jacob Zuma’s insistence on defying the State Capture Commission and the dangerous attacks he and other political actors…
NewsOp EdPolicy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
March 5, 2021

Open letter to the President | Major reforms in the public service are critical to the future of South Africa

Dear President Cyril Ramaphosa, On Monday, 1 March 2021, in your presidential letter to the nation, you reiterated your administration’s commitment to build an efficient, capable and ethical state free…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
March 2, 2021

Listen | New policy to shake up SA’s public service

Dr Florencia Belvedere was on Radio 702's early breakfast show this morning, chatting with Africa Melane about how the government could root out corruption among public service officials. Listen to…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState Reform
February 26, 2021

Professionalising the Public Service: Submission on the draft implementation framework

In view of its continued interest in enhancing institutional performance and professionalising the public service, PARI welcomes the opportunity to make submissions on the National Implementation Framework towards the Professionalisation…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
February 24, 2021

Listen | Public procurement and the SIU investigation into PPE scandal

On 5 Feb 2021, Dr Florencia Belvedere chatted to Ntokozo Mazibuko on PowerFM about the state of public procurement, responding to the SIU's media briefing that same day on the…
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
November 17, 2020

Press Statement | Zuma must account before Zondo

Press statement 15 November 2020 Zuma must account before Zondo We, the undersigned organisations, express our ongoing support for the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. We…
EventsMultimediaState Reformwebinars
November 6, 2020

Webinar | Protect Our Whistleblowers

A webinar by PARI and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on 5 November looked at how public servants who speak out need to be protected. PARI also launches it Toolkit for…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState ReformZondo
November 5, 2020

Policy Brief | Encouraged Whistleblowing in Public Procurement

South Africa will need an active and capable state to lift itself out of this crisis. Corruption in public procurement is a major impediment to this. The Covid-19 procurement scandals…
EventsLocal GovtMultimediaState Reformwebinars
October 29, 2020

WATCH | Professionalising Local Government Webinar

Professionalising Local Government: Recruitment and Appointments in Municipalities was held jointly by the Local Government and State Reform Programmes. The webinar, on 27 October 2020, featured an impressive panel of…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
October 15, 2020

Listen | More Taxpayer Money for Political Parties

The ANC’s treasurer-general Paul Mashatile is reportedly calling for an increase in state funding for political parties. The ANC has been in the news for some time with reports of…
Policy briefs and resourcesPublicationsState ReformZondo
October 12, 2020

Toolkit for Public Servants

The Constitution envisions a public administration that maintains a high standard of professional ethics, is developmentally orientated, and treats citizens in a fair and equitable way, without bias. Many public…
MediaMultimediaNewsState Reform
October 12, 2020

Watch | Professionalism in the public sector

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi was interviewed on Newzroom Afrika on 11 October about the issue of a lack of professionalism in the public sector, which results in bad service and often,…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
September 23, 2020

Watch | Could the Public Procurement Bill Minimise Unbridled Corruption?

Dr Thokozani Chilenga-Butao, Research Associate at PARI and Sandile Swana, political analyst, spoke to SABC Morning Live on 22 September 2020 about the upcoming Public Procurement Bill. For more information…
NewsState Reform
September 1, 2020

Now or Never: It’s time to Create Real, Lasting Procurement Reform

1 September 2020 Corruption Watch and the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) have submitted the following open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, both of…
State Reform
August 28, 2020

Toolkit for Public Servants | Resources

NewsPolicy briefs and resourcesState Reform
July 3, 2020

Submission to the Draft Public Procurement Bill

PARI’s state reform programme is centrally focused on the relationship between politics and the state administration, it seeks to reduce the influence of corruption and patronage on South African politics,…
Journal ArticlesPublicationsState Reform
June 29, 2020

Article | The Public Procurement Bill Needs Better Enforcement

THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT BILL NEEDS BETTER ENFORCEMENT: A SUGGESTED PROVISION TO EMPOWER AND INCENTIVISE WHISTLE-BLOWERS Jonathan Klaaren, Ryan Brunette   Abstract Among other reforms, South African public procurement law needs…
Op EdPublicationsState Reform
June 22, 2020

Real Relief Requires Reform of the State Recruitment

by Thokozani Chilenga-Butao The recruitment processes in government have been under debate and scrutiny for years. Allegations of nepotism, cadre deployment and the recruitment of unqualified candidates in government departments…
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
June 21, 2020

Letter to the Zondo Commission: Commission responds

The Zondo Commission responded on 15 June to the CSWG's open letter. Read both letters here.   On the Civil Society Working Group's letter to the Zondo Commission, calling for…
EventsMultimediaNewsState Reformwebinars
June 20, 2020

Webinar | Unpacking Infrastructure Delivery In Relation to the Draft Procurement Bill

Watch the full webinar video from Thursday, 18 June for the event Unpacking Infrastructure Delivery In Relation To The Draft Procurement Bill. The PARI resources link, including NPC links, referred…
EventsPublicationsReportsState Reform
June 11, 2020

Dialogue Report | Envisioning A New Path for SOEs

Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) and Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) held a successful interactive dialogue session which emphasised a need to move public discourse towards practical solutions and actions that…
FeaturedPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
May 31, 2020

Position Papers | Public Procurement

At our conference last year – Defeating State Capture and Reforming the State – in collaboration with Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, an outcome was that Public Procurement is a key area…
MultimediaNewsState Reform
May 29, 2020

Watch | Civil society resorts to courts to enforce good governance

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi spoke to SABC on Morning Live on 29 May 2020. "The decision by the High Court in Pretoria to declare former South African Airways Board Chair Dudu…
FeaturedNewsState Reform
May 24, 2020

Open letter to the President: Make sure emergency funds are not wasted or stolen

Dear President Cyril Ramaphosa  We, the undersigned organisations, commend you for the decisive action taken over the last few weeks in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. We note the efforts…
FeaturedNewsState Reform
May 19, 2020

Blog | High Time for a Capable State

By Mbongiseni Buthelezi Nothing demonstrates how much we need a capable state like a crisis. Despite the wealthy and the middle class having checked out of using public services in…
EventsFeaturedMultimediaState ReformUncategorizedwebinars
May 7, 2020

Webinar | Launch event for Recruitment Position Paper on State Reform

On 6 May 2020, 2pm, PARI launched online a position paper on state reform titled "Appointment and Dismissal in the Public Service and Municipalities", authored by Ryan Brunette. This was…
FeaturedPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
April 20, 2020

Position Paper | Recruitment in the Public Service

This position paper is one of a series of three papers that argue for crucial reforms of the South African state. The goal of these reforms is to realise a…
FeaturedPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
April 14, 2020

Position Papers | Criminal Justice System

This position paper is one of a series of three papers that argue for crucial reforms of the South African state. The goal of these reforms is to realise a…
ConferencesFeaturedNewsState Reform
April 1, 2020

State Capture and State Reform Conference Report

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) hosted a conference entitled: Civil Society – Defeating State Capture and Rebuilding the State on 23 October 2019. The…
EventsNewsState Reform
March 25, 2020

Postponed | Public Procurement Position Paper Launch

FeaturedNewsState Reform
March 25, 2020

SAFTU slams the state’s response to Covid-19, calls for social solidarity

PARI has endorsed the following statement by Zwelenzima Vavi, General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU). The state isn’t pulling its weight! 24 March 2020 The…
Civil society organisationsFeaturedMultimediaNewsState Reformvideos
March 18, 2020

WATCH | State Capture and Civil Society – a PARI presentation

The Public Affairs Research Institute presented some ideas on state capture and civil society at the RAITH Foundation's Brown Bag Sessions on 13 March 2020. Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi asks what…
FeaturedMultimediaNewsState Reform
March 18, 2020

Listen | Practical Solutions and Actions Can Rescue SOEs

The Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) and Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) say it's practical solutions and actions that can rescue state-owned entities. SDG and PARI held a joint interactive dialogue…
NewsPress releaseState Reform
March 17, 2020

Press Release | It’s Time for Practical SOE Solutions

MEDIA STATEMENT For immediate release; 16 March 2020 Johannesburg IT’S TIME FOR PRACTICAL SOE SOLUTIONS Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) and Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) held a successful interactive dialogue…
Civil society organisationsFeaturedState Reform
March 8, 2020

Fully Booked | A New Path for SOEs

PARI and the Strategic Dialogue Group are holding a panel discussion next month with a compelling lineup of speakers. The programme will enable leadership from different perspectives and stakeholders – inside the…
FeaturedOp EdPublicationsState Reform
March 5, 2020

The Public Procurement Bill Needs An Enforcement Strategy

By Ryan Brunette and Jonathan Klaaren South African public procurement law needs a tougher approach to enforcement. It will have one if it empowers and incentivises whistle-blowers. The Public Procurement…
FeaturedState Reform
February 21, 2020

Civil Society Working Group launches a Joint Submission to the Zondo Commission

On Wednesday, 19 February 2020, the Civil Society Working Group (CSWG) launched its joint submission of recommendations to the Zondo Commission into State Capture. The CSWG brings together at least…
FeaturedIn the MediaOp EdPublicationsState Reform
February 17, 2020

Op Ed | Ramaphosa Must Rebuild Trust In The Public Service

By Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi   In the 2020 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa presented an impressive gamut of key initiatives that need to be or are already…
FeaturedIn the MediaMultimediaState Reform
February 3, 2020

Listen | Chilenga-Butao comments on PSC investigation into dodgy appointments

On 30 January 2020, PARI Research Associate and Political Studies lecturer Thokozani Chilenga-Butao chatted to Bongani Bingwa on Radio 702 about alleged nepotism in the Public Service Commission (PSC). The…
Civil society organisationsPSR RoundtablesState Reform
November 22, 2019

Roundtable discussion | Appointments to the leadership of the NPA

hosted by the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) and Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI)   The Constitution and the NPA Act provide that the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is…
In the MediaState Reform
November 21, 2019

For an ethical public sector, remove politics from its appointment

Politicians being responsible for senior public servants’ appointments has historical reasons that need to change in post-apartheid SA 13 November 2019 - 05:05 Kris Dobie Discussions of ethical challenges in…
EventsState Reform
November 11, 2019

Panel Discussion | Fixing the State: From Diagnosis to Treatment

The Strategic Dialogue Group convenes a panel discussion on 9 November featuring Tracy Ledger from PARI, alongside Crispian Olver, Yolisa Pikie and Percy Mahlathi. 'The aim of the panel is…
MaterialsState ReformWorking Papers
October 25, 2019

Position Papers on Proposals for State Reform

Position Papers on State Reform #FixTheState This provides a  description of the three position papers that argue for crucial reforms of the South African state. The goals of these reforms…
ConferenceFeaturedState ReformUncategorized
October 24, 2019

Conference Highlights | Defeating State Capture and Rebuilding the State

Welcome “We will not be silenced”, stated Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) Board Chair Derek Hanekom, opening a day-long civil society engagement, hosted by PARI and AKF on 23 October. The…
ConferenceFeaturedState Reform
October 21, 2019

Public Session | Keynote Address by Mcebisi Jonas

Civil society organisationsConferencePress releaseState Reform
October 8, 2019

The People’s Hearing on State Capture

PARI is a member of the Civil Society Working Group, along with over 20 other civil society organisations. Saturday, 12 October 2019 10.00 — 15.00 Women's Jail, Constitution Hill The…
State ReformUncategorized
October 2, 2019

REGISTER | Civil Society Defeating State Capture and Rebuilding the State

#AfterCaptureCivil society organisationsConferenceEventsState Reform
September 30, 2019

Building An Alliance for State Reform #FixTheState

On 21 August, PARI met with civil society organisations to discuss an alliance for state reform, and presented three working papers detailing proposals for reform in three key areas. This…
#AfterCaptureConferenceEventsState Reform
September 27, 2019

Civil Society – Defeating State Capture and Rebuilding the State

PARI is collaborating with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation on 23 October to host the conference: Civil Society Defeating State Capture and Rebuilding the State - Taking stock and moving forward.…
State ReformUncategorized
September 2, 2019

Alliance for State Reform #FixTheState

The form below has a brief description of the proposed alliance, and enables you to indicate whether you would support its formation and the types of contribution that you would…
#AfterCaptureNewsState Reform
August 30, 2019

Perspectives on State Capture

The August issue of Heinrich Böll Stiftung's Perspectives includes contributions from Dr Tracy Ledger and Crispian Olver. In the opening article, Tracy Ledger provocatively asks whether a different version of…
#AfterCaptureNewsState Reform
August 30, 2019

Dr Florencia Belvedere on Criminal Justice Reform

The Helen Suzman Foundation's recent report on independence and accountability in the criminal justice system included a contribution from Florencia Belvedere, who leads PARI's #AfterCapture state reform campaign.   FLORENCIA…
FeaturedOp EdPublicationsState Reform
August 26, 2019

The politics of South Africa’s patronage system: The process of anti-patronage reform (Part Two)

By Ryan Brunette South Africa has witnessed the rise of machine politics. Part One considered the dynamics of this development. Political machines work to extract resources from the public programmes…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedState ReformUncategorized
July 30, 2019

PSA Gives Too Much Power To Politicians, says Ryan Brunette

A recent article in the Farmer's Weekly covered the Estina/Vrede Dairy Project which has featured at the Zondo Commission, and consulted PARI's Ryan Brunette on the reasons behind these forms…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedOp EdPublicationsState Reform
July 25, 2019

Op Ed | The Politics of South Africa’s Patronage System (Part One)

By Ryan Brunette South Africa is entering its second recession in as many years. Gross domestic product per person has returned to the levels of 2008. Unemployment, already at five…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedState Reform
July 10, 2019

Long road ahead for new SOE law

Involve the public, says Dr Tracy Ledger. This article was first published by *ParlyBeat Despite public pressure for urgency in addressing problems in state-owned entities (SOEs), there is still a…
#AfterCaptureState Reform
June 28, 2019

The Usual Suspects in State Capture – Politicsweb

"At the 2018 conference under the title State Capture and its Aftermath hosted by the Public Affairs Research Institute, Mr John Githongo, a prominent anti-corruption activist from Kenya, described the…
#AfterCaptureMultimediaState Reform
June 27, 2019

Listen | Structural reforms are required to reclaim the state #BetterState

Thoko Chilenga-Butao, Associate Lecturer and Doctoral Fellow at PARI, spoke to Bob Mabena on the Power Breakfast show on 27 June 2019, about the forthcoming proposals for state reform in…
FeaturedOp EdPublicationsState Reform
June 14, 2019

Op Ed | ANC Should Stop Recycling Old Ideas

By Thokozani Chilenga-Butao There is an important question people used to ask before Nkandla, state capture, Thuma Mina and Ramaphoria became the most important issues in South Africa: Who comes…
#AfterCaptureState Reform
June 13, 2019

Media Statement | Proposals for state reform #BetterState

Proposals for State Reform A collaborative series of position papers on how to make the state work better MEDIA STATEMENT   Three position papers, to be released by the Public…
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
May 31, 2019

Civil Society Calls on EFF to Raise its Political Game

PARI has joined a collective call to the EFF political party to stop threats and intimidation, violent language, undemocratic assault in the media and racist pronouncements. The statement urges the…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedMaterialsState Reform
May 29, 2019

#AfterCapture | Kenya’s Inability to Fight State Capture

PARI supports this new report by the Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG), explaining why President Uhuru Kenyatta’s current anti-corruption efforts are unlikely to work. The problem, the study shows,…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedIn the MediaSA PoliticsState CaptureState Reform
May 22, 2019

PARI joins the call on all parties to ensure that the corrupt are not appointed

Open Letter to Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces 22 May 2019 Dear Members of Parliament and Members of the National Council of Provinces Congratulations…
Journal ArticlesPublicationsState Reform
May 20, 2019

Article | Reform in the Contract State: Embedded directions in public procurement regulation in South Africa

By Ryan Brunette, Jonathan Klaaren and Patronella Nqaba As South Africa contemplates another episode of public procurement legal reform, we trace the post-apartheid history of such efforts and consider critical…
FeaturedPublic PolicyPublicationsState Reform
April 8, 2019

Policy Brief for Improved Prioritisation and M&E

Following the commissioned literature review, The Challenge of Prioritisation and Alignment in Public Sector Planning and Implementation, for Twende Mbele (, authors Tracy Ledger and Sarah Meny-Gibert have extrapolated the…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedMaterialsPress releaseState Reform
March 25, 2019

Media Statement | Civil Society Working Group on State Capture

Media Statement: Civil Society Working Group For release 20 March 2019 Resisting the looters who stole our human rights The struggle against State Capture and corruption in South Africa is…
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaMultimediaState Reform
March 5, 2019

Listen | How do we depoliticise our civil service and make it fitter for purpose?

JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZvbW55LmZtJTJGc2hvd3MlMkZtaWQtbW9ybmluZy1zaG93LTcwMiUyRmhvdy1kby13ZS1kZXBvbGl0aWNpc2Utb3VyLWNpdmlsLXNlcnZpY2UtYW5kLW1ha2UlMkZlbWJlZCUzRnN0eWxlJTNEY292ZXIlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjB3aWR0aCUzRCUyMjEwMCUyNSUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjE4MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ== On March 5, 2019, Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi chatted to Eusebius McKaiser on Radio 702, about the need to depoliticise the public service, issues of cadre deployment and political legitimacy.…
#AfterCaptureConferenceState Reform
January 31, 2019

State Capture and its Aftermath conference report

The State Capture and its Aftermath conference was a 3-day conference in the #AfterCapture campaign programme. It ran from 22-24 October 2018, featuring 17 panels and roundtables on the aftermath…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedState Reform
January 31, 2019

LitRev | The Contract State

10 Features of South Africa’s Contract State PARI's 2014 report remains relevant in the light of whistleblowers' revelations at the Zondo Commision of Enquiry into state capture. The report states…
#AfterCaptureConferenceMultimediaState Reformvideos
November 30, 2018

Watch | Justice Zak Yacoob’s Keynote Address

The State Capture and its Aftermath conference opened with an address by Professor Linda Chisholm, then-Chair of PARI's board, a note from Executive Director Mbongiseni Buthelezi and a keynote address…
FeaturedPublicationsReportsState Reform
November 29, 2018

Report | The Challenge of Prioritisation and Alignment in Public Sector Planning and Implementation

A literature review by Tracy Ledger and Sarah-Meny Gibert  Strategic planning has become increasingly popular in the public sector around the world, and is generally understood to mean “a systematic…
#AfterCaptureConferenceFeaturedGalleryMultimediaState Reform
October 30, 2018

Gallery | State Capture and its Aftermath

Day 1 Day 1 continued Cocktail Evening with Conrad Koch Day 2 Day 2/3 Day 3 continued
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaMultimediaState Reform
October 29, 2018

Listen | State Capture and its Aftermath from Africa

PARI's 22-24 October #AfterCapture conference hosted international and local speakers in 17 panels over the three days. The rigorous programme featured papers presented by the speakers on the many and…
#AfterCaptureConferenceEventsState Reform
October 10, 2018

Highlights and programme | State Capture and its Aftermath

The State Capture and its Aftermath conference will host some exciting speakers over the 3-day programme, from 22 - 24 October. Here are some of the highlights to look out…
#AfterCaptureConferenceEventsState Reform
October 10, 2018

Map to the venue

Venue: University of Johannesburg School of Tourism and Hospitality 57 Bunting road, Cottesloe, Johannesburg, 2092
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaState Reform
October 9, 2018

Listen | Does SA have the mechanisms for political accountability?

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi contributed to a debate on whether South Africa has the necessary mechanisms for political accountability. Do we have a culture of accountability in our main political parties,…
#AfterCaptureConferenceEventsState Reform
October 1, 2018

State Capture and its Aftermath | A cocktail evening

A cocktail evening with Conrad Koch and Chester Missing. The State Capture and its Aftermath conference will include an evening of light entertainment, drinks and opportunities to mingle informally with…
#AfterCaptureConferenceEventsState Reform
October 1, 2018

Get the conference app

We've built a mobile app for the State Capture and its Aftermath conference! If you have registered, you will have received an invitation to the app. Hot tip: It works…
Op EdPeople's Tribunal on Economic CrimeState Reform
September 19, 2018

Op Ed | Denel’s Long Trail Of Corruption

By Waseem Holland. The similarities between apartheid-era corruption and contemporary corruption are clear, even in today’s democratic South Africa, supposedly accountable to its citizens. Corruption is old, but now wears…
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaMultimediaState Reform
September 13, 2018

Listen | Zuma says there is no state capture

Former president Jacob Zuma addressed students at the Walter Sisulu University of Technology in Mthatha on Wednesday 12 September. He again denied that the South African state was ever captured‚…
FeaturedGovernmentPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
September 10, 2018

‘I am no longer applying straight’ – Human Resource Practices in State Institutions: Perspectives of public servants

By Joel Pearson and Thatshisiwe Ndlovu Appointment, promotion and placement of officials in positions within government administrations is the subject of intense daily discourse by those working within the state…
#AfterCaptureMaterialsState Reform
August 24, 2018

How One Word Can Change The Game

"The State Capacity Research Project  released a new report, How One Word Can Change The Game:  A Case Study Of State Capture And The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), which…
#AfterCaptureMaterialsPublicationsReportsState Capacity Research ProjectState Reform
August 24, 2018

Transnet Inquiry Reference Book

Investigating corruption in Transnet "As this report details, corruption at Transnet has centred largely on procurement, including questionable contracts for port cranes, locomotives, IT services, and advisory, financial management and…
BooksFeaturedMaterialsMultimediaPublicationsState Reform
August 21, 2018

Read | Watch | Listen | Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture

#AfterCapturePSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 25, 2018

Listen | Creating Sustainable SOEs

#AfterCaptureEnergy GovernancePSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 25, 2018

The Future of Energy and State-owned Companies in SA

In this fifth roundtable of the #AfterCapture Public Service Reform series, keynote speakers Catrina Godinho and Lauren Hermanus delivered a comprehensive and candid presentation on the role of state-owned enterprises…
#AfterCapturePSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 11, 2018

Kenneth Brown urges a hawk-eye on procurement

Third in the Public Service Reform Roundtable Series, which probes what should happen in the years following the decade of state capture, the former Chief Procurement Officer at National Treasury,…
#AfterCaptureConferenceFeaturedState Reform
July 10, 2018

Call For Papers | State Capture and Its Aftermath

#AfterCaptureFeaturedPSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 6, 2018

Minister Ayanda Dlodlo sees a new cadre of public servants

#AfterCapture Public Service Reform Roundtable Series IMPROVING HUMAN RESOURCE AND RECRUITMENT PROCESSES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR 09 JULY 2018, 17H30 – 20H00, Humanities Graduate Centre, Wits University   The fourth…
#AfterCaptureEventsPSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 3, 2018

#AfterCapture: Public Service Reform Roundtable Series

More than 20 years into democracy, South Africa finds itself having to rethink state transformation. As much as significant steps were taken immediately after 1994 to reconstitute the state and…
EventsFeaturedSeminarsState Reform
July 1, 2018

Seminar | Embedded Cohesion, Governing Public Goods in Sâo Paulo, 1989–2016

Joint PARI - GCRO Seminar - Embedded Cohesion: Governing Public Goods in São Paulo, 1989-2016 Embedded Cohesion: Governing Public Goods in São Paulo, 1989-2016 Seminar presented by Benjamin Bradlow Wednesday…
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaMultimediaPSR RoundtablesState Reform
June 27, 2018

Listen | Civil Society Engages on Defending Constitutional Democracy

The Role of Civil Society in Deepening the Fight against State Capture   An engagement of some of South Africa's prominent civil society organisations was facilitated by the #AfterCapture campaign…
#AfterCaptureConferenceInfoState Reform
June 27, 2018

Save the Date | State Capture and its Aftermath

The conference, State Capture and its Aftermath: Building Responsiveness Through State Reform, will take place in Johannesburg from 22 to 24 October, 2018. The aim of the conference, to be…
#AfterCaptureIn the MediaMultimediaState Reform
June 18, 2018

Listen | State Capture Revealed Vulnerabilities in Government’s Workings

The Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), working in partnership with a broader civil society has announced that it will be hosting a major conference on reconstructing public institutions in South…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedIn the MediaMediaMultimediaState Reform
May 29, 2018

Listen | We need a conversation about professionalising the public service

On 29 May, Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi spoke to radio talkshow host Eusebius McKaiser about the need to reform the public service, with reference to PARI's #AfterCapture campaign. Read Cape Talk's…
#AfterCaptureFeaturedPSR RoundtablesState Reform
May 16, 2018

Through the Lens of Life Esidimeni: the collapse of a health department

As part of the #AfterCapture campaign, PARI in May held a Public Service Reform Roundtable. This second-in-the-series discussion was to investigate one of the deadly side-effects of state capture in…
#AfterCaptureInfoMaterialsState Reform
May 16, 2018

AfterCapture Programme Press Release

State Capture and its Aftermath: Developing an Agenda for State Reform A programme to build a responsive, working state Press Release Apart from major challenges in the structure and the…
BooksPublicationsState Reform
April 24, 2018

Chapter | The End of Tyranny: How Civil Society in SA Fought Back

Rising to the Populist Challenge is a groundbreaking playbook for the human rights field against populism, by Columbia-based research and advocacy organisation, Dejusticia. Ivor Chipkin's chapter talks about civil society's…
#AfterCapturePSR RoundtablesState Reform
April 20, 2018

Time for Meritocratic Appointments, says Sizani (PSC)

What Can Cabinet Do?, 10 April 2018, Wits Humanities Graduate Centre What happens #AfterCapture?  This is the theme of a trail-blazing set of consultations and seminars being run by the…
#AfterCaptureMaterialsState Reform
April 9, 2018

Eskom Inquiry Reference Book

#AfterCaptureMaterialsState Reform
April 9, 2018

#AfterCapture Campaign Flyer

In the spirit of South Africa 2018's democratic opening, the Public Affairs Research Institute, working in partnership with a broader civil-society,  and drawing from the expertise and experience from elsewhere…
Local GovtReading GroupState Reform
March 7, 2018

Reading Power and Patronage in an Approach to Local Government in South Africa

    People interested in joining this reading group should please complete this form.  Or go to the WiSER site Hosts: The reading group is jointly hosted by PARI, CUBES…
State ReformUncategorized
March 5, 2018

What Can Cabinet do? #200Days

PARI invites you to join a roundtable conversation on the immediate, achievable actions for Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet to create a more transparent and effective government. Cyril Ramaphosa’s election to ANC…
Academic ProgrammeEventsGovernmentNewsSeminarsState CaptureState Reform
February 21, 2018

Seminar | Joel Hellman on State Capture

This Friday 23 February, PARI is delighted to host a seminar  on state capture with Professor Joel S. Hellman from 13:00 to 15:00. Hellman wrote groundbreaking work on state capture…
FeaturedPublic PolicyPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
February 21, 2018

Machinery of Government Change in South Africa’s Post-democratic Public Administration

South Africa’s public administration machinery underwent extensive organisational remodelling following the country’s 1994 democratic transition. The structure of the country’s bureaucracy under white minority rule was inordinately complex, driven by…
Op EdState Reform
February 19, 2018

President Ramaphosa Brings a Sense of Renewal and Optimism

By Vinothan Naidoo The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as South Africa's fifth democratic president has generated a palpable sense of renewal and optimism. It also presents a real opportunity to…
Op EdState ReformUncategorized
February 15, 2018

SA Constitution: Not Holy Grail, But Beachhead for Change

By Ivor Chipkin Zuma's 10 years of anti-constitutional governance Now that Jacob Zuma has stepped down as president, the past decade emerges in sharp relief. We have discovered that the…
Op EdState Reform
February 10, 2018

The Lame Duck President

By Ryan Brunette South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, is a lame duck. On December 18 2017, Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma’s deputy, was elected president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), placing him…
Op EdState Reform
December 14, 2017

How Not to Talk About Corruption in SA

By Ryan Brunette On Tuesday, 5 December, global retail group, Steinhoff International, headquartered in South Africa, announced the resignation of its CEO, Markus Jooste. A white South African, Jooste, resigned…
EventsFeaturedNewsPublic PolicyState Reform
September 23, 2017

Public Service Reform Roundtable: Testimonies

PARI will shortly launch a major, new initiative on public sector reform. This comes in the context of the institute’s ongoing research into how government works and in the wake…
NewsPublic PolicyState Reform
September 19, 2017

In the Media: Party political funding

Since PARI’s 15 August submission to the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on political party funding, the committee has already met to review a draft bill to regulate the way parties…
FeaturedMaterialsPeople's Tribunal on Economic CrimeState Capacity Research ProjectState CaptureState Reform
September 18, 2017

The People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime

JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGVUhYdWlHdzQ5WjAlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNFGiven the failure of state institutions to fully investigate allegations of corruption and state capture, members of civil society have today announced the creation of a People’s Tribunal on Economic…
Public PolicyPublicationsSeminarsState ReformWorking Papers
September 14, 2017

Tracking the expansionary state: machinery of government change in South Africa

The aim of this paper is to explain the evolving size and shape of South Africa’s government machinery. The country’s state apparatus underwent extensive organisational restructuring following its democratic transition…
Betrayal of the PromiseEventsFeaturedNewsState CaptureState Reform
August 16, 2017

State, capture and politics of ‘elite populism’

In South Africa today, analysis of current politics frequently invokes the term ‘corruption’ and the expression ‘state capture’. Yet both terms are inadequate conceptually, both on their own terms and…
GovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState CaptureState Reform
August 9, 2017

Plundering the state in the name of change will only perpetuate inequality

There is a way for ordinary South Africans to join the fight against corruption, writes PARI’s Mbongiseni Buthelezi.
FeaturedNewsPublic PolicySA PoliticsState ReformWorking Papers
August 9, 2017

Party political funding and the South African state

PARI has prepared a submission to the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the funding of political parties. Party Political Funding and the South African State, compiled by Crispian Olver, Mbongiseni…
Betrayal of the PromiseFeaturedNewsPublic PolicyState Reform
August 1, 2017

Betrayal Presented To Parliament

Last week, Ivor Chipkin, as a member of the State Capacity Research Group, and along with the South African Council of Churches, made a submission to Parliament’s portfolio committee of…
EventsNewsSeminarsState CaptureState Reform
August 1, 2017

Seminar: State, Capture, Revolution

Wed 02 August 2017 at 15h30 C-Ring 315, UJ Kingsway campus Presented by Prof Ivor Chipkin
FeaturedSA PoliticsSeminarsState CaptureState Reform
July 31, 2017

Seminar: State, Capture, Revolution

UJ Sociology, Anthropology & Development Studies W E D N E S D A Y S E M I N A R   Wed 02 August 2017 at 15h30 C-Ring…
NewsState CaptureState Reform
July 20, 2017

Conference for the Future of SA #OperationRecapture

The largest gathering of civil society organisations since 1994 convened at Rhema Church’s sizeable premises in Randburg this Mandela Day, to call for action to ‘recapture’ SA from the ‘power…
Betrayal of the PromiseNewsState Reform
July 16, 2017

Ivor Chipkin speaks at the SACP 14th National Congress

The broad theme of the South African Communist Party’s (SACP’s) 14th National Congress this year was to discuss the party’s relationship with the ruling African National Congress, and whether the…
GovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
June 14, 2017

South Africans can help draft the new plan to combat graft

There is a way for ordinary South Africans to join the fight against corruption, writes PARI’s Mbongiseni Buthelezi.
GovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
June 14, 2017

Elite struggle over Zuma is making weapons against the poor

Anti-corruption politics in South Africa are now decisively focused on Jacob Zuma’s removal. It is not our intention to legitimise him. Governing requires a measure of disinterest in oneself and…
FeaturedGovernmentReportsSA PoliticsState Reform
June 8, 2017

The Contract State

One of the most dramatic features of the post-apartheid state has been the contracting-out of government services to third-party providers. South Africa has become a ‘contract state’. What was called…
NewsState Reform
June 8, 2017

Mbongiseni Buthelezi joins National Anti-Corruption Committee

On the back of launch on 14 May of the new National Anti-Corruption Strategy discussion document, the Public Service Commission seeks to breathe life into the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF),…
Betrayal of the PromiseGovernmentMediaPress releaseSA PoliticsState Reform
May 25, 2017

Press release: Betrayal of the Promise

Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen A Major, New Study on the Country’s Emerging Shadow State Press release Calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign have…
Betrayal of the PromiseFeaturedGovernmentReportsSA PoliticsState Reform
May 25, 2017

Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa Is Being Stolen

A major, new study on the country's emerging Shadow State.
Betrayal of the PromiseEventsGovernmentNewsSA PoliticsState Reform
May 24, 2017

Report Launch: Betrayal of the Promise

The state capacity research group invites you to the launch of a major new study on the country's emerging shadow state.
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
May 22, 2017

Op-ed | Admin at its best

Reforming the way the civil service works can effect positive change for SA. It is tempting to think that
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
April 5, 2017

Op-ed | How will SA tackle corruption?

Power groups' preferred political projects will ultimately decide on whose terms corruption is fought, writes Ryan Brunette
GovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
April 3, 2017

Sars Special Report

An Institution In Crisis As South Africa Faces Junk Status Don't be fooled by the talk of exceeding targets on revenue collections. The opposite is true and it's not good…
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
February 10, 2017

Op-ed | State of the Nation: The New Right in SA

Power groups' preferred political projects will ultimately decide on whose terms corruption is fought, writes Ryan Brunette
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
July 31, 2016

In Jacob Zuma, South Africa has found its Gorbachev

Power groups' preferred political projects will ultimately decide on whose terms corruption is fought, writes Ryan Brunette
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
February 23, 2016

How treasury got its teeth

Since the dawn of democracy in SA, Treasury has flexed its muscles. But it has been a source of division for the ANC and its allies.
PublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
January 25, 2016

State-Building in South Africa after Apartheid: The History of the National Treasury

The National Treasury is a pivotal institution in South Africa’s governance landscape. Portrayals of the Treasury are often polarized: where some see an exceptional institution that stands “head and shoulders” above…
FeaturedPublicationsReportsState Reform
March 10, 2015

Financing the Future: Budget Reform in SA 1994-2004

By Joel Pearson, Sarita Pillay and Tracy Ledger, for the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice The euphoria surrounding the historic elections of 1994 was…
Energy GovernancePublicationsReportsState Reform
January 25, 2015

Hollowing out the local state: Managerialism and Skills in the Water Sector

In large parts of South Africa, the management of municipal water and sanitation is in crisis. There are regular media reports of interrupted water supply and dysfunctional sanitation systems. These…
FeaturedGovernmentMediaOp EdSA PoliticsState Reform
August 1, 2014

Decentralised procurement fails the state

Power groups' preferred political projects will ultimately decide on whose terms corruption is fought, writes Ryan Brunette
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
October 25, 2012

The Politics of Corruption: Two Competing Definitions

"In this paper I defend three hypotheses about corruption in South Africa, namely that: the measure of corruption in South Africa is allied to a concept of the state –…
PublicationsReportsState Reform
August 15, 2012

Diagnostic Research Report on Corruption, Non-Compliance and Weak Organisations

The Technical Assistance Unit (TAU) commissioned PARI to perform diagnostic research on the phenomenon of state corruption and the nature of anti-corruption efforts in South Africa.
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
February 15, 2012

Transforming racial bureaucracy: New Public Management and public sector reform in contemporary South Africa

This article provides an illustration of the complex and fraught work of public sector reform in practice. After briefly retracing some of the achievements of OPM and the range of…
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 25, 2011

Design flaws in CIPRO: ambivalence to the New Public Management in South Africa

Based on in-depth interviews with senior DTI and CIPRO staff, PARI considered the CIPRO case in the light of a broader study of the introduction of the New Public Management…
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 2011

Beyond the popular discourse: capacity constraints in the public sector

There is an aspect of politics of transformation that has not attracted the attention it deserves—the reorgansition of the public service on the basis of the New Public Management (NPM)…
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 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…