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STATE
REFORM

The state reform programme is centrally focused on the relationship between politics and the state administration. It emerges out of a particular analysis of South African politics. Research by PARI and others has shown that large parts of the South African state are currently afflicted by a politics that is destabilising and paralysing state organisations, directing attention and resources away from public programmes towards factional debates focused on private advancement. The effect, in some parts of the state, has been to crowd out concern with developing and implementing transformative policy aimed at building a more just and equal society. Shortfalls in service delivery have also resulted, with the poor and marginalised, who are more dependent on public services, particularly affected. Public confidence and trust in state institutions has been severely reduced. 

A project of state reform is necessary to reduce the influence of corruption and patronage on South African politics, and to develop a public administration that better serves its democratic mandate. 

This programme provides practical, evidence-based recommendations for reforms in key regulatory and administrative institutions with the aim of strengthening them, while reducing possibilities for improper political interference. 

The programme also aims to explore and support public and scholarly debate on the relationship between politics and the state administration; and related questions, including the relationship between politics, money, and the state. 

Lead: Dr Florencia Belvedere

Researchers: Ryan Brunette, Dr Jonathan Klaaren, Dr Thokozani Chilenga-Butao, Sarah Meny-Gibert, Waseem Holland, and Dr Tracy Ledger.

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...
Civil society organisationsNewsState Reform
May 27, 2020

Letter to the Zondo Commission: A call for transparency

On the Civil Society Working Group's letter to the Zondo Commission, calling for more transparent processes: We commend the Commission on the work that it has completed to date. Since...
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...
FeaturedPublicationsState ReformWorking Papers
May 23, 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...
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...
EventsFeaturedState ReformUncategorized
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

DUE TO GLOBAL CONCERNS AROUND COVID-19, THE LAUNCH EVENT FOR THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT POSITION PAPER IS BEING POSTPONED UNTIL LATER IN 2020. The Position Paper will be made available online...
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 organisationsFeaturedNewsState Reform
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...
FeaturedNewsState 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 MediaState 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 [Business Live] Discussions of ethical...
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

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#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...
#AfterCaptureState 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 (http://www.twendembele.org), 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 MediaState Reform
March 5, 2019

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

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...
#AfterCaptureConferenceState Reform
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...
#AfterCaptureConferenceFeaturedState 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 MediaState 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 MediaState 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

Download the Report "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...
#AfterCaptureMaterialsPublicationsReportsState Capacity Research ProjectState Reform
August 24, 2018

Transnet Inquiry Reference Book

Download the full report 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...
BooksFeaturedMaterialsPublicationsState Reform
August 21, 2018

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

Johannesburg book launch 21/08Cape Town book launch 28/08About the BookBuy the Book MEDIA Extract in the Daily MaverickExtract in News24Extract in News24
#AfterCapturePSR RoundtablesState Reform
July 25, 2018

Listen | Creating Sustainable SOEs

DINEO MOGOTSI FROM #UNITEBEHIND ON THE KARIMA BROWN SHOW #AFTERCAPTURE: ROUNDTABLE SERIES No. 5 CREATING SUSTAINABLE STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES (SOEs) WEDNESDAY 25 JULY 2018 The Nelson Mandela School of Public...
#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

Download Call for Papers
#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 MediaPSR 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 MediaState 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

#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...
EventsGovernmentNewsSeminarsState 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

WORKING PAPER | FEBRUARY 2018Machinery 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...
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

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...
FeaturedMaterialsPeople's Tribunal on Economic CrimeState Capacity Research ProjectState CaptureState Reform
September 18, 2017

The People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime

MenuLivestreamCall for evidenceEskom Inquiry Reference BookPeople's Tribunal in the News Livestream Press Release - Call for Evidence Given the failure of state institutions to fully investigate allegations of corruption and...
Public PolicyPublicationsSeminarsState ReformWorking Papers
September 14, 2017

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

WORKING PAPER | SEPTEMBER 2017Tracking 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...
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

WORKING PAPER | AUGUST 2017Party 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...
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 distance in balancing the interests of others. Zuma’s indiscretion in giving ample circumstance to claims that he is acutely self-interested and heinously partial means that he is incapable of governing.

FeaturedGovernmentReportsSA PoliticsState Reform
June 8, 2017

The Contract State

May 2014The 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...
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

WORKING PAPER | JANUARY 2016State-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...
Energy GovernancePublicationsReportsState Reform
January 25, 2015

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

REPORT | 2015Hollowing 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....
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

LONG ESSAY | OCTOBER 2012The 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...
PublicationsReportsState Reform
August 15, 2012

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

COMMISSIONED RESEARCH | AUGUST 2012Diagnostic 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...
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
February 15, 2012

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

LONG ESSAY | FEBRUARY 2012Transforming 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...
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 25, 2011

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

SHORT ESSAY | MAY 2011Design 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...
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 2011

Beyond the popular discourse: capacity constraints in the public sector

SHORT ESSAY | MAY 2011Beyond 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...
EssaysPublicationsState Reform
May 15, 2011

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

SHORT ESSAY | MAY 2011Why 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...