Governance and Public Administration

The situation

Making available and implementing public services to the citizens still lags behind the ambitious goals of the government and the expectations of the population. The reasons are manifold; the quality of public administration of South Africa is one of them: the public service, after the end of apartheid in 1994, is still in the middle of a far-reaching transformation process towards enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and citizen orientation.

GIZ Enlarge image (© GIZ/Stubbs)

The political - administrative system consisting of 9 provinces and 278 municipalities is consolidated but there is still a need for reforming and fine-tuning the allocation of powers, functions and fiscal resources between the three spheres of government. Public Servants of all spheres of government must “practise” how to deal with new responsibilities and demands as well as a democracy based on participation of its citizens. Lack of capacity, inefficiency and corruption complicate the governing and administration of South Africa.

Furthermore, consequences of the apartheid regime are still clearly noticeable: disrupted family structures, poor living conditions in the townships and a lack of perspective (approx. 40 percent of the young people in the townships are unemployed) are critical factors contributing to high crime and violence.

Strengthening and promoting “good governance” and contributing to improved safety of public spaces  is thus an essential prerequisite for sustainable development, combating poverty and social as well as economic inequality in South Africa.

National elections in Khayelitsha Enlarge image South African voters line up to cast their ballots during national elections in Khayelitsha, Cape Town (© picture-alliance/ dpa) German Development Cooperation assists in surmounting structural shortcomings. In line with the policy objectives outlined in the National Development Plan “Vision 2030”, the 2013 launched “South African – German Governance Support Programm” (GSP) aims at improving “service delivery capacities of  public institutions in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, forging sustainable partnerships and solutions between all the relevant stakeholders”.In addition, Germany supports the prevention of violence and crime through technical and financial cooperation projects such as the “Violence and Crime Prevention Project” (VCP, technical cooperation)  and the “Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading” (VPUU, financial cooperation).

Development cooperation

The central points of development cooperation focusing on good governance and administration are:

  • Policy coherence and intergovernmental cooperation,
  • Quality and efficiency of public service delivery through improvements in human resources and capacity development, public finance management, collaborative partnerships with private sector and management models of service enhancement,
  • Accountability, administrative justice and public participation,
  • Prevention of violence and crime: safer cities, youth and violence prevention (including sports for crime and violence prevention); promotion of inclusive networks and platforms for stakeholder dialogues and dissemination of practices.

Governance and Public Administration


New video on VCP

The 'Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention for Safe Public Spaces Programme' (VCP), which is implemented by GIZ on behalf of the BMZ, has produced an innovative and accessible video describing its approach to violence and crime prevention in South Africa.

Trilateral Cooperation Programme

Since South Africa’s successful transition to democracy in 1994, the country’s political and economic influence has grown tremendously throughout the rest of the continent. Against this backdrop, the South African and German governments established a Trilateral Cooperation Programme (TriCo)  in 2007 in order to strengthen South Africa’s contribution to the development of the continent.