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South Africa's Senior Civil Service : structures, roles and perspectives on change in government departments since 1994

Maphunye, Kealeboga Johnny (2002) South Africa's Senior Civil Service : structures, roles and perspectives on change in government departments since 1994. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This thesis examines the personal perspectives of senior civil servants in South Africa on the continuing changes affecting the service as part of wider national changes since the 1994 general elections. Pre-election political compromises were agreed to ensure a peaceful transition to non-racial democracy, which delayed significant civil service changes until 1999. This study has used a number of theoretical and other perspectives, particularly the concept of the "convergence" between the roles of senior civil servants and politicians in modern governments. The convergence concept has been particularly associated with the work of Aberbach et al. (1981) in their major study Bureaucrats and Politicians in Western Democracies. This concept has been a particular interest of this study. My project has also studied the possible effects of politicisation on senior civil service roles since 1994. Another major interest is representativeness (race, gender, and disability) within the civil service under the Affirmative Action laws and policies. A third theme is the use of New Public Management techniques, notably personal Performance Management Contracts for the most senior officials. All three themes present challenges and will help determine the future character of the South African senior civil service. My overall results indicate very strong support among senior officials for the Affirmative Action initiatives; the personal Performance Management Contracts for all senior officials; and overall change as perceived in their own department. I also conclude that South Africa's unique post-apartheid situation weakens any clear finding concerning the "convergence" concept associated with authors such as Aberbach et al., although their "Image IV" model may well apply.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 24 May 2021 14:23
Last Modified: 24 May 2021 14:23

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