Our Insights


The paradox of local government: Sacrificing service delivery at the altar of equity

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s last report before he died identified a few municipalities whose accounts tell a ‘good story of disciplined spending that achieves value for money’.

Dienslewering word op die altaar van ‘billikheid’ geoffer

Kimi Makwetu se laaste verslag as ouditeur-generaal voordat hy oorlede is, het ’n paar munisipaliteite geïdentifiseer wie se sake ‘’n goeie storie van gedissiplineerde besteding vertel, wat waarde vir geld behaal’.
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Why challenge by Zuma’s advocate could checkmate Zondo inquiry

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane’s critique indicates an unresolved vacillation at the heart of hearings
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Life in a time of global civil war: In conversation with Pankaj Mishra

This conversation with the Indian-born essayist, novelist and historian Pankaj Mishra, took place before the US elections.
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The Fix | State Capture corruption amnesty

Thuli Madonsela suggests an amnesty can help to clean up corruption.
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Let a thousand citizen blossoms bloom – kickstarting and policing the SA economy

Public servants and officials are the heart of the black middle class and, outside the large metros, provincial government employees, councillors and local government officials are the black middle class, full stop.
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Renaissance Reborn: The Thabo Mbeki School And The Transformation of Africa, By Toyin Falola

Earlier in the outgoing month, it was the commissioning of the Pan-African Heritage World Museum right in the heart of the bastion of Pan-Africanism in Africa, Accra-Ghana, that rekindled the hope of a transforming Africa.
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Corruption Scorecard | State Capture Part 2

It's been over two years since the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture kicked off. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and his team are investigating a series of allegations of corruption in the organs of state. Thulasizwe speaks to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, a researcher from Public Affairs Research Institute Ivor Chipkin, and journalist...
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The Burning Platform: Separate State & Administration

South Africa is now joining the global north in terms of unlocking its economy and society entirely, citizens are concerned about the tracking and that isn’t going away. What is the biggest obstacle in unlocking efficient government in South Africa? Listen to the interview with Gareth Cliff
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Economic Crisis & Renewal: The paradox of government in South Africa

The failure of South Africa to turn policy into practice is a stumbling block to economic recovery. And the continued failure to acknowledge various paradoxes within government is potentially disastrous, especially when there are calls to spend even more money through dysfunctional organisations.
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We must develop governance game-changers for a post-Covid- 19, post-Zuma recovery

The systemic governance dysfunctions inherent in embedded State Capture were not swept aside by the departure of former president Jacob Zuma, nor did the damage suddenly disappear.
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When Black Lives Matter

What the ‘black’ man has survived in the hands of his light skinned counterpart has been ‘mildly’ described as ‘prejudice,’ racial prejudice.
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Planning for the Government we have rather than the one we wished we had

The High Court has just ruled that some regulations concerning level 4 and 3 are unconstitutional and many are irrational.
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Covid 19: Opposition to the Centre of Government and what it would take for it to hold.

In unprecedented times history is paradoxically a resource. It is in the past that we find examples of how exceptional events were handled.
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Breaking Eskom’s Death Spiral – a fresh take

Eskom’s crisis is not simply one of criminality and corruption. Rather, the organisation is in a storm of storms, where disruptions in one place (the resignation of a power plant manager, or a shortage of coal, or a boiler bursting) produce complex and unpredictable events somewhere else.
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Universal Basic Income Grant: When nothing is affordable, we had better choose the best unaffordable solution

A Universal Basic Income Grant would provide basic economic security to each individual, regardless of marital, family or household status. It should be paid with no means testing, at regular intervals, and without direction or restrictions on how to spend it.
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Getting government right, now – and after Covid-19

South Africa entered the Covid-19 crisis not simply with a fragile economy but with a weakened state. But we can avoid and/or manage our way successfully through crises when we invest in building institutions. The challenge is to set this capability free.
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‘Pencil pushers’ aren’t the issue: bureaucrats are inappropriately politicised

The ‘state capacity and institutional development’ cluster has developed a report for cabinet that is unhelpful and full of just exhortations
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