In the current COVID-19 emergency a lot of consideration is being paid to how to deal with the epidemic medically and to develop measures to manage its economic fallout. There has been no attention to what emergency governance measures need to be put in place to ensure effective coordination between the various departments, entities and businesses involved, to appropriately decentralize certain activities to, for example, districts, to ensure effective and honest procurement and to prevent corruption.
The Zondo Commission will in the next few months come to an end. It is in a position to draw important policy conclusions from the testimony and the submissions it has received regarding corruption and state capture. Much of the evidence presented points to flaws in governance structures and processes. More importantly, the commission has the authority to make strong recommendations, which could provide the basis for reforming government. Taken together with new models of governance arising from emergency provisions, there is a possibility of laying the basis for a reformed, capable South African state going forward.