Tag Archives: civil servants

How to get government services to step up their game

By Trevor Watkins Everyone knows we have a great Constitution. Hardly anyone knows what it contains, particularly most “civil” servants. How could this be changed? Most people are really only interested in things that affect them directly – saving money, saving time, cool things, interesting experiences. Tell them that Teazers can stay open because it…

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From small mutinies big coups doth grow

After 20 years of thwarted hopes and expectations, South Africans are adroit at juggling the private truth and public lie. The ability to reconcile these two without guilt or a giveaway smirk has become a necessary social skill to guard one’s career or business prospects. This is very much a characteristic of nations drifting towards…

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The stifling death grip of a dysfunctional bureaucracy

There is rarely spontaneous public applause for the efficiency and responsiveness of state entities. As well as almost limitless access to taxpayer funds, the impunity that assured employment affords, makes for public servant arrogance, sloth and waste. Combine these corrosive institutional traits with an African National Congress government that believes it has a God-ordained mandate…

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Respect for the people is the missing glue in our governance architecture

When a new and inclusive democratic government was voted into power in 1994 we all rejoiced in the hope and trust that we were entering a new era led by a caring government that would be driven by the principles and values of ethical leadership. We also believed that the new democratic government would open…

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The beautiful ones are corrupted

If ever the struggle was to deliver the promise for justice, equality and a world with a “more human face”, it would have been brought about by those of us who were born during the interregnum, that is between 1960 and 1980. The former is the year of the banning of the liberation movement following…

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Cry (wolf racism) the beloved country

There is probably nothing as tiresome, irritating and reactionary in contemporary South African discourse as the knee-jerk accusation of racism in response to anything critical of the ANC government, of any black person or of any institution that happens to be managed by black people (in the broadest, Biko-esque sense of “black”). Ironically, this knee-jerk,…

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