The planning of reforms in government is of itself a complex and difficult process.
This article examines reforms in the Government of South Africa from 1994 to
2005. Reforms in the public sector of South Africa must be understood from the
confines of historical perspectives and political accommodation. An extensive review
of the literature written by scholars of public administration and political transformation
indicates clearly that adequate public sector reforms must be hinged on proper
planning, efficient administration and political will. Considering the brief historical
overview it is obvious that prior to 1994 the South African public sector and in particular
the public service, consisting of some 1,3 million employees, was characterised by
fragmentation of structures, lack of co-ordinated policy frameworks, unequal allocation
of financial and human resources as well as disregard for the democratic requirement
of public accountability. It should be evident that the public service reform that
the democratically elected government had to undertake was extensive as well as
complex. The article will conclude by highlighting the fact that the legal and policy
frameworks have been created to obtain an ethical workforce that operates in a public
service that conforms to standards acceptable in an open and democratic society.