This article focuses on key issues regarding the implementation of policy and
service delivery in the South African public sector. The purpose is to clarify
concepts and to identify key variables for implementation. The challenge is to
analytically appreciate the resulting complexity of implementation. Like so much of the literature on domestic implementation, implementation could be considered to be intrinsically complex. Although one expects all implementation to be dynamic and complex, not every episode of implementation is likely to be equally complex. Depending on particular situations some variables are likely to be more manifestly complex in some situations than in others. Also, the set of variables proposed is, in fact, more parsimonious than many alternative sets. The complexity is not as much in the breadth of the variables as in their depth. Unravelling that complexity is imperative to unravelling implementation effectiveness and therefore successful service delivery. The opportunity is to use the five Cs strategically in their complex interlinkages to synergise implementation.