Public administration (also referred to as work of government) is a collective human
enterprise carried out to ensure achieving the ultimate ideal of serving the public interest.
Currently, it is facing critical issues and new agendas emerging from an intensive and
pervasive interconnected internal, external and global environment. South African public
administration is no exception. Although, by means of the South African Constitution
which is the supreme law in the land, legislative, institutional and administrative measures
embed and promote value considerations, it is the view of the author that understanding
conceptual perspectives of values in terms of similar, related and core meanings, can
facilitate the guiding of South African public administration to its ultimate ideal – Chapter 10
of the South African Constitution on public administration being the principle foundation.
To enable and support public administration to cope and deal with these challenges, a
deeply embedded and enduring value system is essential. Another intertwined enhancing
factor is value orientation. A keen grasp and application of the related value orientations
namely, theoretical, political, ethical, social, human and spiritual could rigorously and
vigorously animate and influence public administration to realise its ultimate significance,
which is the promotion of the public interest. To deal with the challenges relating to the
review and implementation of the measures, a determined political will, coupled with a
robust public discourse and a vibrant and vigilant media, could be meaningful.