By Fiona Wakelin 

With the rollout of vaccines across the globe, people are once again feeling like there is a future to look forward to. Our recovery is crucially linked to how all sectors of the economy are managed – which means all eyes are on the key players – the major one being our public administrators. So, with that in mind I hauled out my crystal ball and had a look at where our public sector could be in 2031.

Here are three trends to consider: 


  1. Size does count

The government will be a sleeker, meaner (in the nicest possible way) machine. The number of departments and ministers will be rationalised down from the current 28 to less than half (which means amalgamating like-ministries, such as the departments of education – and small business development, trade industry and competition, energy, mineral resources and agriculture into a Department of Economic Affairs). Also the number of DGs and DDGs would then be reduced and lines of communication free flowing.


  1. Technology

Speaking of communication – in 10 years’ time, technology will have made dramatic advances and the leaders of the national, provincial and municipal levels of government will be available to genuinely interact with the people who elected them via virtual platforms.


Onerous manual paper-based administrative tasks will have been digitised. This will result in increased efficiencies and turn around time, particularly in departments like Home Affairs, Police and Justice.


On-line education will be the norm.


  1. One layer of government

But will there still be 3 layers of government? Mariaane Merten who writes for the Daily Maverick has this interesting take:


With the District Development Model — it aims to coordinate planning and service delivery in each of South Africa’s 52 districts, including the metros — these public service changes may also have an impact on the size, shape and role of provincial governments.


Very simply put, provinces channel national purse allocations, particularly for health and education. Already, municipalities receive money via grants for housing, water and bulk infrastructure, public transport and more. With a single public service, nothing stops a province from being run by a premier’s office, provincial treasury and a provincial DG who heads the provincial administration.


Interested in finding out more? Read the full blog post click here


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