With all eyes focused on the jostling for position in the new government of national unity (GNU) (if it hasn’t collapsed by the time you read this), we would do well to remember that a change in political leadership will make very little difference without reform of the public service. Good policy, after all, is only as good as its implementation.

The ANC’s cratering election performance on May 29, dropping 17 percentage points to win just 40% of the vote, was emblematic of failure. Not just a failure of policy and imagination, but also a failure at the very coalface of service delivery — a failure to build a public service fit for purpose...

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