The Presidential Years

During Mandela’s term, two major reports on the public service were commissioned to help get to grips with the challenges and point the way forward.

The director-general of the department of public service and administration, Dr Paseka Ncholo, led a provincial review task team that looked into the newly constituted provincial administrations. Briefing Parliament a week before the task team’s report went to Cabinet, Dr Ncholo said that ‘from an administrative point of view the system is expensive, chaotic and unaffordable’. Among the factors was the reliance on personnel from the bantustan administrations.451

The Presidential Review Commission reported in 1998 after two years of working on how the inherited executive and administration should be restructured to better enable reconstruction and development. Its far-reaching recommendations informed changes made by the next administration. As noted in Chapter 2, it dwelt sharply on the need for better coordinating and integrating structures at the centre of government, in the Presidency and Cabinet Secretariat.