In South Africa, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) assessments are conducted in four thematic areas, namely democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development.
This is according to Dr Rachel Mukamunana’s presentation paper on APRM’s programme of action in South Africa.
Speaking at the two-day APRM High Level Brainstorming Session in Irene outside Pretoria on Thursday, Dr Mukamunana said every review must be technically competent, credible and free from political manipulation.
SA Programme of Action in the four thematic areas
Democracy and Political governance
- Strengthening Human rights culture;
- Combatting racism;
- Decrease levels of crime and violence, esp. against women and children;
- Increased access to justice;
- Strengthen forums and mechanisms for social dialogue and participation in the provision and monitoring of public services and;
- Fight corruption and build national values and integrity in all spheres of government.
- Economic Governance and Management
- Improve processes for public participation in policy formulation and implementation;
- Improve service delivery;
- Halve unemployment by 2014;
- Greater efficiency & effectiveness in public expenditure management & monitoring and;
- Harmonise economic policies and improve trade between member states.
- Corporate Governance
- Adoption of new companies legislation;
- Strengthen consumer and shareholder activist movements and;
- Improve corporate governance, accountability in the non-governmental sector including NGOs, CBOs and Business.
- Socio-Economic Development
- Definitions and measurement of poverty agreed upon and applied;
- Land reform contributes to sustainable livelihoods;
- Improved effectiveness and efficiency of the education system at all levels;
- Implement strategies & programmes to improve children nutrition;
- Implement multi-sectoral, collaborative programs to reduce the prevalence of HIV and impact of AIDS and;
- Build social capital at local levels.Comments on APRM implementation in SA
- The SA review identified the following critical (crosscutting) issues that needs to be addressed: Unemployment; Capacity constraints and poor service delivery; poverty and inequality; land reform; violence against women and children; HIV and AIDS pandemic; corruption; crime; racism and xenophobia and managing diversity.
- Unclear linkages between Progress Reports, and Program of Action, as a result it appears a compilation of government performance reports.
- Unclear how APRM has informed policies and budgets at all spheres of government.
- Limited media attention and public awareness.
- Insufficient evidence-based of progress, statistics and data.
- Emphasis on policies and programs but not on their effectiveness and impact.
- Lack of integration and alignment of APRM National Programme of Action (NPOA) with the National Development Plan (NDP), including the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
- Unclear roles of NGC in the post review period.
In 2014, Chairperson of the Panel and Lead Panel Member for South Africa, Professor Amos Sawyer said: “Notwithstanding, remarkable achievements, poverty especially among the previously disadvantaged groups, high unemployment rates, in particular among the youth and high levels of inequality remain the major obstacles to growth and sustainable development in South Africa”.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is the continent’s unique self-monitoring instrument for promoting good governance, which was launched in March 2003 by NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC).
The APRM is a voluntary exercise among participating African states to systematically assess and review their governance systems and practices to ascertain progress made towards achieving goals and compliance with agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards outlined in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance.
South Africa acceded to the APRM at inception in 2003 under the leadership of former President Thabo Mbeki was peer reviewed on 1st July 2007 at the APRM Forum of Heads of State and Government held in Accra Ghana.