Public Service and Administration Minister, Mr Senzo Mchunu

Public Service and Administration Minister, Mr Senzo Mchunu, said it is now long overdue for South Africa’s 2nd Generation Review with the last progress report issued in 2014 and since then, the country had to put the process on hold.

Speaking at the APRM High-Level Brainstorming Session held in Irene, Pretoria yesterday, the Minister said it is important at this time that South Africa draw wisdom from all stakeholders, among others, government, civil society, private sector and members of the APRM.

The Minister emphasized the importance of effective establishment and management of the national APRM National Governance Council (NGC) structures.

“The NGC must not only be credible but also sustainable, institutionalized, popularised and their recommendations should be part of the government programmes.

“In all our efforts, we must always be driven by overarching goals of making sure that our continent is conducive for human habitation, a continent that cares for its people, its environment and has a growing economy.

“That is the legacy for which we must work in unison to bequeath the 2nd Generation Review,” Minister Mchunu said.

He said the Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, will lead the process to establish the new APRM National Governing Council.

The former Minister for the Pubic Service and Administration and Chancellor of Nelson Mandela University, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

The former Minister for the Pubic Service and Administration and Chancellor of Nelson Mandela University, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, gave an account of her experience as  Focal Point of South Africa APRM 1st Generation Review.

Dr Fraser-Moleketi highlighted the growing importance of the role of the APRM Eminent Panel and the APRM Secretariat. The APRM secretariat also serves as Secretariat of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) which consists of 15 bodies of the African Union.

She emphasized the mandate and purpose of the APRM as stated by HE Melez Zenawi, to ensure that the policies and practices of participating countries conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance.
It aims to set in a strategic reorientation towards the validation of universal as well as African values.

She said there is a need to consider convergence and alignment between the APRM, the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and the implementation of the National Development Plans. “This requires the involvement of key Ministers/Departments hence the choice of five members of the Cabinet in addition to the involvement of civil society at the NGC and PGC levels.

The absence of the private sector in the NGC, at the time, was a gap that the Former Focal Point indicated.

She said the nine Provincial Consultative Conferences followed District and Local level consultations led by Ward Committees which allows for a process of community engagement and rebuilding trust hence the importance of convergence with the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2026.

“There were 90 Community level discussion groups involving the Community Development Workers, the focus of the outresearch strategy was on building consensus on the implications of the APRM Programme of Action which again emphasizes the importance of the convergence between processes and its reporting requirements.

“One of the most important factors in this regard was to simplification and translation of the questionnaires into the 11 official languages.

Dr Fraser-Moleketi said the inclusion of five Cabinet Members (from Presidency, Finance, Trade and Industry, Justice and Public Service and Administration) and the creation of Provincial Governing Councils (PGCs), ensured that there were ownership and buy-in from other cabinet members and participation at the provincial level and that the voice of the Focal Point was not the only voice in Cabinet”.

Talking on the importance of communication and media, Dr Fraser-Moleketi said the media landscape has changed. “The communication strategy should target the youth and the diverse and broad society including the effective use of social media, development communication and community media to reach local communities.

The 1st Generation Review Focal Point said, also, during the 1st Generation Review, a research unit was established to support the NGC using seminars with chapter nine institution and academia leading the seminars with focused thematic areas.

She said it is important to give feedback to the communities and be serious about outcomes and put factionalism aside.

‘My advice to the NGC is to leave no one behind and to draw the lessons from the 1st Generation Review,” Dr Fraser-Moleketi said.

Director-General of the DPSA, Prof Richard Levin

Director-General of the DPSA, Prof Richard Levin, a said the peer review is a peer review of heads of states and that there is a commitment to rebuild the public trust at that level.

He said the brainstorming session is a start of a journey to get South Africa alive and to get all South Africans to engage as we get into the 2nd Generation Review.

CEO of the National APRM Secretariat, Prof Eddie Maloka

CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Prof Eddie Maloka, said joining other APRM countries for the 2nd Generations Review should build on the lessons learned from the 1st Generation.

He said the National APRM Secretariat will support the process in rebuild the APRM national structures, implementing the AU Assembly Decisions and supporting South Africa chairpersonship of the APRM.

South Africa Panel Member and APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon Bridget Mabandla, said in her experience in reviewing other countries like Uganda, there have been the cross-cutting issues which included corruption and how it can be eliminated, strengthening of governance institutions, human rights, improving the quality of lives of women and honest open discussions.

She emphasized the importance of a variety of voices including people in rural areas indicating that the inclusion of ordinary people in a review process is key.

South Africa Panel Member and APRM Panel of Eminent Persons, Hon Bridget Mabandla

Bishop Obrigado from Mozambique said Kenya, Mozambique and Uganda have already undertaken their 2nd Generation Review and said the sustainability of the APRM is vital in the Continent.

He said APRM is a positive programme to advance the country and central to the APRM is experience sharing and lessons learned throughout the processes.