Douglas Irvine, a technical adviser to the Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa, discusses the commission's work from 1994 to 1996. He first locates the commission’s work in general debates on the provinces and local government at the time. He describes the challenges that the new provincial administrations confronted. He then talks about the composition of the commission and its advisory structures. Irvine explains how the commission advised the Constitutional Assembly on issues relating to the provinces and local government, and the key recommendations that the assembly included in the final constitutional text. He discusses the commission’s efforts to address the issue of traditional authorities and the introduction of the National Council of Provinces. He concludes by reflecting on the overall performance of the commission and its influence over other governmental organizations.
At the time of this interview, Douglas Irvine was a technical adviser to the Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa. He was also greatly involved in issues related to public management policy for the new state. Earlier, Irvine served as head of the Department of Political Studies and the dean of Social Science at the University of Natal. He took early retirement in 1996 to work in the field of applied development policy. In 2002, he joined the Small Business Project, a not-for-profit company based in South Africa, where he became the director of programs and research.