South Africa

Reverend Gift Moerane

Ref Batch
ZA
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
7
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rachel Jackson
Name
Reverend Gift Moerane
Interviewee's Organization
South African Council of Churches
Language
English
Town/City
Johannesburg
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Reverend Gift Moerane shares his experiences serving on the South African Electoral Commission’s Conflict Management Mediation Panels since 1999. He describes the conflicts that plagued the pre-election period in 1999, including the contestation of control of areas by various political parties, or “no-go” zones. He discusses the role that political party loyalties played in causing electoral disorder, and the effects of apartheid on these loyalties. Furthermore, he notes the role the police forces played in electoral mediation and talks about the relationship between mediation and policing. He explains the importance of the training and recruitment of mediators. Finally, he discusses the usage of the country’s electoral codes in deterring conflict escalation.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Reverend Gift Moerane was a member of the South African National Peace Accord, spokesperson for the South African Council of Churches. He served as a member of the Electoral Commission’s Conflict Management Mediation Panels since 1999. He was born in the Vaal Triangle in the Meyerton Township. He completed teacher training at the College of Education in Groblersdal. In 1984, after working as a clerk for the Meyerton municipality, he started working for the Council of Churches, assisting families of detainees and political prisoners.

Judy Parfitt

Ref Batch
R
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
13
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Judy Parfitt
Interviewee's Position
Former General Manager of Human Resources
Interviewee's Organization
SARS (South African Revenue Services)
Language
English
Town/City
Johannesburg
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

After Apartheid, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) underwent a significant transformation in becoming a more inclusive, transparent and efficient organization. Largely behind this effort was the Human Resources management team under the leadership of Judy Parfitt. The human resources challenges upon her arrival were significant, as the existing procedures were largely outdated and inappropriate. However, thanks to the fact that SARS had administrative autonomy, the HR department was able to change everything from the grading system to the performance management system to the remuneration system. This case study details the challenges involved and the remedies they underwent to ensure a sustainable and well-received transformation. Throughout the interview, Ms. Parfitt stresses how the organization underwent a shift in formal procedures but also a shift in the organizational culture as an emphasis was placed on competency and performance rather than previous loyalties. There was a significant need for good black talent and in the search for these individuals to fill new positions, the HR team looked for specific job knowledge but also generic competencies that would foster a positive and collaborative working style. Additionally, the interview stresses the importance of working with the unions through the Siyakha protocol where a shared strategy was devised and discussed in detail in order to take into account the structural changes on personnel. These collective agreements were essential to organizational reform, and despite significant disagreements between management and the two major unions, there was a general commitment to creating a better life for all.

Case Study:  Reworking the Revenue Service: Tax Collection in South Africa, 1999-2009

Profile

At the time of this interview, Judy Parfitt was General Manager of Human Resources (HR) at the South African Revenue Services (SARS). She began her career in journalism. But, in the wake of state censorship exercised in South Africa during the state of emergency declared in the late 1980s, Parfitt returned to school and obtained a Master’s in International Relations in Warrick, United Kingdom (U.K.). She then worked for Volkswagen South Africa, and later helped set up the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in South Africa, specifically the Eastern Cape region. In 1998, Parfitt was recruited by SARS.

Mavuso Msimang

Ref Batch
R
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
10
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Mavuso Msimang
Interviewee's Position
Director General
Interviewee's Organization
Department of Home Affairs, South Africa
Language
English
Place (Building/Street)
Protea Hotel
Town/City
Midrand
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Department of Home Affairs Director-General Mavuso Msimang offers an account of his role in the department’s turnaround effort.  Msimang drew on his experience in the liberation struggle and in reforming the South African National Parks authority as he collaborated with consultants to overhaul business processes and performance management procedures in the Department of Home Affairs.  He ascribes the quick improvements in service delivery not only to technical reorganization, which, for example, drastically reduced the number of handovers in the ID production process, but also to his frequent contact with staff at all levels of the organization in an effort to recognize good performance.

Case Study:  Reforming Without Hiring or Firing: Identity Document Production in South Africa, 2007-2009

Profile

Mr. Msimang was Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.  He previously served as CEO of the South African National Parks and as head of the South African State Information Technology Agency.  Before his career in government, Msimang lived in exile for thirty years, during which he worked for the World University Service of Canada and Care International.

Full Audio File Size
51 MB
Full Audio Title
Mavuso Msimang Interview

Johan Burger

Ref Batch
C
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
15
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Johan Burger
Interviewee's Position
Senior Lecturer, Crime and Justice Programme
Interviewee's Organization
Institute for Security Studies
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Town/City
Pretoria
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Johan Burger talks about crime and policing in South Africa. To fight crime, he contends that the focus should be on its root causes, including, socioeconomic conditions, and the criminal justice system. He advocates the adoption of an integrated strategy that involves governmental and non-governmental departments to address these conditions and political factors. Burger discusses the National Crime Prevention Strategy that was adopted in 1996. The strategy failed due to lack of a shared understanding of crime and policing among politicians, lack of funding, a disregard for socioeconomic conditions, and the inability of police to deliver immediate and visible results on crime prevention. He also describes the various operations under the Community Safety Plan and the National Crime Combating Strategy, which focused on serious and violent crimes, organized crime, crimes against women and children, and improving service delivery. Burger recounts his experience working on the change-management team, which dealt with reforming the police. He talks about police demilitarization and rank restructuring. He describes the confusion and the decline in police morale and discipline that emerged as a result. Burger also challenges community policing. While he acknowledges instances of success, he argues that it is idealistic in terms of its expectations on how the police, in partnership with communities, can fight crime. He identifies sector policing as being more practical and tangible. Though it is still a joint effort between the police and the community, the police resolve only what they can and refer what they are unable to deal with to other government institutions.    

Profile

At the time of this interview, Johan Burger was a senior lecturer in the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria.  Before that, he was a lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology in the department of Safety and Security Management. Burger joined the police service in 1968 and retired in 2004 as an assistant commissioner.  Within the police force, he worked as a station commissioner and investigating officer. He was involved in policy and strategy development. Burger became a member of the change-management team that was created in 1993 as South Africa moved toward a new democracy. He later headed Strategy and Policy Development for the South African police service. 

Full Audio File Size
93 MB
Full Audio Title
Johan Burger - Full Interview

Yogie Travern

Ref Batch
R
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
17
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Yogie Travern
Interviewee's Position
Director of Identity Documents
Interviewee's Organization
Department of Home Affairs, South Africa
Language
English
Place (Building/Street)
Department of Home Affairs Central Processing Unit
Town/City
Pretoria
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Department of Home Affairs Identity Documents Director Yogie Travern offers an account of the re-engineering of the production process for South African identity documents. Travern describes the changes made to each step of the process, from the receipt of the ID application form at branch offices to the final lamination and shipping of the ID booklet from the central processing unit. The reform effort did three main things: it reorganized and clarified tasks, made performance visible, and taught mid-level managers how to monitor their employees. The year-long turnaround effort reduced the average processing time for an ID booklet from over 130 days to under 40 days. \

Case Study:  Reforming Without Hiring or Firing: Identity Document Production in South Africa, 2007-2009

Profile

Ms. Travern was Director for Identity Documents at the Department of Home Affairs. She began her career at the department as an ID clerk in 1989, moving up through the ranks until she was chosen, in 2007, to join a group of consultants in leading the turnaround effort in the ID production process. 

Full Audio File Size
63 MB
Full Audio Title
Yogie Travern Interview

Pravin Gordhan

Ref Batch
R
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Pravin Gordhan
Interviewee's Position
Minister of Finance
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Place (Building/Street)
Treasury
Town/City
Pretoria
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Former South African Revenue Service Commissioner Pravin Gordhan describes the internal organizational changes that helped the service consistently meet or exceed its revenue targets during his tenure. Appointed commissioner soon after the service obtained autonomy from South Africa’s civil service regulations, Gordhan talks about how he led a campaign of organizational transformation known as siyakha (“we are building” in Zulu), which reorganized tasks, shifted people within the organization, and led to large-scale racial transformation. The policy depended on aggressive outreach efforts both within the organization and to the public at large. By taking office staff on public campaigns during tax-filing season, Gordhan built public willingness to comply while motivating his employees.

Case Study:  Reworking the Revenue Service: Tax Collection in South Africa, 1990-2009

Profile

At the time of this interview, Pravin Gordhan was minister of finance for South Africa. He was the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service from 1999 to 2009. Before his career in government, Gordhan played a prominent role in the South African liberation movement; in the 1980s, he was secretary of Operation Vula, the African National Congress underground organization.

Full Audio File Size
45MB
Full Audio Title
Pravin Gordhan Interview

Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini

Ref Batch
O
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini
Interviewee's Position
Member of Parliament
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa
Language
English
Place (Building/Street)
Parliament
Town/City
Cape Town
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Keywords
Abstract
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini, a South African member of Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party, describes his role during the negotiation process among the different political parties to end apartheid and to form a new democratic state. Oriani-Ambrosini’s main task was to create his party’s constitution. The chief players at the negotiating table were the National Party and the African National Congress. While the Inkatha party’s key interest was to build a federal state, one with a robust system of checks and balances, Oriani-Ambrosini says the other two parties had collectively opted for a strong unitary state. But after the negotiations, the Inkatha party succeeded in its call for decentralization through the establishment of autonomous provinces, ensuring that its existence, functions and powers were secured within the constitutional principle. Despite this achievement, Oriani-Ambrosini laments that through the provincial legislation, provinces have become implementers of the national government’s policies. He says they lack self-empowerment and depend heavily on the national level.
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosini was a member of the South African Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). He served on committees that dealt with public enterprises, economic development, trade and industry, and justice and constitutional development.  He was also a part of the Finance and Rules, Private Member Bills and the Constitutional Review Joint Committee. The Italian-born lawyer was trained at the Georgetown University Law Center in the U.S. He worked with the Philadelphia Constitution Foundation and Human Rights Advocates International in negotiating, drafting and formulating constitutions for a wide range of clients that included the Boris Yeltsin Commission in Russia. In 1991, he started working for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and his political party, the IFP. He became Buthelezi’s adviser from 1994 to 2004, the period when the prince was the minister of home affairs. Oriani-Ambrosini was also an adviser to the leader of the minority political party in Nelson Mandela's Government of National Unity. He was involved in reformulating the South African immigration system, formulating the second constitution that was produced by the Constitutional Assembly and drafting the constitution of KwaZulu-Natal in 1995. He retired from politics in 2004, but in 2009 he returned. Besides engaging in politics and constitutional law, Oriani-Ambrosini also worked as a commercial lawyer and businessman. In 2004, he reopened Ambrosini & Associates, a legal and business consultancy in the U.S.

Full Audio File Size
94MB
Full Audio Title
Mario Gaspare Oriani-Ambrosinii Interview

Peter Smith

Ref Batch
O
Ref Batch Number
2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Peter Smith
Interviewee's Position
Member of Parliament
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Place (Building/Street)
Parliament
Town/City
Cape Town
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Keywords
Abstract
Peter Smith, a member of South Africa's Parliament, discusses his involvement with the Inkatha Freedom Party, particularly during the talks to end apartheid, to form a new democratic state and to determine its structure. He describes the negotiation process among the different political parties, with the Inkatha party being mainly interested in developing a federal state and safeguarding the role of the Zulu monarchy. Smith also explains the factors that affected his party’s position during the negotiations, including the collusion of the two main parties, the Nationalist Party and the African National Congress; the outbreak of violence; and the spread of propaganda. Although the Inkatha party succeeded in its call for federalism, Smith notes that there were still problems that needed to be resolved:  The provinces that were established had limited functional areas, and in spite of their increased legislative powers, they lacked the ability to raise funds necessary for operation.
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Peter Smith was a member of South Africa's Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party. He started working with the party in 1988 as a researcher. Smith was also a participant in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa talks. 
Full Audio File Size
36MB
Full Audio Title
Peter Smith Interview

Douglas Irvine

Ref Batch
N
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Douglas Irvine
Interviewee's Position
Technical Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
Commission on Provincial Government of South Africa
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Town/City
Johannesburg
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

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.    

Case Study:  Refashioning Provincial Government in Democratic South Africa, 1994-96

Profile

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. 

Full Audio File Size
99MB
Full Audio Title
Douglas Irvine Interview

Johann Kriegler

Ref Batch
O
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Amy Mawson
Name
Johann Kriegler
Interviewee's Position
Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
South Africa Independent Electoral Commission, 1994
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
South African
Town/City
Johannesburg
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Johann Kriegler traces the fascinating story of South Africa’s post-apartheid election, the country’s first fully inclusive democratic poll. As head of the newly formed Independent Electoral Commission in 1994, Kriegler was at the heart of the process. He details the challenges the commission faced in the early months of 1994. Chief among these were a tight timeframe, the absence of a voters roll, the high level of mistrust that permeated South African politics at the time, and the weight of public expectation. Kriegler outlines how the commission tackled these challenges, and he highlights several innovative approaches along the way. He describes the vital roles played by the commission’s monitoring directorate, the party liaison committees, and Operation Access, a program that helped parties campaign in areas that were otherwise out of reach. He explains how key players were brought into the electoral process, often at the last minute, and stresses the important role that determined political will played in the ultimate success of the elections.   

Case Study:  Organizing the First Post-Apartheid Election, South Africa, 1994

Profile

Johann Kriegler was chairman of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in 1994. Before he was appointed to the IEC, Kriegler was an Appeals Court judge. After 1994, he worked as an adviser in various sensitive electoral processes around the world. He chaired the commission investigating the violence that erupted following the Kenyan elections of 2007, and he served on Afghanistan’s U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission in 2010. 

Full Audio File Size
82MB
Full Audio Title
Johann Kriegler Interview