Public sector inefficiencies: Are we addressing the root causes?

Published in: South African Journal of Accounting Research
Volume 31, issue 3, 2017 , pages: 169–180
DOI: 10.1080/10291954.2016.1160197
Author(s): David FourieSchool of Public Management and Administration,, Wayne PoggenpoelFaculty of Economic and Management Sciences, South Africa


Public sectors all over the world face challenges and, thus far, public sector reforms have not been very successful. The public sector, as a key component of any economy, needs to address its challenges adequately to prevent economic growth and development from being curtailed. This article hopes to spark debate about whether too much emphasis is being placed on symptoms of public sector challenges instead of addressing these challenges at their root. The article focuses on the South African public sector – a third world country public sector − and examines reports by the Auditor General of South Africa and the Public Service Commission of South Africa for recurring themes and findings. The results of the study clearly suggest that the South African public sector is not yet adequately addressing its challenges at their roots, resulting in the challenges recurring year after year.

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