Observations on defining a developmental state administration in South Africa
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Twelve years after a democratic transition, socio-economic conditions in South Africa continue to exhibit widespread depression and acute disparities. As with many spheres of society, the state's ability to respond to these conditions has had to confront significant transformational difficulties. To date, this has principally involved carrying out large-scale institutional restructuring and human resource transformation, primarily aimed at reforming an apartheid period bureaucracy that perpetuated systemic development inequalities. Over twelve years into this reform project, and as public administration proceeds to accelerate the pace of its development interventions, the arrival of terms such as the development state and two economies appear at first to provide consensual direction to the development efforts being made by die state's public administration. The actual situation seems less certain however, with doubts remaining about the conceptual and related administrative coherence surrounding how a developmental state ought to intervene in a country marked by such polarized socio-economic disparity. This manuscript considers the challenge of evaluating administrative processes when faced with unresolved normative questions surrounding the circumstances of underdevelopment and poverty in South Africa.