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Source: Ministry of Public Service and Administration
Title: Fraser-Moleketi: African Peer Review Mechanism Consultative
Minister for the Public Service and Administration Speech to
the second African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Consultative
Greetings to our Chairperson this morning;
Members of the Executive;
Premiers and Acting Premiers;
Members of Executive Council;
Members of Parliament;
Governing Council members;
Distinguished guests; and
People of Kliptown
As Chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism Governing
Council, and Focal point for the APRM South Africa Country Review,
I am pleased that we are hosting the second African Peer Review
Mechanism National Consultative Conference here at the Walter
Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown, Soweto.
We know this place as Freedom Square, the place where
representatives of democracy loving South Africa signed the Freedom
Charter, in 1955. This is another milestone in our country's
journey, as we participate in the development of South Africa into
a country where all of us, rich or poor, regardless of our race,
are able to develop our full potential.
The overarching goal of the APRM is for all participating countries
to accelerate their progress towards adopting and implementing the
priorities and programmes of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD) by achieving mutually agreed objectives and
compliance with best practice in governance and development.
The NEPAD Guidelines for this process note that this can only be
achieved through the sustained efforts of the country itself,
involving all stakeholders. Each country needs to develop a
programme of action with clear deadlines for each objective linked
to national budgets to guide stakeholders in the actions required
by everyone, government, private sector and civil society, to
achieve the country's vision.
The Guidelines also note that countries have different contexts and
their rate of progress will depend on the level of commitment and
political will among stakeholders. A key part of the Mechanism is
the sharing of information, best practices that lead to improved
budgeting, financial management, increased access to social
services and a better fight against corruption. It is also
important to remember that this is not about reopening policy
debates, but rather about charting a way forward.
We have chosen this historic place to meet because we believe that
it is the natural place for representatives from all sectors of
South Africa to meet to discuss the development of our Country Self
The Country Self Assessment Report is a document produced as a
result of a consultative process where South Africans were asked to
respond to the APRM Questionnaire. The questionnaire asks questions
which help assess how we measure up in terms of:
* Democracy and Good Political Governance;
* Economic Governance and Management;
* Corporate Governance; and
* Socio Economic Development.
We have come a long way since last September, when we first met to
decide the way forward for this process called the African Peer
Review Mechanism. We have sent out many questionnaires, and
received even more responses back. Our mobilisation team went out
to solicit submissions so that these could become part of the
document base the Country Self Assessment Report.
Answers to the questionnaire, which came in the form of
submissions, were collated into Technical Assessment Reports. From
these reports we will draw up a Programme of Action, reflecting the
suggestions made in submissions, and from the issues and challenges
identified by people in the submissions. In the long term the
Programme of Action will become a guiding document for government
and corporate policy.
Mobilising to request submissions was a huge task, so we called in
the assistance of the Community Development Workers (CDW), in order
to be sure to get the voice of all the people. They held workshops
in communities all over the country, and as a result, generated
boxes and boxes of completed questionnaires which we have
collected, and which will be analysed and their results factored
into the final Country Self Assessment Report. Many of these CDW
reports were also incorporated into Provincial Reports.
We received submissions from the children's sector, the Youth and
the Disabled, Women's groups, labour organisations, business,
religious organisations, and many non-governmental organisations
and research institutions, as well as Chapter 9
There is not a sector of society who has not responded in some
Parliament itself held a very comprehensive and powerful set of
consultations last year, and provided us with a very useful and
positive set of submissions. We have received an input from a
representative of Parliament this morning on their process.
Once the submissions started coming in, we realised we needed the
help of people from the research community in our country. One of
the benefits of a society which has been so analysed and studied
over the last ten years, is that we have a very rich and varied
research and academic community. We have a set of research partners
who have assisted us with very thoughtful and carefully constructed
submissions, which all asked for research partner status, and were
granted it by the National Governing Council. From this research
group, we selected four Technical Support Agencies (TSAs) which
were each given the responsibility of collating and structuring the
submissions for one particular theme of the APRM
These Technical Support Agencies are:
* For democracy and good political governance, The Institute for a
democratic Alternative in South Africa. * For economic governance
and management, the South African Institute of International
* For corporate governance, The African Institute for Corporate
* And for socio economic development, the Institute for Economic
Research on Innovation.
The Technical Support Agencies collated all the submissions we
received into the Technical Reports by analysing the submissions
against the APRM questionnaire to see where there was consensus,
where there were differences, what were burning issues, and to see
where we are doing things right.
They produced Technical Reports, which were presented and discussed
at a very successful series of thematic seminars held at the Indaba
Hotel in early April, to which representatives from all sectors,
the National Governing Council, and experts from areas of concern
for each Theme were invited.
As we speak we continue to receive submissions from people and
organisations, long after the deadline for the submissions.
Our timelines have been very tight, and the Technical Support
Agencies must be thanked for the work they have done under extreme
These submissions will still be collated into the final draft
report, along with the information generated by the analysis of the
CDW questionnaires. We have also had concerns from the gender
equity sector, and so we will be commissioning additional research
to ensure we have not under represented gender issues.
The reason for having the seminars was to ensure that the Technical
Reports accurately reflect the contents of the submissions
collated, and to be sure that we also added anything which may have
been left out from the submissions themselves. In practice it was a
sort of collective gap analysis.
The TSAs took the notes from the seminars and updated the summaries
they had made for the seminars, to include issues raised at the
seminars. The seminars were also tape-recorded and transcribed.
These transcriptions were turned into checklists by our research
team, who checked the summaries of the TSAs against these lists.
The TSAs then made changes and additions where necessary, to
accurately reflect the content brought out by the seminars. These
summarised reports were then collated and finalised into the draft
Country Self Assessment Report we are discussing at the Conference
The ultimate tool that will come out of the APRM process is the
Programme of Action. The submissions, issues, challenges and
suggestions they contain, are the base documents which provide us
with the Programme of Action. The same process of summarising,
analysing and collation, which has resulted in our Draft Country
Self Assessment Report, has also produced our Draft Programme of
All these preparations give you, our conference delegates, an
opportunity consider all these issues and the programme, and check
them for gaps, suggest additions, and start thinking about the ways
we can implement the Programme of Action. As with the seminars,
government officials, community representatives, provincial
officials and representatives from all sectors and interest groups,
including the research and non-governmental organisation (NGO)
sector are here today.
Once we have completed our consultations here at this conference,
we have to add to the draft report the issues or challenges raised,
so that the consultation process is continuous throughout the
development of the final Country Self Assessment Report.
This process has not all been plain sailing. We have had to ensure
we continuously assess how well we are doing in our consultations,
making sure that the process is as open and transparent as
possible, so that the report we come out with at the end is a
useful tool which we can all use to help develop South Africa into
the country it should be, for all its people. This week we have had
to amend the first drafts of the report, which has been enriched by
direct participation by members of the Governing Council. This has
improved the report and deepened our commitments to its contents
The self-assessment process has revealed much for us all to be
proud of. This is not just about what we in Government have
achieved but what we as a country have managed to do in an
incredibly short space of time, coming as we have from a very dark
In terms of democracy and good political governance we have an
impressive human rights framework that is the envy of many in the
world, our commitment to a multiparty democratic system and the
rule of law is uncontested and the strength and ability of our
judiciary is a national source of pride. Out work to create a
framework that protects vulnerable people will also produce
long-term results that we can be pleased with.
In economic governance we have also much to be proud of, while
recognising our challenges. Macro economic stability, a clear
economic path and good management are all major achievements and we
can look forward to long term improvements in these areas as well,
knowing they will benefit the poorest and most vulnerable members
of our communities.
Our ongoing and highly successful work to improve corporate
governance is amongst the most dynamic and effective in the world.
While we have much to do to further address and incorporate the
needs of all stakeholders, our plans to revise company laws will do
much to improve competitiveness and to bridge the gaps between our
Socio-economic development is a major challenge to all South
Africans, especially those worst affected by poverty. I am proud of
what we as a nation have achieved. I believe we have made a
magnificent start in combating poverty and while we still have far
to go, the turn-around has started and will accelerate in years to
come. The goal of the APRM, for all of Africa, is to help Africans
help themselves. We are showing ourselves, and the world, we are
not those whose mindset assumes that we need external assistance in
order to grow. The APRM helps us measure how we are doing, against
an African agenda. We are here today because we, as Africans, are
doing it for ourselves.
Africa has a history of underdevelopment and exploitation
stretching back five hundred years, from the times of the slave
trade, which we are now changing. The APRM process is one of the
tools Africans have devised to help themselves do this.
Africa is a rich, diverse, gifted, continent, full of wonderful
opportunity, and an amazing diversity of courageous and powerful
people. It is where human beings first walked the earth. It is
where we are building a future that will give our children a place
to be proud to say