“Roses and Thistles: Lessons for Establishing Government Departments”

Year Published 2011
Business unit: Institutional Development Support (IDS)
Resource type: Case study
File type: PDF
Theme(s): Public Service & Administration


An official in a newly created government department uses the analogy of the environment to that of buying a car in a box: ‘“The car in the box is fully disassembled, the instruction manual is in German and you are not given any tools or mechanics to do the job. You are also not given any budget.” Many officials in new departments share the same sentiments. Based on the National Treasury’s Technical Assistance Unit’s support to one of these new departments, this case study documents the key requirements for a well-managed establishment process, and the lessons learnt and key success factors identified for the effective establishment of government departments within the South African public service.

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