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South Africa End-of-Term Report 2016-2018

In 2019, the Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) published the end of term report for South Africa’s third action plan. The report covers the full action plan implementation period of July 2016 to August 2018.

In South Africa, the IRM researcher Tracy-Lynn Humby’s findings are summarized below:

“Under the third action plan, South Africa advanced open budgeting and citizen engagement through the launch of the Vuleka Mali open budget portal; the GovChat engagement application; and the extension of citizen-based monitoring at payment points of the South African Social Security Agency. Following significant changes in government administration, which delayed the finalisation of the self-assessment report and development of the fourth action plan, interim arrangements are in place to put the OGP process back on track.”

The report is available here. The two-week public comment period closed 21 February 2019. No comments were received.

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From the Report:

The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) carries out a review of the activities of each OGP-participating country. This report summarises the results of the period July 2016 to August 2018 and includes some relevant developments up to October 2018.

Initially, the OGP process in South Africa was coordinated by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) with then-Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, as special OGP envoy. The DPSA led the process of developing the third national action plan. Some months before the 2017 midterm review, President Jacob Zuma reassigned Deputy Minister Dlodlo to the Ministry of Communications, and in July 2017, he reallocated the OGP process to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).1 However, DIRCO did not respond to this mandate and the executive leadership of OGP remained unclear. In May 2018, the new presidential incumbent, President Ramaphosa, re-appointed Minister Dlodlo as the OGP special envoy. It was confirmed that the executive leadership of OGP would reside in Minister Dlodlo rather than a particular government agency. As Minister Dlodlo now heads the DPSA, the DPSA is the current coordinating agency.2 At the time of the end- of-term report, the OGP point of contact is Ms Qinsile Delwa.3

South Africa’s third action plan contained eight commitments focused on improving public service delivery, budget transparency and access to government data. Four of the commitments were completed by the midterm review and a further three showed substantial progress. It should be noted that completion activities were carried out prior to the official start of the action plan period for commitments 6 and 8.

Under the third action plan, South Africa advanced open budgeting and citizen engagement through the launch of the Vuleka Mali open budget portal; the GovChat engagement application; and the extension of citizen-based monitoring at payment points of the South African Social Security Agency. Following significant changes in government administration, which delayed the finalisation of the self-assessment report and development of the fourth action plan, interim arrangements are in place to put the OGP process back on track.

As a result of the gap in OGP leadership, the South African government has not yet published its self- assessment report for the 2016 – 2018 action plan. The government has requested additional time to prepare a quality fourth action plan. 4

1 Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): South Africa Progress Report 2016 – 2018, 14, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/South-Africa_MidTerm-Report_2016-2018.pdf.
2 Letter from the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, Republic of South Africa to the OGP Co-Chairs, ‘Special Envoy to the Open Government Partnership (OGP)’, 15 May 2018.
3 Qinsile Delwa, Acting Executive Director, Centre for Public Service Innovation, interview with IRM researcher, 8 October 2018.
4 Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of Public Service and Administration, ‘Fourth Open Government Partnership National Action Plan’ (letter addressed to OGP Co-Chairs explaining delay in submission of action plan and requesting additional time), 15 August 2018.

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