Minister Senzo Mchunu: Adoption of Charter of South African Peer Review Mechanism National Governing Council

28 Jul 2020

 Statement by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Focal Point for South Africa, Mr Senzo Mchunu, who is also the Minister for the Public Service and Administration

A good morning to:

Fellow Focal Point Members and Excellencies of APRM Member States,
CEO of the APRM Secretariat, Professor Eddy Maloka,
Deputy Minister for the Department of Public Service and Administration, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga,
Director-General: DPSA, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi,
Newly elected Chairperson of the SA NGC, Mr Thulani Tshefuta and Deputy Chairperson, Ms Magdalene Moonsamy,
Civil society in South Africa,
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us and welcome to this Briefing.

Allow me to take this opportunity and join the President of the Republic in expressing our sincere condolences to the people of Tanzania on the passing of a visionary African leader, former President, Benjamin Mkapa.

From this APRM platform, we join whole continent and the nation in mourning the passing of the last surviving of the Rivonia trialists, Isithwalandwe uBaba Andrew Mlangeni. The people of South Africa will forever be indebted to him for the sacrifices he made in the attainment of their freedom.

I would also like to pay tribute to all the Public Servants, both locally and on the continent, who lost their lives in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of government, we want to thank them for their dedication and service to the nation.

The APRM is an initiative which was mutually and voluntarily acceded to by Member States of the African Union (AU), initiated in 2002 and established in 2003. South Africa was one of the first countries to accede to the APRM in March 2003 in Abuja, Nigeria.  Out of the total 55 AU Member States, the current number of Member States participating in the APRM is 40; with the Republic of the Seychelles and Zimbabwe having acceded at the 32nd APRM Forum which was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2020. The APRM is aiming for universal accession by all African states by 2023.

The President of South Africa, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, assumed the Chairship of the African Peer Review Forum early this year, taking over from the Republic of Chad. South Africa is also currently the Chairperson of the Committee of Focal Points of the APRM programme, a continental ministerial platform for all 40 APRM participating Member States.

The APRM is a mechanism envisaged to promote good governance and socio-economic development through the adoption of policies, standards and good practices that will lead to political stability, economic growth and sustainable development on the African continent. The APRM uses a holistic review process that distinguishes the mechanism from other institutions through inclusive dialogue, independent and objective reviews, peer-learning and compliance monitoring.

The APRM’s focus areas are:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Socio-economic Development
  • Democracy and Political Governance
  • Economic Governance and Management

At the meeting held on 1 February 2020, the structure of the South African National Governing Council (NGC) was unveiled, which structure would see to the realisation of the APRM goals. The formation of the NGC will pave the way in the preparation of South Africa’s 2nd Generation Review that is about to be undertaken. The structure is expected to lead this process of country self-assessment, ensure its credibility and ultimately produce the Country Self- Assessment Report (CSAR).

The NGC structure is at the core of the functioning and success of the country’s APRM, as its key role is to mobilise and ensure participation of all stakeholders and citizens in general to the APRM processes.

Cabinet approved the formation of the NGC which comprises the 3 spheres of government, civil society groups, the private sector and labour, in line with the APRM principle of broad-based participation.

The following Ministers form part of the NGC:

  1. Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs;
  2. Minister in the Presidency;
  3. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;
  4. Minister of Finance; and
  5. Minister for the Public Service and Administration.   

Since its appointment, the NGC has convened meetings in order to formulate its Charter, which Charter is in accordance with the Statute of the African Peer Review Mechanism and further provides insight as to, amongst others, the objectives of the NGC, the structure of the various national structures to be appointed as well as the functions of the various structures.

Through a virtual meeting which was held on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, the NGC adopted the Charter of the South African APRM National Governing Council which essentially governs its constitution.  

Following the adoption of its Charter, the NGC will be inducted on the processes of the APRM, which are technical in nature. This is to ensure that all representatives understand what is required of them as a structure in respect of the country’s 2nd Generation Review process. Furthermore, the NGC will engage on the National Road Map, which is currently in draft form. The National Road Map details the activities to be undertaken in the NGC’s 2020/2021 Financial Year with the aim of producing the 1st draft of the National Country Review Report.  

Following the adoption of its Charter, the NGC proceeded to appoint its Chairperson as well as its Deputy Chairperson to lead the structure of 32 representatives plus the 9 provinces.  

Mr Thulani Tshefuta was elected and appointed as the NGC Chairperson. Mr Tshefuta holds a number of Post Graduate Qualifications from Wits University, GIBS and Crammer Graduate School of Business at Rollins University – USA. He is currently studying towards a Master’s Degree in Monitoring and Evaluation with Wits University.

Ms Magdalene Moonsamy, an admitted Attorney, the Founder of the Women’s Justice Foundation and an Activist for Human, Womens’ as well as LBGTI Rights was appointed as the Deputy Chairperson.

With the adoption of the NGC Charter as well as the election of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, the NGC now has a vital role to play in achieving the aspirations captured in its Road Map.

The vision of the APRM is the full actualisation of transformative leadership and practice for the Africa we all want. South Africa’s involvement and participation in the APRM is of great benefit to the country as a whole. The activities conducted within the APRM and the investigations which will be carried out will assist South Africa in attaining the goals as per the National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) in the elimination of poverty, the creation of employment opportunities through faster economic growth as well as the building of a capable and ethical state, to name a few.

In repositioning the APRM in South Africa, an alignment between the APRM National Action Plan, NDP and the Performance Management and Planning instruments including Annual Performance Plans of departments will be effected. The APRM, via the NGC, is essentially a vibrant and dynamic platform through which civil society can ensure accountability, integrity, ethical conduct and delivery of services on the part of all 3 spheres of government and its departments, including State Owned Entities (SOE’s).

The APRM is therefore a platform which will champion the interests of the people of South Africa as a whole. 

South Africa is committed to the ideals of the APRM of promoting good governance, and economic development. Poor governance can critically undermine national development and therefore, good governance is critical in ensuring that both the citizens and the country benefit in what may ultimately be realised. As such, transparency, accountability, an effective and efficient government are some of the principles which South Africa should strive to maintain at all times.

Congratulations to the newly appointed Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NGC.

To the NGC as a whole: the roles that you have assumed are of great importance; let good governance begin with you. I implore all of us to be proactive in fulfilling the obligations of the NGC and realising the objectives as outlined in the Charter.     

I thank you.

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