The lockdown we are living under is unprecedented for all of us. However, it’s less evident how momentous and even exciting this moment may be for officials working in government in RSA right now. Everything has changed in terms of the ‘rules of engagement’.
Among other things:
1. This is the first time in South Africa where the exercise of executive power is in place – this is the test of the Disaster Management Act, 2002. Moreover, it is also the first time that there is NO requirement for public consultation – only public obedience.
2. There is a mandate to have essential (mainly, municipal) services operational where in the past 10 years municipalities have been failing routinely and more regularly.
3. RSA has also made some tough choices in our COVID response, perhaps out of necessity. However, this has highlighted the inequalities and shortcomings of our society.
Rashika and Andile want to share their deep interest in the mechanics of making public institutions work by reflecting on how this may be a time for true creativity within the state. And, that it IT’S possible to work with government, whoever you are.