Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Gun license chaos reinforces implementation weaknesses
Today the gun saga continues, with the government saying the press has it all wrong , whilst gun shop owners claim the government has rejected all their new applications, and the security industry is still taking the government to court to get an interdict against the implementation of the new laws.

This just reinforces the weaknesses in implementation of government policy. Whether the press gets it right or wrong, the blame for the confusion lies squarely at the door of the policy implementers. Again, why wasn't this explained to stake-holders, and the press, in a methodical way well prior to the Thursday's deadline. If the introduction of the law is three days away, can you seriously blame the press for "getting it wrong" if they had no prior information from the government to dissuade their argument. Moreover, surely the policy implementers would have taken note when the security industry applied for an interdict, and realised that some public relations, both through the press and directly with stakeholders, was neccessitated?

Mbeki has to force the civil service to lift their game, it's something so central to the 'real' delivery of value in his policies, and it may well be something his entire presidency will be judged on.