Formulating sustainable policies to accelerate service delivery

Access full-text article here


Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Government policy is the springboard from which all government activity takes place. Policy does not take place in a vacuum, but is usually the result of a need, or perceived need, that originates in society as a whole. When the needs are articulated by society, interest groups and individuals, government is obliged to respond positively where practically possible. When a need has been identified it is incumbent on government to formulate policies to address such a need, and such policies must be sustainable. A sustainable policy will work towards the creation of a healthy environment, equitable society and a sustainable economy. A policy should be regarded as a framework or guideline for achieving specific outputs and outcomes. It should impact positively on the environment and improve or maintain the quality of life of citizens, now and in the future, thereby strengthening the economy in the long-term. The formulation of a policy requires the exploration of issues that need to be dealt with from different perspectives or dimensions. The article argues that within a developmental state such as South Africa, there is an urgent need for government to formulate sustainable policies that will ultimately accelerate service delivery in the local government sphere. Further, the article contends that formulating sustainable policies requires an integrated approach from all spheres of government and various stakeholders, including political functionaries, leading public officials, and interest/pressure groups. These institutions and people cannot play a central role in policy formulation if adequate information relevant to policy is not available.