Afrocentric Governance of Public Affairs

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Chapter 13 of the National Development Plan of South Africa refers to the need for building a capable developmental state to fight against the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment (National Planning Commission, 2011). The same chapter laments poor capacity for craft competence and craft literacy across the three spheres of government and attributes these to “a complex set of factors, including tensions in the political-administrative interface, instability of the administrative leadership, skills deficits, the erosion of accountability and authority, poor organizational design and low staff morale” (National Planning Commission of South Africa, 2011:408). The National Planning Commission suggests that there is a need for stabilising the political-administrative interface, improving coordination within and across departments, professionalising the public service, developing technical and specialist professional skills, strengthening delegation, accountability and oversight, and improving intergovernmental relations while strengthening local government. It is against the background of these national imperatives and within the context of the dream, purpose and brand promise of the North-West University and the vision of the faculty that the vision and mission of the public affairs and governance focus area are crafted. The focus area seeks to develop scientific knowledge for the governance of public affairs from an Afrocentric perspective. It is envisaged that such knowledge production will result in craft literary and craft competence, which are critical for building a capable developmental state as envisioned in the National Development Plan. This aligns with the North-West University’s commitment to engaged scholarship and social responsiveness.

The vision of the Faculty of Humanities is to be an outstanding Faculty of choice that provides critical intellectual thinking about human experience and social good, engages in inclusive and ethical teaching and learning for all students, and affirms its African identity in its pursuit of excellence in scholarship and social responsibility.

Our vision and mission

Based on the aforementioned visions of the university and the Faculty of Humanities, this focus area's vision is to be an internationally acclaimed Afrocentric centre of excellence for research on the governance of public affairs.

The mission of the focus area is to develop Afrocentric organisational, administrative, and political science knowledge for application to the governance of public affairs.


About our research

The focus of our research is the governance of public affairs, more specifically, it will focus on the theory and praxis of government and non-government actors at the local, provincial, national and international levels and their role in the formulation and implementation of public policy for the governance of public affairs. The entity seeks to improve the knowledge of the governance of public affairs using developing an Afrocentric knowledge about the quality of governance of public affairs, specifically in the fields of organisational, administrative, and political science.

The overall scientific focus of the entity is divided into the following sub-programmes focusing on specific public affairs, which are the research interests of members of the proposed entity:

  • The environmental affairs sub-programme focuses on managing interests related to natural resources such as energy and water, and it also focuses on climate change and food security which are topical issues in Africa currently;
  • The innovation in the public sector research sub-programme is aimed at research on the creation, fostering and diffusion of new ideas, processes, structures, systems and approaches meant to improve the functioning of the public sector as well as its products and services, philosophy of public sector innovation, and citizen-centric approaches to service delivery;
  • The public policy sub-programme focuses on decision-making by state and non-state actors, monitoring and evaluation of public policy, public-private partnerships, migration, international political economy and local economic development;
  • The democracy and security sub-programme is aimed at the advancement of inquiry into African politics and democracy, understanding the evolution of societies and their architecture, local government, peace studies, elections, International Relations, regional integration, and social cohesion;
  • The political and administrative philosophy and praxis sub-programme attend to societal ethics and norms embodied in administrative actions, assessing the extent to which public institutions and citizens are committed to values such as ubuntu, social justice, and honesty.     

The team

Prof Lere Amusan

Dr Piet Croucamp

Prof Melvin Diedericks

Prof Costa Hofisi

Dr Frank Lekaba

Ms Nolwande Lembethe

Dr Tumi Leta

Prof Muhlya Lukamba

Dr Sandiso Mahlala

Dr Pumlani Majavu

Ms Pertunia Malatji

Ms Naledi Modise

Mr Kgame Molope

Mr Sysman Motloung

Prof Tumi Mzini

Prof Victor Ojakorotu

Mr Benjamin Rapanyane

Prof Johann Tempelhoff

Prof Aaron Tshidzumba


Postdoctoral students

Dr Samuel Agunyai

Dr Lewis Chigova

Dr Mirriam Hofisi

Dr Nicholas Erameh


Our partners


National School Government     German Research Institute       Emfuleni Local Municipality       HSRC      Guateng Department of ED     SA Local Government Association    Municipal Demarcation board



Contact us

Research director

Prof Costa Hofisi

016 910 3455


Administrative assistant

Chantele Bloem

018 285 2583