Policy making in South Africa

6476 Words May 16th, 2007 26 Pages

Government exists in order to organise a society or nation into a manageable unit. It seeks to formulate laws for the purpose of instituting a fair, equitable and just society in which individual citizens expect to live safely being organised both to contribute to and to benefit from sound governing policy. Broadly speaking policy consists of three overhead functions which are: policy making, policy implementation and policy analysis and evaluation.

The task of this assignment is to concentrate only on policy-making with particular reference to the elimination of the high crime rate in South Africa. The policy-making process has three main steps, namely policy initiation; policy formulation and policy approval. Policy
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1.2. The meaning of public policy.

The nature of policy is a multidimensional and there are various definitions of what public policy is. According to Fox, Schwella and Wissink (1991:27-28) the following basic fundamentals of public policy can be identified and are summarised below:Policy is developed by government role players, "although non-government role players may influence the policy formulation and development" and public policy is a "purposive or goal-orientated action rather than random or chance behaviour" (Fox, Schwella and Wissink: 1991:27). Hanekom (1987:7) further elaborates and describes policy-making as "the activity preceding the publication of a goal" and it is therefore a "formally articulated goal that the legislator intends pursuing with society." Botes et al (1992:191) further describes public policy making as being the "systematic actions" which should be taken to achieve the goals of the relevant institution. Fox, Schwella and Wissink (1991:27-28) further state that public policy generally consists of a series of decisions taken jointly by politicians and/or officials rather than individual decisions. Public policy is a "future-orientated", changing document which is aimed at the general welfare of the public (Fox, Schwella and Wissink: 1991:29).

Thus, public policy is a systematic goal-orientated action that is developed by governmental bodies and officials in consultation with the public, which emerges in response
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