South Africa’s public service faces many challenges and Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership (SPL) has over the years gained a reputation as one of the leading schools in Africa offereing excellent post-graduate training in public management.
One of the highlights of the SPL programme is the highly acclaimed Winelands Conference that the SPL hosts every second year. This conference has become a landmark in the South African public and development management fields
“The challenges in the South African Public Sector are myriad. But mostly it is about a lack of good governance and integrity in public service,” says Kobus Muller, director of the SPL. “If these issues are not solved the good ideas that underlie and are integral to policy frameworks cannot be implemented successfully. These issues will be addressed at the 13th Winelands Conference 2012 which will be held in Stellenbosch in April. ”
According to Muller the Winelands Conference has gained a reputation of highlighting and addressing issues of public importance even before it has become part of the popular discourse. An example: the Winelands Conference of 1991 dealt with Public Administration in Post-Apartheid South Africa. This was even before the negotiations for a new regime were properly on track
Academics and practitioners from both the public and development sectors will attend the conference. “The Winelands Conference has been attracting huge interest from abroad since the mid 1990s. Today it is a truly international conference. As far as I am aware, it is the only international conference dealing with issues of public leadership in Africa.”
The SPL’s conference partners for 2012 are the Anti-corruption Education and Research Centre (ACCERUS) and the Zijlstra Centre for Public Control and Governance. The theme is Integrity and governance: What is wrong? What is good? What is next? The three conference focus points are: What’s wrong? Corruption in Governance; What’s good? Good Governance in the public and non-profit sector and; What’s next? Innovations in governance and research.
Some of the speakers are John Bennington, Professor in Public Management & Policy (University of Warwick), Erwin Schwella, Professor in public leadership (SPL, Stellenbosch University), Geert Bouckaert Director: Public Management Institute, Flanders, Gavin Woods director of ACCERUS (Stellenbosch University).
“Through the Winelands Confernce we try to make a contribution to the identification of solutions that are right for our time and hopefully the conference outcomes are implemented.”
“After each conference we publish a booklet with the addresses by the speakers. This helps to open up a larger academic debate of the challenges and possible solutions identified during the conference.”
The Winelands Conference will be held from 2 – 4 April 2012 at the Research Congress Centre of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). Registration forms are available online at http://www.winelands2012.co.za/registration.
For information on this story, please call 083 2978785. Or for further information on the Winelands Conference, call +27 021 938 9245.