Increasing Transparency and Improving Project Management: South Africa's National Roads Agency, 1998-2011

Richard Bennet

Following the transition to democracy in 1994, South Africa experimented with ways to improve ministry effectiveness by separating policy-making functions from operations. The Department of Transport introduced principles of New Public Management and public-private partnerships to improve service delivery. The South African National Roads Agency Ltd. (SANRAL), led by Nazir Alli, reconfigured the procurement process and financing models for planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of the country’s national road network. Increasing transparency in the tendering of contracts led to greater accountability on the part of project managers and contractors. This case study chronicles the steps that Alli and his staff took to build the agency and to deliver results on a large scale, culminating with the upgrade of the freeway connecting the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria during the final months before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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Princeton Innovations for Successful Societies
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13 pages

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