The COVID-19 response and accountability in South Africa
Keywords:ethics, public good, service provision, disaster accountability
South Africa is a country that has undergone massive societal changes in the last 30 years. At the time coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck, the country was still facing challenges in terms of inequality and the disaster vulnerability of its population. During COVID-19, the provision of lifesaving personal protective equipment and other resources was marred by corruption and failings of the governmental officials. At the same time, the complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic required operational changes in the public health and disaster risk management systems. This study provides an overview of the public service accountability legislation and framework. Flexibility of the disaster management structures at the local government level and flexible information sharing as well as cooperation of all relevant stakeholders are critical for efficient management of the coronavirus pandemic and the maintenance of accountability in that space. Those experiences are captured at local and district municipality levels in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Best practices and lessons should be taken forward and identified.
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