Question NW536 to the Minister of Public Service and Administration

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20 April 2021 - NW536

Profile picture: Schreiber, Dr LA

Schreiber, Dr LA to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration

(1)Whether, in view of the announcement by the National School of Government that the government of the People’s Republic of China will be providing training to South African public servants, including to expose South African managers to China’s governance models, the Government is paying to obtain this training from the Chinese government; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether he will furnish Dr L A Schreiber with a detailed breakdown of the curriculum and topics that will be covered during the training; (3) given that the People’s Republic of China is a one-party state instead of a multiparty liberal democracy like the Republic, what are the reasons that he has found it to be appropriate for public servants in our democracy to be trained on governance matters by functionaries of the Chinese state?


(1) The Government of South Africa is not paying to receive this training from China. The programmes are sponsored by the Government of China and exist within the context of the MoUs entered into between the NSG and the China National Academy of Governance and the University of China Academy of Social Sciences.

(2) For details of the curriculum please see the following annexures:

Annexure 1: Building Governance Capacity for South Africa

Annexure 2: Economic Governance

Annexure 3: Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development


The upcoming programme on Governance and Emergency Management will cover topics such as (1) Modernization of Chinese Government Structure and Governance Ability, (2) Chinese Government Performance Management, (3) China's Public Policy Making, (4) Response to Emergencies, (5) Emergency management in China, (6) Practice and exploration of the construction of national emergency management system

These programmes are targeted at Senior Managers in the public service and have also attracted Deputy Ministers, Councillors and Executive Mayors.

(3) The NSG has prioritised the use of strategic partnerships with leading institutions from around the world in pursuit of knowledge exchanges. These partnerships include institutions in Europe, Asia and the Americas. These partnerships are with the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (France), University College London (United Kingdom), Thunderbird School of Global Management – Arizona University (USA), China National Academy of Governance and the University of China Academy of Social Sciences.

The NSG also enjoys exchanges with countries such as Germany, Chile and India where we facilitate learning opportunities for South Africa’s public servants. The pursuit of these strategic partnerships is in line with South Africa’s White Paper on Foreign Policy. We pursue our relations with countries that have diplomatic relations with South Africa, China being one of them. Regardless of its Political System, China boasts a public service that is based on a strong system of meritocracy and has its own unique governance system which other countries can learn from in crafting or improving their own in pursuit of their own national objectives and interests. Over the past decades, China has excelled in development planning, testing and mass rollout of integrated development initiatives. China has been very successful in translating strategic plans into operational plans and implementing them. We would like South Africa’s public servants and leaders to be exposed to the education and learning programmes that have underpinned the successes of development-oriented states such as China.

We also facilitate learning opportunities with institutions in Germany, France, Chile and India, because like China, they have mastered State craft.