Original Research

Analysing the application of governance principles in the management of COVID-19 in South Africa: Lessons for the future

Pandelani H. Munzhedzi
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a490 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.490 | © 2021 Pandelani Harry Munzhedzi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 September 2020 | Published: 11 February 2021

About the author(s)

Pandelani H. Munzhedzi, Department of Public and Development Administration, Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as SARS-CoV-2, poses an enormous challenge to South Africa and the world in as far as its management is concerned. The virus originated in Wuhan City in China at the end of the year 2019 before it spread to other countries of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) later declared it as a pandemic because of the rapid spread. However, the management of the virus differs from one country to another depending on the systems and principles adopted in that specific country.

Aim: Using relevant literature, this article analyses the application of governance principles in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. The article argues that the application of the governance principles was not adequately adhered to.

Setting: The coronavirus disease 2019 has an effect globally, however, the focus of this article is specifically in South Africa. However, the lessons learnt are not limited to COVID-19 but to other future epidemics.

Methods: The research is qualitative and is based on the vigorous review of relevant literature including relevant reports, regulations and published academic work. Governance theory was adopted to be the lenses within which the reality is viewed.

Results: The article presents lessons that have been learnt from the management of COVID-19 and suggests a balance between a special need to manage pandemics and adherence to standard principles of good governance to ensure accountability in the use of state resources whilst ensuring effective management of a disaster.

Conclusion: It is imperative that there is an adherence of relevant policies regulating public procurement of goods and services. This is due to the fact that procurement policies make provision for procurement in instances where open bidding process may not be followed including during the time of disaster. Necessary inputs from relevant stakeholders need to be sought for a proper collaboration and support from them and the society at large.


COVID-19; governance; participation; procurement; management


Total abstract views: 4456
Total article views: 4583

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.