About Us

Good Governance Africa is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation with centres across Africa focused solely on improving governance across the continent.

GGA engages in applied research and stimulates critical debate. All our work is based on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, and combining these with upholding the rule of law and respecting human, civil and property rights.

How we define governance

GGA believes a country is well governed when three broad requirements are met:

  • First, citizens must have a say in how the country is run. This implies that there should be democracy, accountability, and transparency.
  • Second, the rule of law and human, civil, minority and property rights should be upheld and enforced by a legitimate government with separate, independent branches of power.
  • Third, the government should pursue inclusive and growth-oriented policies.



We strive to improve the lives of all citizens by promoting enhanced governance on the continent of Africa.


Our mission is to promote fact-based knowledge that arises through topical research, critical conversations and advocacy.


Our values include integrity, accountability, transparency, tenacity and moral courage.



Join us: 18th June 2019 from 08h30 at our offices in Rosebank for a conversation about audit performance and service delivery with Mr Kimi Makwetu (Auditor General of South Africa). RSVP: Gail@gga.org (limited seats available).



The performance of local municipalities in South Africa is the indicator of the country’s heartbeat. Local municipalities are the closest institution to citizens, reflecting in great measure levels of citizen engagement – as recipients but also as contributors.

In addition, local government shows, like no other indicator, the health of public institutions at the most atomised level. Local municipalities are universes, where the historic legacy of the country and the current democratic dynamics converge to give a clear picture of the status quo.

The 2019 Government Performance Index is a continuation of GGA’s local government research, which began in 2016. This year, we were able to compare the state of South Africa’s municipalities with our previous index and have found a significant variation in the municipal landscape, and some shifts within the rankings.

The ranking shows that the top three performing municipalities are Mossel Bay (Western Cape), Senqu (Eastern Cape) and Swartland (Western Cape).  The top performer, Mossel Bay, is led by the DA and the municipality ranked second, Senqu is ANC-led.

The majority (60%) of the municipalities in the top 20 are in the Western Cape; Mossel Bay, Swartland, Bergrivier, Cape Agulhas, Prince Albert, Swellendam, Cederberg, Matzikama, Overstrand, Witzenberg, Hessequa and Langeberg.

GGA’s ranking assessed 213 municipalities, using data on 15 indicators across three themes: administration, economic development and service delivery.

The data was sourced from a number of publicly available sources, including Statistics South Africa, the Gaffney Local Government Year Book 2013-2015: this data is obtained from the national census and the Auditor General’s reports.

Our observations and comparisons pave the way to start conversations about practical strategies for the improvement of local government, including raising awareness of universal governance principles for the public service, the benchmarking of good practices against those in other countries, and once again, robust citizen engagement.

The full report may be found on our website www.gga.org.

Issued on behalf of Good Governance Africa

Contact Gail Nel on 011 268 0479 – gail@gga.org – for any queries or to arrange interviews

Listen to Political Anaylst Lukhona Mnguni discuss the GGA 2019 Government Performance Index on The John Maytham Show, on CapeTalk.


A successful day as we conclude the GGA Government Performance Index 2019 Launch and Seminar


View KykNET’s Lourensa Eckard interviewing GGA’s Head of Publications Lloyd Coutts and Researcher Sixolile Ngwala discussing the GGA 2019 Government Performance Index findings.

Chairman’s Meeting, 21 – 23 August 2018
A meeting of the Chairmen from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria was held at the GGA offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg to review the past year and set plans and budgets for the upcoming financial year January to December 2019.

Extremisms Workshop, 6 & 7 June 2018
The workshop was held over two days and provided insight into the current state and evolution of extremist movements in Africa while critically analyzing contemporary counter terrorism and countering violent extremism responses. Guest speakers and panelists included top experts in this field, including Professor Hussein Solomon (Department of Political Studies and Governance, University of the Free State), Peter Knoope (Former Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague and Research Fellow at University of Pretoria), and Thomas Madrup (Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Defence College).

Extremisms in Africa Book Launch, 5 June 2018
This event took place at the GGA offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The keynote speaker, Dr Lindsay Cohn, Associate Professor at the US Naval War College, discussed Approached to Countering Violent Extremism, which was followed by a panel discussion and networking.

Extremism workshop, 5 December 2017
In 2016, Good Governance Africa (GGA), which maintains offices in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, commissioned a book on violent extremism in Africa as part of the Institute’s ongoing National and Human Security Programme. This book sought to bring together voices from across the continent and globally to provide original analysis into some of the most pressing issues related to violent extremism on the continent today.

On the 5th December 2017, GGA hosted a panel discussion, where a selection of speakers presented on important trends in violent extremism in both South Africa and the continent, and evaluated approaches to addressing these threats.

Land Reform workshop, 29 November 2017
The workshop comprised a presentation from the authors, panel discussions and a keynote presentation by the Honourable Pumzile Justice Mnguni, Whip at Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform. The workshop was exciting and engaging and provided a platform for open discussions.

Land book launch, 28 November 2017
This volume represents the first of two books dedicated to the topic of land as part of the Natural Resources Programme of Good Governance Africa, which emphasises enhanced governance, stewardship and sustainability, especially in respect of Africa’s non-renewable resources. GGA is a non-profit organisation focused on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Launch was held at the GGA offices in Rosebank.

Informal economy workshop, 10 October 2017
The workshop was targeted at giving comprehensive feedback in the form of a full Mbizana Municipality Local Governance Report. The report was on the research conducted in Mbizana thus far. The workshop was characterised by a presentation of the report and engaging discussions from participants. Recommendations were made to this effect.

Mbizana community feedback workshop, 21 – 24 August 2017
GGA has conducted research in Mbizana , which was identified as the lowest performing municipality in GGA’s ground breaking Governance Performance Index. GGA embarked on research from Nkantolo to Bizana in May 2017. The workshop, which was held in Ludeke and Bizana, was to provide feedback to the Mbizana community on the findings of the study. The outcome documents are available in both English and isiXhosa.

Panel discussion with the Auditor General, 28 June 2017
Soon after the release of the AG’s annual report, GGA invited the AG (Kimi Makwetu) and esteemed panellists to a discussion on the Transformative impact on information. The event was brought to light by the AG’s presentation; a fact based panel discussion as well as a interesting dialogue from the question and answer segment.

Voter Sentiments Survey Launch, 15 March 2017
The event launched a GGA survey on the voter sentiments on governance in South Africa drawn from research conducted after the local government elections in August 2016. The highlight of the event was a presentation of the findings that also featured in an article in the City Press. Attendance varied from journalists to economists and the ordinary citizens. The outcome document is available in all eleven official languages in South Africa.


Audit Performance & Service Delivery at Local Government

Join us on 18th June with the Auditor General to discuss the GGA Audit Performance and Service Delivery study.  RSVP: gail@gga.org

Researchers wanted

Good Governance Africa is a research and advocacy non profit organisation with centres across Africa focused solely on improving governance across the continent. GGA engages in applied research and stimulates critical debate.  All our work is based on exploring and...

GGA Team visits Kantolo ECD

Our Child Development and Youth Formation team visited the Kantolo Early Childhood Development centre in March. The team took with them learning and play materials for the children and also conducted interviews with the principal, the teachers, as well as some of the...

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