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In August 2013, President Jacob Zuma undertook a State Visit to Malaysia. He was introduced to the Big Fast Results Methodology through which the Malaysian government achieved significant government and economic transformation within a very short time. Using this approach, they addressed national key priority areas such as poverty, crime and unemployment.

With the support of the Malaysian government, the Big Fast Results approach was adapted to the South African context. To highlight the urgency of delivery the approach was renamed to Operation Phakisa (“phakisa” meaning “hurry up” in Sesotho).


Operation Phakisa is a results-driven approach, involving setting clear plans and targets, on-going monitoring of progress and making these results public.

The methodology consists of eight sequential steps. It focusses on bringing key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academia as well as civil society organisations together to collaborate in:

  • detailed problem analysis;
  • priority setting;
  • intervention planning; and
  • delivery

These collaboration sessions are called laboratories (labs). The results of the labs are detailed (3 foot) plans with ambitious targets as well as public commitment on the implementation of the plans by all stakeholders.

The implementation of the plans are rigorously monitored and reported on. Implementation challenges are actively managed for effective and efficient resolution.

Operation Phakisa are initially implemented in two sectors, the ocean economy and health.

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“Operation Phakisa is the most important initiative by government to bring the private and public sectors together.”
President Jacob Zuma

“A wonderful opportunity for contributing towards South African prosperity.”