Journal of Public Administration - Volume 38, Issue 4, 2003
Volumes & issues
Volume 38, Issue 4, 2003
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 395 –396 (2003)More Less
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996), is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive and also one of the most liberal democratic constitutions currently in operation. South African citizens have embraced the Bill of Rights as the cornerstone of their democratic rights. Linked to this is the clear requirement of public accountability contained in the Constitution, 1996. Therefore, one could expect that citizens, whether they act in their capacity as private individuals; officials in one of the spheres of government; employees in the private sector; political office-bearers; or members of voluntary organizations, are entitled to the protection provided by the Constitution.
The fiscal impact of unemployment insurance programmes as automatic stabilisers : the South African experienceSource: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 397 –420 (2003)More Less
Theoretically, unemployment insurance (UI) contributions and benefits act in tandem to serve as counterbalances to the direction of the economy. Government transfers to households to cover costs related to unemployment are usually the principal source of automatic fluctuation in government expenditure. This article investigates the interaction between such transfers and economic performance with the South African economy as a case study. The main finding is that UI contributions destabilised economic activity most of the time, but that the stabilising effect resulting from UI benefits was sufficient to offset these destabilising effects so that the UI balance acted as an automatic fiscal stabiliser over the period 1970 to 2000. The article points out that although UI benefits demonstrate countercyclical properties, the same could not be said with confidence about other components of general government expenditure in South Africa. Furthermore, the stabilising effect of the South African Unemployment Insurance Fund can be expected to be relatively insignificant due to its small share in the total public finances. However, the possible psychological benefits of the UI system and the evidence provided in this paper emphasise the potential of the Unemployment Insurance Fund as an effective automatic fiscal stabiliser also in South Africa.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 421 –437 (2003)More Less
The existence of bureaucratic power cannot be overstated in the public sector. It is also important to note that the irresponsible exercise of that power arouses public concern. This article examines the responsibility of public servants or those who serve the public through the power they exercise, and assesses the ethical standards that they bring to their recommendations and conclusions. The article begins by explaining the importance of administrative responsibility and examines the interrelated issues of administrative accountability, public service ethics, and the public interest. The paper further contends that the "responsible" bureaucrat is commonly perceived as one who pursues such issues as accountability, integrity, neutrality, efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, representativeness, and equity in the procurement of good governance in the public domain.
Organisational restructuring and structural change : towards area-based metropolitan governance in DurbanAuthor P.S. ReddySource: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 438 –460 (2003)More Less
The former Durban Metropolitan Council and the six local councils were abolished and replaced by a single unicity metropolitan council following the December 2000 elections. The demarcation process increased the geographical area by 6% and the population by 9 %. The new Ethekiwini City Council consists of 200 councillors and six standing committees. The Mayor is Chairperson of the Executive Committee consisting of nine councillors and the Deputy Mayor is Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee. A Speaker responsible for the efficient management of Council meetings has also been elected.
The Council has to address major challenges in relation to organisational restructuring, service delivery and unifying diverse communities politically, institutionally and socially in the redefined metropolitan area in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998); Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 and Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000). A major challenge is amalgamating six councils into one administrative entity and ensuring equitable and effective service delivery particularly in the rural areas. Area-based local government, coupled with appropriate structures of democratic accountability and co-ordination can facilitate key developmental goals, namely outcomes-based developmental objectives; and co-ordination and integration of service delivery. The area based teams would be closest to the local communities and they would be at the coalface in terms of interacting with the local citizenry. A citizen-driven budgeting process which facilitates direct participation by the local citizenry was implemented for the first time in July 2002. This initiative is an integral part of the area-based management process and seeks to decentralise services and amenities.
A Long Term Development Framework maps out the strategic vision over the next twenty years (2001-2020) and key priorities over the next five years (2001-2006). The Integrated Development Plan will similarly have a five year time scale, but will contain detailed management plans, i.e. programmes, projects, budgets and performance indicators to address key developmental challenges namely, creating economic growth, jobs and income; meeting basic needs; alleviating poverty; developing people; managing the aids pandemic; ensuring a safe and secure environment and sustainability.
The use of a performance management system to ensure an integrated approach to human resource developmentSource: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 461 –475 (2003)More Less
This article proposes an integrated approach to facilitate human resource development. An appropriate performance management system is a suitable mechanism to promote an integrated approach to human resource management. The process and implementation of current performance management systems in the Public Service, is described and attention is paid to the importance of providing incentives and rewards for effective and efficient performance. Training and development could be used as incentives, although the strategic link between organisational effectiveness and individual satisfaction, has to be made abundantly clear. This article also revisits some of the definitions and proponents of human resource development and offers a more holistic view to human resource development in the Public Service. The application of an integrated approach in, specifically the learning organisation is discussed and some of the more important management tools for the implementation of a learning organisation, is described. The article concludes with the principle that current human resource development initiatives should not be in vain, but without a strategic intent to develop, the development will not achieve organisational effectiveness.
Author M.P. SebolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 38, pp 476 –485 (2003)More Less
Communal nature reserves in Limpopo province are characterised by a history of negligence by their authorities. Most of them are still, despite changes of government that have taken place after 1994, characterised by poor infrastructure development. Buildings are dilapidated and some significant facilities are dysfunctional. There are no signs of communal nature reserves generating revenue and benefiting both the community and the Provincial government.
The ignorance by the authorities concerned by disregarding the positive economic impact that communal reserves will have in the Limpopo province makes the communal reserves a heavy burden on the Limpopo government in terms of financial responsibilities. The Limpopo government has a responsibility to maintain the unproductive services in communal reserves, to allocate budgets and resources and to maintain the salaries of personnel in those reserves. This is despite the theory that if well managed or governed communal reserves may release the Limpopo government off financial responsibilities. The communal reserves will be able to attract tourists and generate sufficient income to sustain themselves financially. The Community within the proximity of the nature reserves will be able to enjoy the benefits by sharing in resources and services.
This discussion limits its relevance to the governance of nature reserves in Limpopo, the economic impact of nature reserves in the province and offer probable solutions.