Journal of Public Administration - Volume 40, Issue 1, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 40, Issue 1, 2005
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40 (2005)More Less
The Journal commences its 40th year of publication with this issue. In human terms it is now entering its midlife period. In human terms this is the period one could expect a mid career crisis. Fortunately the Journal is not in that position. In fact it experienced its crisis in the 1990s when the former South African Institute of Public Administration was disbanded and the current South African Association for Public Administration and Management was established. Fortunately it proved possible to continue with the publication of the Journal uninterruptedly. However, the Journal also had to develop a new focus to meet the demands of the new trends and accommodate the new schools of thought such as the New Public Administration Initiative. Linked to this academic discourse South African public administration also had to honour the new democratic system of government, operate within the parameters of transparency and accountability and provide services on an equitable basis to all South African citizens.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 1 –3 (2005)More Less
Author P.S. ReddySource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 2 –22 (2005)More Less
The then Toronto Metropolitan Council was Canada's largest municipality, and the oldest metropolitan government in North America. It was viewed as the model for metropolitan governance internationally. It was replaced by a new, unified, single municipality on 1 January 1998 consisting of all the former seven municipalities. The new City in 2004 had an operating budget of $6.7b.cdn and was larger than seven of the ten Canadian provinces. It has a total staff complement of approximately 47 000 employees and the population in 2003 was 2,5 million.
The unicity concept was opposed by the local politicians and the citizenry at large. This has to be viewed against a background of general opposition to many policies of the then Ontario Progressive Conservative Government, a neo-conservative Thatcherite style government. The then Mayor and senior staff in 1999 claimed that amalgamation resulted in savings of $150m.cdn. resulting from the reduction of departments, staff, information technology systems, office space, the corporate fleet and the City Service Boards. The presumed savings were doubted at the time. Subsequently undisputed research has shown that amalgamation alone resulted in a shortfall of at least $240m.cdn. The downloading of responsibilities by the provincial government meant the City had to assume significant additional responsibilities and the concommitant costs, notably in the areas of public transit, public housing, health and ambulance services. The Ontario Provincial Government provided a supposed once-off grant of $50m.cdn. and a $200m.cdn. loan to offset these costs.
The Toronto elections held on the 10 November 2003 differed radically from the two previous post amalgamation elections as a number of issues were addressed in the campaign, namely homelessness, rebuilding the transit system; eradicating corruption; financial sustainability and generating new sources of revenue; developing a formal intergovernmental framework for engaging the Provincial and Federal government and decisive action on the development of the waterfront. The main election policy was over the construction of a proposed bridge to link an island, which contained a small but controversial commercial airport. A key challenge for the new Mayor was to re-establish Toronto first as a pre-eminent city in the country and North America and transforming it into a globally competitive city internationally.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 23 –51 (2005)More Less
Trade liberalization in South Africa has been a characteristic of trade policy since the early 1970s, with the reduction of quantitative restrictions being the main policy instrument as far as imports were concerned. By the early 1990s there was strong support for South Africa's industrial strategy being spearheaded by comprehensive tariff reductions agreed to under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994, and implemented from 1995 onwards under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). South Africa's trade policy reform was premised on the assumption that tariff liberalization would increase the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing industries. This paper attempts to ascertain if this did in fact materialise by critically appraises the impact of trade policy reform on the production of the South African manufacturing sector. The results obtained in this paper indicate that tariff liberalisation has not been successful in securing improved competitiveness. The article argues that improved competitiveness goes beyond trade policy reform - government policies should also be directed at issues relating to efficiency in production, distortions in factor markets and institutional development. The desired or appropriate level of openness does not necessarily entail completely free markets for trade and investment. In view of market and institutional failures the role of government in securing the appropriate industrial outcomes should not be underestimated.
Contracting-out of public services and its implications for accountability : reflections on the Australian Public Service (APS)Author A.J. DialeSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 52 –61 (2005)More Less
Contracting-out is one of the alternatives available to the public sector for service delivery. It involves the provision of goods / services by private and / or non-profit organizations, but paid for using public funds. This arrangement raises questions about accountability. In modern democracies, accountability is taken as central to good governance, which includes among others, that public funds be expended for designated purposes, and that government administration be transparent, efficient and in accordance with the law. Two arguments come to light. Firstly, proponents of contracting-out maintain that it improves efficiency and quality by harnessing the virtues of competition, and secondly, legitimate expectations arise that the contracted provider be held publicly accountable. This article seeks to explore this notion of contracting-out of public services in the Australian Public Service and its implications on accountability. The quest to explore the aforesaid notion, two significant reports are referred to. They are Industry Commission: Competitive Tendering and Contracting by Public Sector Agencies (Report # 48, 1996) and Administrative Review Council: The Contracting Out of Government Services - Report to the Attorney-General (Report # 42, 1998).
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 62 –77 (2005)More Less
The ultimate goal that faces newly established municipalities in South Africa is to deliver more cost-effective and efficient services to their residents, within the context of limited financial and human resources. In order to meet this challenge, municipalities have to investigate alternative and creative ways of delivering quality services to all their residents. Commercialisation is regarded by the government of the day as an instrument towards achieving this goal. This move towards contracting of services originated in Britain during the 1980s, under the Conservative Party Government. Municipal parks and recreation maintenance services are ideally suited to commercialisation in accordance with criteria that define which functions and services should be commercialised in order to achieve government objectives.
The South African Government promotes commercialisation as a tool towards systematically transferring services, like urban environmental maintenance, from the public to the private sector where services are regulated by market and price mechanisms.
For various reasons commercialisation as a government initiative is not supported by all role-players. The Government, however, pursues the commercialisation initiatives regardless of resistance. The progress made with commercialisation of urban environmental maintenance services in metropolitan and municipal authorities since 1994, when the African National Congress came to power, is discussed in this article.
Although it is acknowledged that urban environmental maintenance services are ideally suited to commercialisation, and the majority of stakeholders recognise the possible benefits of commercialisation as an alternative way of rendering the service, there is a reluctance to proceed with the process. This article will specifically focus on guidelines for the implementation of commercialisation of municipal urban environmental maintenance.
Challenges and opportunities for local government development with reference to the Polokwane municipality in the Limpopo province of South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 78 –90 (2005)More Less
The new system of local government introduced in South Africa in 1995 presents municipalities with challenges to address the backlog in services created in the apartheid era. With the transformation of the Pietersburg municipality to the Polokwane local municipality, rural areas in the former homeland of Lebowa were included in the area of jurisdiction and the population increased twelve-fold. A baseline study for the new municipality identified large differences in income levels, employment, housing, education and health services, as well as with the availability of municipal services between the urban and rural areas. The local government legal framework and policy confront the new municipality with five main challenges : to change from an apartheid to a non-racial municipality, to provide a range of services identified as basic human rights, to act as point of delivery for different service and development agencies, to involve stakeholders from civil society, and to act as facilitator for the socio-economic development of communities.
Author R. CameronSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 91 –92 (2005)More Less
In the Journal of Public Administration, Volume 39 No 1.1 this author raised serious concerns about the quality of a special edition of this journal, which emanated from a consultancy report on local government. The authors, as is their right, responded to this critique. Space constraints prevent a comprehensive reply to them so this article will focus on a few key areas.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 97 –98 (2005)More Less
The editors set themselves the task of clarifying the popular, but controversial topic of sustainable development. Experts representing various disciplines and areas of speciality were requested to focus on different aspects of the topic. This resulted in a discussion on sustainable development from inter alia an economic, a planning, an administrative and a managerial point of view. This wide spectrum allowed the editors to identify crucial issues and register a possible agenda for more and thorough research into each one of the foci dealt with in a chapter. The nature of sustainable development requires a comprehensive approach. Therefore, it is to be expected that the issues dealt with, cover topics as wide apart as HIV / Aids and physical planning as well as closely related topics such as indigenous knowledge systems and community participation to foster a climate conducive to sustainable development.
South African Municipal Government and Administration: The New Dispensation, J.J.N. Cloete and C. Thornhill : book reviewAuthor John MafunisaSource: Journal of Public Administration 40, pp 99 –101 (2005)More Less
The South African Municipal Government and Administration: the New Dispensation is an analytical reflection on the Republic of South Africa's past and current municipal government and administration as provided for by the Constitution, 1996 and the legislation. It contains philosophical and descriptive discourses grouped together in nine chapters. Chapter One focuses on the origins and characteristics of urban areas and municipalities. It also concentrates on the development of urban areas in Southern Africa, informal settlements, slums, emergence of local authorities and new requirements for an ongoing need for orderly development of urban areas.