Journal of Public Administration - Volume 41, Issue 2, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 41, Issue 2, 2006
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41 (2006)More Less
The main objectives are inter alia to (Report, 2006.vii) promote and enhance the standing and effectiveness of South Africa's research journals; improve the productivity / efficacy of publications through different modalities; and ensure that discoveries and insights gained through research published in South African journals are made known to a wider public than the research community itself. To be able to achieve these goals journals will have to meet robust standards of accreditation.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 70 –89 (2006)More Less
This article is based on a consultancy report dealing with environmental health that was undertaken for the West Coast District Municipality in 2004. It has two main objectives. Firstly, it is an examination of the most costeffective and efficient options for the delivery of this service. There was a dispute between the West Coast District Municipality and some local municipalities in its jurisdiction about which level of local government should provide the service and the consulting team was brought in to consider various options in this regard.
Secondly, this article attempts to locate the environmental health function between district and local municipalities within the academic discourse on political decentralisation. It argues that the decentralisation literature does not deal adequately with situations where there are two-tiers of local government sharing powers and functions. This has contributed to a vague and conflicting set of district-local relationships that were introduced in South Africa.
After considering four options it was concluded that the best way to provide the service was through the district municipality on a decentralised basis in close coordination with local municipalities. It was also found that the state had no overriding framework to guide this district-local decentralisation policy. What this case study suggests that there is a need for more work on models of intra-local government relationships that can guide policy-makers.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 90 –109 (2006)More Less
Local government is an integral part of the democratic governmental system that has emerged in Uganda since the 1850s. The new local government dispensation seeks to enhance the participation of the local citizenry and civil service organisations in local governance thereby providing a legitimate vehicle for democratic expression. It is generally accepted that a process of decentralisation should probably best be judged against its objectives to build a sustainable municipal service while providing services efficiently and effectively and at the same time addressing poverty and sustainable growth. However, the link between decentralisation and empowerment through poverty reduction is not automatic and issues of corruption and abysmal levels of local revenue basically erodes the autonomy of local government. Consequently, the focus should be on efficiency and effectiveness and the system of decentralisation through devolution provides value for money compared to other available alternatives and if this is the case, to further develop it. Some of the challenges that has to be addressed includes inter alia, enhancement of the quality of services delivered; improvement in the value of services, human resources and location points and fostering partnerships with civil society organisations.
Author N.J. SchoemanSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 110 –127 (2006)More Less
This article seeks to analyse the fiscal sustainability of municipalities in South Africa in view of increasing protests about the poor level of service delivery - especially in the smaller municipalities. International evidence also reflects disappointment with the classical view that government closer to people addresses the allocation problem more effectively with the lower spheres of government more accountable to the residents. The lack of "hard budget constraints" with revenue support in the form of grants and subsidies causes fiscal prudence to be eroded and in many instances local fiscal objectives are not aligned with that of the national government. Of crucial importance is the sustainability of the finances of the municipalities and this article identifies criteria with which sustainability at the local government sphere can be quantified. Two distinct dimensions are discussed, namely a static dimension as well as a dynamic dimension where the impact of changes in income and expenditures on debt ratios is measured. The results show that if grants and subsidies be deducted from revenue, most municipalities will not survive financially. In many instances revenue is only collected after a long lag if collected at all. Municipalities' debt is increasing and backlogs in the expansion and maintenance of infrastructure are widening. The research results tend to support the view that government should carefully re-evaluate the number of municipalities allowed to manage their own budgets and that more stringent financial reporting be enforced.
Author G. Van der WaldtSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 128 –143 (2006)More Less
Since local government is the nearest to service users it is expected that it is at the forefront of service delivery. Local government needs to demonstrate that performance is managed, measured and improved on a continuous basis. For this purpose it must develop a comprehensive performance management system. The development of such a system is, however, not without challenges and local government should identify crucial elements which should be incorporated in such a system. The aim of this article is to focus on key considerations and challenges associated with the improvement of local government service delivery through the implementation of performance management systems.
Author S. MakgobaSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 144 –161 (2006)More Less
The transformation of the South African local government system in the early 1990s saw the issue of service delivery related to the establishment of developmental local government come to the forefront of the debate. Since then municipalities have become an effective partner in the state's obligation to provide a better life for all. The new interim system of local government introduced in 1993 and consolidated in 2000 with the re-demarcation process is founded on the assumption that for the first time in the history of the country all communities will receive an equal standard of service delivery. However, this seems much easier said than done, more so in the provision of services in district areas. The literature review reveals that while almost 100 000 people live in district and management area settlements, not much has been written about service delivery in such areas, nor has there been much research about district management areas in general. In fact, the most valuable sources of information about the topic are various reports from the Municipal Demarcation Board.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41 (2006)More Less