n Journal of Public Administration - Leadership's role in public participation in service delivery : media as a force multiplier

Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The South African public service will be judged by its effectiveness in delivering services which meet the basic needs of all South African citizens. As provided for in the White Paper), the matter is not about which services are to be provided, but the decisions about what services should be delivered need to be improved through a participatory public administration. To give effect to the principle of participatory public administration, leaders are present in various public entities. Such leadership is also subjected to the guideline of public accountability which in essence brings in the media as the role player in public service delivery. The involvement of media also ensures adherence to democratic values. The nature of interaction with leaders and the media will have a bearing concerning how the principle of public participation is realised. This strengthens the notion that leaders in the public service need the media in as much as the media needs leaders to realise their objectives. Depending on how leaders view the media in relation to their source of authority, the media will remain an indispensable tool to obtain public participation and ensuring answerability in service delivery. This article intends to reflect the need for the media in inspiring leaders commitment in service delivery and ensuring public accountability. This will depend on the environment created which will require a careful balance of situational theory depending on the nature of leadership in terms of the power source. Leaders will either take advantage of media reporting to sharpen their alertness regarding the situation they are taking care of. The media will then be a force multiplier and will enhance proper adherence to the principle of public participation in service delivery.

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