n Journal of Public Administration - Public sector training in South Africa : vehicle towards good governance : fact or fallacy?

Volume 42, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



We are living in an age of transformation heading towards the knowledge society. Traditional productive factors seem to provide less and less added value, whereas knowledge is perceived to be the main production factor of the future. The increasing importance of knowledge is supported from the economic point of view by the high growth rates of knowledge focused organizations, for example, consulting institutions, software houses and training and research institutions. What was learnt during the past 13 years regarding the South African transformational process confirms global experiences that public sector transformation and change is a complicated process that needs more than just the generation of creative ideas and the formulation of them in policy documents. It requires knowledgeable, skilful and dedicated workforce to put ideas into practice. This, in turn, will depend on the quality and appropriateness of the training provided to ensure good governance practices. It thus become necessary for those involved in training current and future generations of public servants to critically assess the nature of their activities in order to address the changed circumstances. As highly professional individuals at all spheres of public institutions are required to manage these changes, the role of training has, unfortunately, not been taken seriously as a tool to facilitate these changes. The consequences are the wasting of limited resources and the misuse of such resources. In this paper training in the African context, the training needs of current public servants in South Africa, the provision of training for public servants to adhere to good governance principles and quality assurance provision in the public sector to ensure quality in the training of public servants, will be dealt with.

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