Journal of Public Administration - Volume 42, Issue 7, 2007
Volumes & issues
Volume 42, Issue 7, 2007
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 595 –596 (2007)More Less
South Africa has entered the globalising village comprehensively after the democratic elections in 1994. For the past 14 years the country had to commence with the introduction of policies within a borderless world and had to ensure that its public services and the recognition of human rights meet internationally recognised norms and standards. The democratically elected government has to eradicate injustices of the past and simultaneously has to retain the level of economic and social development required to be able to provide services to all sectors of the South African society. Government has to provide the required political guidance to accommodate all members of a diverse society; prevent racial and other differences hampering development; and develop best practice for all the public institutions to obtain efficient and effective service delivery amid growing needs; unlimited expectations; limited financial resources; and limited human resource capacity.
The role of public administration in leadership and governance : a review of civics, citizenship and political educationAuthor J.O. KuyeSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 597 –613 (2007)More Less
This article examines the ability of civic education as a concept to respond to governance imperatives in a modern state. Whether it is in democracies or non-democracies, governance imperatives require citizen electoral participation, government stability, and political order which determine in turn, the success and/or the performance of a government. It could be argued that the purpose of civic education is therefore to insure the continuity of a society. If this is the case, then civic education becomes relevant to governance imperatives when it creates an environment that is capable of allowing citizens to abide to the principles of truth, inquiry, critical thought which presumably transcend allegiance to any particular political-legal units.
Author E. AbabioSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 614 –621 (2007)More Less
Conceptualisation of local government in South Africa is placed on the cutting edge of addressing basic national challenges such as public participation in matters of service delivery, provision of basic needs, and in combating poverty. At the sphere of local government, it implies the means for legitimate service delivery participatory democracy, the mobilisation of the masses in decision-making to determine what is good for them in line with national objectives. Ward committees are designed to help achieve such developmental goals. As partners in participatory democracy, ward committees are a creation of legislation and obligated to be active partners in local government functioning in policy-making and implementation. In these, ward committees are representative structures of the community and citizenry and liaise with municipalities on aspirations, potentials and problems of the people. Ward committees form bridges by facilitating communication between council and the citizens they represent, and actively participating in determining core municipal processes. Without ward committees as partners, the systems of democratic governance and developmental local government cannot be said to be rooted among the people. This article examines the concept of participatory democracy as a precursor to mobilizing public participation for community development. Ward committees are seen as innovative catalysts for promoting democracy at grass-root level. The effectiveness, concerns and recommendations to make this democratic structure to be sustainable, are the foci of the discussion.
Author G. Van Der WaldtSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 622 –637 (2007)More Less
This article maintains that the implementation of Service Delivery Improvement Plans (White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery, 1997) could significantly be enhanced by gaining an understanding of public institutions' core processes. A process is seen as a series of activities with an input and an output with the purpose to achieve institutional strategic objectives. By profiling the DNA (layers of primary and secondary organisational processes) of public institutions, continuous process improvement initiatives would lead to more effective service delivery. To establish a baseline (current situation) it is argued that more emphasis should be placed on profiling the whole institution (macro, meso and micro institutional variables) to better understand implementation challenges such as structure, social and historical context, systems, resource utilisation, capacities, politics and culture. It is proposed that a formal organisational profile (OP) methodology be followed by public managers on strategic, tactical and operational levels to obtain a more balanced framework for identifying key variables which may impact on service delivery. OP methodology should answer the "Where are we now?"-question and profile processes, and strategic considerations from qualitative as well as statistical data. The article concludes by calling for more effort to be focused on developing more comprehensive and integrated approaches to analyse organisational processes associated with the implementation of service delivery initiatives.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 638 –649 (2007)More Less
The wave of administrative reforms that has been sweeping through modern governments around the globe brought about serious questions regarding the essence of democratic governance. At the centre of these reform initiatives, some brought about voluntarily while others through compliance with international demands, the emphasis has been the criticisms levelled against administrative capacity and effectiveness of government agencies as the main impediments of accelerated and sustainable service delivery. Advocacy of these reforms is highly reliant on the decentralisation of authority to lower levels of the hierarchical structure, giving public managers more discretionary powers and adoption of entrepreneurial practices with the view to improve the performance of public organisations. On the contrary, while these aspects have been deemed desirable and necessary, issues pertaining to accountability have been accorded the rhetorical centre stage. This article seeks to interrogate whether the accountability arrangements that are advocated by proponents of administrative reforms have the ingredients of democratic ethos.
Revitalising accountability in public management reform : issues and challenges for developing countriesSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 650 –663 (2007)More Less
As the public sector character and attributes continue to evolve globally, the notion of accountability is identified as the pivot, around which effective public management and good governance revolve. This has followed the wave of neo-liberal reforms in Africa and elsewhere in the developing countries, where the re-invention of government in recent years has earmarked accountability as part of the governance and development imperatives. This article critically analysis the dynamics of accountability in public sector reforms and evaluates its significance in improving efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector. A thorough examination on the practicality of the different accountability mechanisms and relationships is made to provide a case, as to whether the prescribed patterns of accountability under the new managerialism rekindle better hope for developing countries. The theoretical foundations and issues that underpin public sector accountability are provided, before engaging its unfolding dynamics and challenges. It is then argued that, whereas the need exists to transform public accountability mechanisms to foster continuous improvement. Those who inspect, audit and review public service management should be able to appreciate the constraints under which public servants operate, and the circumstances in which they have little or no control. The businesslike performance measures are important in spearheading output and outcome orientations. However, the traditional public service values such as impartiality, representation, integrity, fairness, welfare and justice, should not be abandoned since they represent the basic requirement eliciting public interest.
The social origins of the developmental state : reflections on South Africa and its local sphere of governmentSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 664 –675 (2007)More Less
The developmental state in South Africa has become a matter of great concern and urgency to all practitioners at the three spheres of government. The government has, since its inception in 1994, promoted economic growth and development through a variety of mechanisms, including policy implementation and the promulgation of legislation. In the local sphere of government provision has been made for national and provincial intervention to maintain the national standards of service delivery. However, since 2004 the protests, sometime violent, against the inability of municipalities to deliver their services have increased exponentially. This article argues that realising the developmental state cannot be considered without taking into account both the social origin of the concept as well as its bureaucratic content. The spate of violent confrontations between municipalities and communities led to renewed calls for an interventionist and distributive state. However, the balance between developmentalism, interventionism and democracy has to be maintained. The new developmental state is one where equal emphasis is given to the concepts development through performance, managerial, technical and bureaucratic efficiency and effectiveness and institutional rationalisation and transformation, while maintaining the democracy which provides a voice for the poor and marginalised, protects and accrues the rights of citizens, promotes institutional separation of powers and functions, transparent decision making, accountability and effective monitoring and control.
Author C. ThornhillSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 676 –690 (2007)More Less
Globalisation as a trend is an accepted phenomenon. The European Union, African Union, United Nations and its affiliates as well as sectoral and supra national structures attest to this statement. South Africa is a relative newcomer to the challenges posed by globalisation / internationalisation as it only became a global role-player in 1994 with the democratising of the country. It is necessary to consider the effects of the shrinking autonomy on a country brought about by a globalised attempt to attend to a variety of social, economic, political and environmental matters. In the article attention is devoted to only one aspect of globalisation i.e. the administrative effects on a country's internal public administration and management. Attention will be devoted to the degree of autonomy a country enjoys in policy-formulation as a result of its membership of an international structure. The requirement to participate in such institutions also demands financial commitments and in most cases personnel have to be deployed to perform the assigned functions. The ultimate demand for public accountability raises the question as to whom a country's government is accountable to? Linked to this is the accountability of the international/supra national structure to member states and consequently of such members to their respective constituencies. The most relevant administrative implications will be addressed.
From competition to collaboration : policy-making lessons to be learnt from tourism when designing a national health care systemAuthor L. SchoemanSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 691 –706 (2007)More Less
Globalisation has led to the creation of a global village in which competition and sameness increased competitive isolation. Organisations are finding it difficult to survive in competitive isolation and a gradual shift from the individual competitive organisation to inter-organisational collaboration occurred. In this article the author highlights how tourism and health care are linked together in a globalised society. By integrating activities along the value chain, it is argued that tourism and health care can work together to create products and services that have more value combined, serving to uplift communities and reduce inequities. Important policy-making lessons are to be learned from tourism as this industry is becoming the biggest service industry in the world. Health care is cost-intensive, weighs heavily on the private sector for service efficiency and shows gross inequities. However, the public and private sectors in health and tourism are about coping with service competition (partly consumer-driven, competition-driven and technology-driven) and are complex industries intertwined with concepts of well-being as they deal with the use of natural and cultural resources. The article questions the reasons for the successes of tourism and investigates the reasons for failure in the health care system. A shift from the transactional to the relational approach provides the building blocks on which these sectors can collaborate and build partnerships. It is concluded that partnerships and collaboration place sustainable development objectives in a more holistic and equitable framework, as collaboration increases efficiency levels and provides a stronger basis from which the public sector can meet service delivery demands.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 707 –720 (2007)More Less
The notion of Developmental Local Government led to a totally new approach to what was traditionally viewed as the essential role and function of local government. Historically, local government was seen as an instrument to ensure the delivery of basic services (e.g. water and sanitation) to communities in an orderly fashion and to implement regulations. However, in the new dispensation, local government is regarded as a primary facilitator to redress the lacking infrastructure and limited economic activity associated with most of the segregated urban areas within South Africa (Reconstruction and Development Programme, 1994: 129). Municipalities should, therefore, take responsibility for reconstruction and development activities. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 provides local government with a new mandate to govern, provide services and to promote development within their areas of jurisdiction. Currently a contentious issue is that of informal trading within urban areas in the Country. Municipalities should create an enabling environment within which these aspects can be addressed. This article reflects on the issue of informal trading and the creation of an enabling environment through means of establishing a transactional relationship between all stakeholders within the context of informal trading.
The changing balance between state and market : a case of the privatisation process of state-owned enterprise in South AfricaAuthor M.S. BinzaSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 721 –732 (2007)More Less
This article traces the changes in the actions of the South African government and its policy discourses, with particular focus on the post-1994 period. The article highlights the changing balance, over time, between state and market principles and how these market principles impact on state enterprises, in their call for reform in order to be effective and efficient in the management of their enterprises, and in improving economic growth. Particular attention is paid to the privatisation process of South African state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are responsible for providing quality goods and services to individuals, the government and private sector, and to the non-government organisations in the country. Furthermore, the political evolution that led to the adoption of free market principles by the present government is briefly discussed. The argument is that without these political developments and vacillations in the ANC, the chances for privatisation would be limited.
Author D. FourieSource: Journal of Public Administration 42, pp 733 –743 (2007)More Less
Sound public financial management supports aggregate control, prioritisation, accountability, the efficient management of public resources and the delivery of services. Good governance depends on accountability since accountability is one of the prerequisites of democracy. One of the key elements of good governance is a sound system of internal financial control. This control system incorporates rules, procedures and practices through clearly stated policies. The absence of a clearly defined system of financial control could lead institutional corruption, theft and fraud.