n Journal of Public Administration - Assessing financial performance in the South African public service : research findings

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Optimum performance in the South African public service is paramount to eradicating its backlog in social services. The South African government introduced, amongst others, financial management reforms to address this challenge. The (PFMA) endeavours to create a culture of performance by having managers manage, but simultaneously holding them accountable for their utilisation of resources in service delivery. However, within this endeavour to improve performance, there are still many instances of poor financial management or more specifically poor financial performance, which in many cases are causally related to poor service delivery. This study aims at establishing criteria for the financial performance expected of the line managers, in their attempt to reach predetermined service delivery targets. Variables were identified that impact on the financial performance of the line manager. Focus group interviews were utilised as the qualitative research instrument. The culmination of the study is a financial performance assessment instrument that endeavours to assess the achievement of success factors towards the financial performance of the line manager. Through this instrument, capacity gaps may be identified. Addressing these gaps may enable managers to manage the funds allocated towards service delivery and be held accountable for their successes and failures.

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