Journal of Public Administration - Volume 47, Issue 3, 2012
Volumes & issues
Volume 47, Issue 3, 2012
Author M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 605 –617 (2012)More Less
Although one has always been in the periphery of the editorship of the Journal of Public Administration, or what Roslyn Petelin describes as "editing from the edge" (2005: 458), being thrust to the centre as the Chief Editor came as a daunting challenge. For, taking over a responsibility that has always been superbly executed by those who came before me is naturally associated with the question: would I fit in their large shoes? This question is inevitable as it is critically important in trying to make sense of what it means to be an editor of a scholarly publication whose existence spans four decades.
Author M.M. SibandaSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 618 –635 (2012)More Less
Rurality is a central concept in rural development strategy and governance. The meaning of 'rural', however, tends to vary considerably depending on who employs what meaning and for what purpose. This article seeks to critically interrogate the extent to which the 'rural' and rural development policy can be conceived and articulated through the epistemic conceptualisation of Public Administration as a postpositivist, postmodern or postnormal science. The article argues that more diverse conceptions of the rural social architecture in the spaces referred to as 'rural' are critical to a more robust problematising, understanding and articulation of the challenges confronting the role of the developmental state in rural development in the South African context. It explores theoretical perspectives and discourses on the construction of rurality, with the aim of unmasking the complexity inherent in this often taken-for-granted concept. Further, it explores how rurality is constructed and deployed in a variety of contexts and attempts to illuminate the seemingly widely diverging theoretical constructions and understanding of rurality. By exposing these theoretical perspectives and discourses on the construction of rurality, the article seeks to unravel the multidimensional features of and the complexity of 'the rural' and to raise critical issues for consideration by public officials who grapple with the vexing questions of rural governance, social dynamics and public policy.
Citizen-driven approaches in fighting corruption : a comparative analysis of Uganda's and South Africa's local government systemsSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 636 –655 (2012)More Less
This article makes a theoretical comparative examination of citizen-driven approaches in the fight against corruption in Uganda's and South Africa's local government systems. These countries are compared on the basis that they are both democratic countries, their constitutions were enacted at around the same time and both countries started their decentralisation programmes at about the same time. Corruption is possibly one of the most serious impediments to effective service delivery. Seeking better ways to combat it is an urgent necessity. Citizen demonstrations have become a recent phenomenon in both Uganda and South Africa, plainly signifying citizen displeasure with government delivery. Because citizens have lost faith in the ability of formal institutions of government to fight corruption, they resort to what we call 'noise-based' opposition to corruption. With the recent citizen uprisings in North Africa to bring about regime change, the capacity of citizens to demand accountability has been confirmed. Social accountability, as a process of constructive engagement between citizens and government, should be aimed at improving performance in the use of public resources to deliver services, enhance people's welfare, and protect individuals' rights. This article starts with a discussion of theoretical issues where the philosophical origins of citizen involvement are discussed. It then proceeds to explain the structure of local government in Uganda and South Africa through a comparative lens and then discusses the subject of corruption in the two countries giving selected examples of corruption in problematic areas of local government performance. This is followed by a discussion of the policy and legislative frameworks for citizen participation as provided by Uganda and South Africa. Finally, the article suggests policy and managerial implications for adopting citizen-driven approaches in the two countries.
The critical need for ethical leadership to curb corruption and promote good governance in the South African public sectorAuthor G. NaidooSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 656 –683 (2012)More Less
Corruption is now recognised as one of the South African (SA) government's greatest challenges in the public sector. The Public Service Commission (PSC) has stated that the five most common manifestations of the corruption which is on the increase in the SA public sector are fraud and bribery, mismanagement of government funds, abuse of government resources, identity document fraud and procurement irregularities. It is a major hindrance to good governance, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities and is corrosive of the very fabric of our society. The government has prompted public sector departments to focus on anti-corruption measures as part of their mechanisms to prevent and curb corruption. Some departments are looking to these controls, while the majority of departments have not. However, it is evident that these mechanisms are insufficient to prevent and curb corruption, due to poor governance practices, such as institutional weakness and gaps in legislation. Furthermore, the public sector has seen that there are unethical and even toxic leaders, who exploit the loopholes in the systems and processes and seek to fulfil their personal desires at the expense of their departments. It is therefore argued that there is increasingly a need for ethical leadership and more efforts must be undertaken to promote good governance in the public sector. This article therefore suggests the need for ethical leadership to prevent and curb corruption and to promote good governance in the SA public sector. Ethical leadership is positively and significantly associated with leader effectiveness and hence good governance. Leaders need to demonstrate ethical leadership in their daily behaviours, decisions and actions. By sending out strong messages about ethics and establishing clear reward and sanction systems to hold the employees accountable for their actions, leaders can do a lot to promote good governance in the public sector. Ethical leadership can help curb and prevent corruption and thus promote good governance.
The importance of state-business relations in advancing developmental goals in South Africa - the case for corporate social responsibilityAuthor A.J. DialeSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 684 –694 (2012)More Less
Contemporary South Africa is a state of contradictions. It is a country well-endowed with natural resources, relatively cheap labour and a well-established corporate/private sector. The political emancipation in 1994 was met with much fanfare and promises and expectations of economic freedom. What escaped the political and economic discourse of the majority of the citizens was the damage inflicted by state-supported business practices on the most vulnerable of the society. The majority of the African poor had justifiable expectations that the state would provide sustainable services and opportunities that were denied under the apartheid system, but the underlying ideology underpinning the reform initiatives had other consequences. Looking into the role the corporate sector and state could play to alleviate poverty, the relations that characterised the dawn of the democratic state was one of suspicion and mistrust (by the state) of established white business. The notion and practice of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a mechanism of business organisations to position themselves as socially responsible entities can be useful in assisting the state to achieve its developmental goals. This is due to the pressures brought about by globalisation and, in the developing world, the increasing burden faced by governments to provide comprehensive social services. This initiative, CSR, has received mixed reactions from various sectors of business practitioners and researchers, while governments globally have enhanced the environment within which business could explore this initiative. In South Africa, a sizeable number of business organisations are embracing it. The attempt of this article is to interrogate whether CSR can play a meaningful role to enhance state-business relations in South Africa to assist in achieving developmental goals.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 695 –705 (2012)More Less
In order to understand the spate of service delivery-related protests experienced in South Africa in the past years, in-depth participatory research, community based collaboration, as well as academic practitioner community debate, not hitherto utilised, is required. Service delivery related protests require a multipronged approach involving many stakeholders because of the many factors that may contribute to their cause. This implying that that the solutions to service delivery related protests calls for the assembly of many minds so as to ensure a collation of different ideas and in turn maybe ensure the achievement of the solution. Therefore based on this argument, service delivery related protests in South Africa cannot successfully be undertaken without reference to the concepts of governance and leadership, particularly good governance and public leadership. In light of the latter statement, this article argues that aspects such as governance and public leadership must be addressed in an attempt to solve service delivery related protests experienced in South Africa. This will be done as follows: Firstly, public service and public service delivery will be conceptualised. Secondly, service delivery related protests will be highlighted and the reasons behind these protests will be examined. Thirdly aspects of governance and leadership in service delivery will be explored. This article employs a qualitative approach, and data is collected by means of an extensive literature review of government and public documents, academic analysis, and findings on public leadership and good governance in enhancing service delivery.