Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, March 2012
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, March 2012
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 209 –212 (2012)More Less
In the speech delivered at the joint conference of the Tshwane University of Technology's (TUT) Public Management Department, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the South African Association of Public Administration and Management - Gauteng Chapter (SAAPAM-G) on 'Service delivery in the changing political landscape in South Africa', Maserumule made a very important observation, which could be used to contextualise the theme of this Special Issue of the Journal of Public Administration.
Author Z. MpehleSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 213 –227 (2012)More Less
The introduction of democracy in South Africa brought some hope to millions who were previously marginalised. The new government transformed the public service by developing and enacting policies that would ensure fairness and equity in the provision of services. Notwithstanding the progress, government's failure to adequately meet communities' needs has led to recent service delivery protests. The empirical evidence has revealed that communities are unhappy because of, among other things, the deployment of unskilled, unqualified and inexperienced cadres to municipal management positions, the accumulation of wealth by a few individuals through the abuse of the tendering system, inadequate revenue due to centralisation of funding, and absence of proper systems of collecting revenue by municipalities, which have impacted negatively on service delivery.
Post-apartheid public service delivery and the dilemmas of state capitalism in South Africa, 1996-2009Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 228 –250 (2012)More Less
The dawn of democracy precipitated the need for urgent government action to extend the delivery of services to the large majority of South Africans who were excluded through years of separate and apartheid capitalist development. Whereas the immediate post-1994 landscapes were clouded with diverse infrastructure amenities and facilities for the delivery of basic public services, most communities continue to have insurmountable challenges accessing water, electricity, sanitation and housing. Paradoxically, the backlog in public service delivery among the impoverished communities has persisted amid demonstrable quantitative milestones, illustrating the existence of distributional dilemmas. Public service delivery has not redressed the backlogs among the poor largely due to the state-market paralysis of efficiency versus equity under post-apartheid state capitalism.
Operationalising inter-governmental relations for service delivery : what role can community development workers play?Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 251 –264 (2012)More Less
In South Africa, the functioning of the different spheres of government is stipulated in the 1996 Constitution and consolidated through the notion of intergovernmental relations (IGR). More importantly, inter-governmental relations is aimed at promoting good and co-operative governance across national, provincial and local level government, including the smooth operations between and among existing public departments within the public sector. The purpose of the article is to examine the importance of operationalising inter-governmental relations more particularly in delivering services to poor and marginalised citizens. The challenges and prospects embedded within inter-governmental relations are interrogated by exploring the nature of the Community Development Worker Programme (CDWP) and the role played by community development workers employed by the National Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and deployed to work at local government level. The article uses triangulation methodology which utilises observations, a case study of the Community Development Worker Programme (CDWP) and interviews to collect relevant data for this article.
Author K.I. TheletsaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 265 –278 (2012)More Less
Despite government intervention, the number of service delivery protests in the country leaves much to be desired. This article argues that the ubuntu management approach can provide a solution to service delivery problems in South Africa. The article addresses the above statement through critical review and analysis of this debate, whereby the claims made in the debate on ubuntu in the post-apartheid era are assessed, with particular attention drawn to ubuntu's relevance and significance to both workplace strategies aimed at improving performance as well as to government's approach to the delivery of basic services to the marginalised sectors of the population.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 279 –290 (2012)More Less
The introduction of the Batho Pele principles in 1997 as a policy and legislative framework that would revolutionise public service delivery in South Africa was seen as an instrument that would bring about efficiency and effectiveness in the provisioning of services. The eight principles are based on the ideals of the Constitution that seek to promote and maintain high standards of professional ethics and ensure that citizens are encouraged to participate in policy making and that the public administration is accountable transparent and development-oriented.
Author T.R. MleSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 291 –298 (2012)More Less
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 states that every worker has the right to form and join a trade union participate in the activities and programmes of a trade union and to strike (Clause 23(2)).The Constitution further states that every trade union employer's organisation and employer has the right to engage in collective bargaining and everyone has the right peacefully and unarmed to assemble demonstrate picket and present petitions. It is further enacted that everyone has the right to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources and everyone has the right to have access to basic services food and water social security and education. In terms of the basic values and principles governing public administration professional ethics must be promoted and maintained and people's needs must be responded to (Chapter 10 Clause 195(1)). The Labour Relations Act 1995 endorses the Constitutional right of employees to participate in forming a trade union (Chapter 2) to participate in its lawful activities and to strike. The Act however points out that no person may take part in a strike if that person is engaged in an essential or maintenance service (Clause 65(1)). Essential services are according to the LRA (Section 213) those services whose interruption would endanger the life personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population. The LRA does not specify or is not specific as to which services can be classified as essential. According to Nel et al. this could be because if a strike is lengthy or is characterised by violence the services of that sector can be classified as essential (Nel et al. 2008:233). The LRA thus does not want to 'tie its hands and feet' so to speak hence the establishment of the Essential Services Committee (LRA 1995 Section 70) whose main function is to conduct investigations as to whether or not the whole or a part of any service is an essential or a maintenance service. In terms of the Act a maintenance service is one whose interruption has the effect of material physical destruction to any working area plant or machinery (Section 75(1)). It also refers to a 'protected strike' which is a strike that complies with Chapter IV of the Act. A 'protected strike' is a strike where if the State is the employer at least seven day's notice of the commencement of the strike has been given to the parties involved (Clause 64 1(d)). The question arises as to what extent the right to strike on the part of trade union members employed by the state violates the rights of citizens to have access to basic services and to be free from all forms of violence and intimidation. The paper seeks to examine this quandary which emanates from the strike by more than 1 million public servants in South Africa during August 2010 which saw services particularly in the Education and Health Sectors being greatly affected. The strike was also characterised by violence and intimidation of non-striking employees by striking employees. In the words of the South African National Minister of Health Dr Aaroon Motsoaledi intimidating assaulting and victimising a non-striking nurse performing duties on a patient in a theatre is tantamount to 'murder'. The source of the strike was a demand by labour unions for a salary hike of 8.6% and a housing allowance of R1 000.00 a month to which government responded with a 7% hike and a R700.00 a month housing allowance.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 299 –310 (2012)More Less
From the advent of the democratic dispensation in South Africa in 1994 the transformation of the public sector has become one of the central priorities of government. The transformation of the public sector was popularised and institutionalised specifically to ensure that there is greater access to public services. To realise this government promulgated a number of pieces of legislation and adopted policies that have since served as a strong foundation for performance management in the South African Public Service. To this end the Public Service Act 103 of 1994 the Public Service Regulations and other legislation emphatically pronounced on the importance of performance management in the South African Public Service. Management of employees' performance falls clearly under the legislative framework whereby government departments are mandated to manage and streamline the performance of their employees. It is for this reason that performance management has been introduced essentially to ensure that there is a continuous improvement of employees' performance in the South African public service. The management of employees' performance in the public service is undoubtedly crucial if effective and efficient service delivery is to take place. It is often argued that the success of the public service in delivering its operational and developmental goals depends primarily on the efficiency and effectiveness with which employees carry out their objectives. Following from this perspective it can be argued that the effective management of employees' performance in the South African public service is reciprocally linked directly to the effectiveness of public service delivery. Thus there is a growing realisation that if employees are to deliver effective and efficient services their performance should be subjected to effective and continuous management. The purpose of this article is to argue that while performance management intends good results there exists the negative impact that renders its purpose in the public service delivery insignificant.
Author C.C. NgwakweSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 311 –329 (2012)More Less
This article examines the link between financial accountability and service delivery. This has become apposite considering alarming ubiquitous service delivery protests in many provinces of the Republic of South Africa. As 2015 the target year for the millennium development goals draws closer a rethink of pragmatic principles that may propel desired service delivery is pertinent. The methodological approach is conceptually rooted in reviews that culminate in suggested policy measures toward accountability and service delivery. The article discovers that service delivery problems are not unique to South Africa but a characteristic dominant in developing nations. The article finds that financial accountability is the sine qua non of effective service delivery and uncovers a number of factors that may limit accountability and hence service delivery. These include inter alia obscured transparency in public financial management limited financial skills capacity political god-fatherism lack of due process in public procurement and public sector corruption. In conclusion the article suggests some policy measures that may improve accountability and service delivery which include among others making the budget process more participatory and transparent; expanding the scope of public audit to go beyond financial numbers to also incorporate an examination of strategic planning processes which overall impact financial management and service delivery. Furthermore it suggests the dire need to revisit pricing or bidding processes of public procurement which constitute a substantial portion of public expenditure. It also suggests that ICT skills capacity building would facilitate effective and efficient management of public financial information to achieve desired transparency accountability and delivery of social services.
Author M.P. MashigoSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 330 –343 (2012)More Less
Financial institutions play an important role in the delivery of financial services, particularly credit. However, this role is hampered by uncertainty associated with asymmetric information, collateral constraints and high transaction costs. Faced with uncertainty about future prospects and the illiquid and irreversible nature of assets, poor households in South Africa become vulnerable to social and economic shocks. Using a sample of successful practices in different countries, this article employs a theoretical approach to determine how social structures apply the minimalist group lending method to help the poor to mitigate these shocks. Based on the social connections, trust and reputation embedded in groups, the researcher finds evidence that group lending successfully overcomes the barriers to financial service delivery and reduces poverty.
Should municipalities account to the legislature? Issues of parliamentary oversight and service deliverySource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 344 –354 (2012)More Less
A municipality is an autonomous sphere of government, and the Constitution of South Africa (1996) provides that all spheres of government must exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere. These constitutional provisions largely protect the autonomy of the municipal council from encroachment by any other sphere of government. Furthermore, the Constitution explicitly assigns an oversight and policy-making role to municipal councils. But, municipalities receive 'support' and funding from the provincial fiscus. Because of this, should municipalities not account to the provincial legislature? This article engages this question by raising issues of parliamentary oversight and service delivery as they relate to the accountability system of the local sphere of government in South Africa.
Locating the role of service delivery within powers and functions of local government in South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 355 –368 (2012)More Less
Every public institution is created to provide public goods and services. For the provision of those goods and services, appropriate functions must be performed. This means that every public institution is identified and characterised, among other things, by its functional activities. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 entrenches specific powers and functions applicable to all municipalities in the state. The same provision is made in Chapter 5 of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 as well as Chapter 3 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000. However, local authorities have over long periods assumed functions which are of a wider nature - sometimes for historical reasons and at other times from sheer force of circumstances. Since the inception of democracy in South Africa, historical reasons and force of circumstances have found local government at the edge of ensuring the realisation of development through the delivery of basic services. On this basis, this article puts forward an argument on locating the role of service delivery within the statutory provision of powers and functions of local government. It is argued that the notion of service delivery goes beyond the authority and functioning of local government as a sphere of government. Yet local government bears the responsibility for poor service delivery. The article concludes that there is still confusion in policy and practice on the notion of service delivery in relation to the powers and functions of local government. The policy discourse and practice on conceptualisation and contextualisation of the place of service delivery within the functioning and powers of local government in South Africa is elusive. Role players that are purporting to assume the responsibility of complementing the role of local government in ensuring service delivery are obscure, which results in local government taking the blame for ineffective service delivery.
Integrated development planning process and service delivery challenges for South Africa's local municipalitiesSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 369 –378 (2012)More Less
South Africa's post-apartheid government entrusted the delivery of some services to its local sphere of governance, which is in close contact with society. Guided by the 1996 Constitution, local municipalities are required to render basic services and to address existing backlogs that have accumulated over years of separate development. For this reason, instruments such as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) have been adopted to enhance the local municipality's delivery of such services. In practice, though, is has become evident that rendering services such as clean water, proper sanitation, electricity and health facilities has remained a major challenge for local municipalities across South Africa. For the majority of local municipalities, the IDP has apparently become business as usual rather than an enabling instrument and process.
The article argues that despite its inherent goodness, the integrated development planning process has introduced unprecedented challenges in service delivery for local municipalities. The article shows that most municipalities do not conduct the integrated development planning process as dictated by legislation. The reasons for the apparent half-hearted application of the integrated development planning process vary from one municipality to another. However, the core challenges for almost all the municipalities are in the integration of community participation and the prioritisation of the people's felt needs in the municipality's integrated development planning process. The article concludes that the service delivery challenges faced by municipalities in South Africa could be addressed if clear strategies are formulated to strengthen community participation and integration with other stakeholders in the integrated development planning processes.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 379 –393 (2012)More Less
Public services are a prerequisite to the establishment of an enabling local development environment. Within such an environment, local people are able to make productive use of the opportunities for business partnerships, employment creation, income generation, economic output and tradable market economies, as well as gaining the capacity to resist threats. The lack of public services or their poor delivery, therefore, imposes severe limitations on the local development environment, thereby derailing the potential for local economic development (LED). This article argues that poor or inadequate service delivery for South Africa's impoverished communities makes it virtually impossible for communities to take control of their own development. A limiting local development environment implies that the local people would be unable to make use of the limited productive opportunities available and that they would not gain the capacity to resist threats such as hunger, crime, vulnerability and disease. In this sense, public services determine people's attainment of the state of 'being developed', especially within impoverished communities, by influencing the prospects for LED in the local development environment. The article demonstrates that South Africa's poor communities are trapped in a cycle of the absence of public services and frustrated LED, which breeds the ongoing demand for heavy dependence on the state welfare system. The incapacity to generate local business partnerships and employment, income, economic and market opportunities, and to resist the threats, renders the local people highly vulnerable to poverty and dependence, in the absence of public services. The article concludes that to break out of this cycle, poor communities require sustained delivery of public services as pure, rather than impure, public goods wherein there is equal access in terms of quality and quantity for all.
South African municipal infrastructure grant : operational planning and budgeting for basic service deliverySource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 394 –406 (2012)More Less
The lack of clear national direction on how municipalities should go about planning and budgeting leads to a slow pace of basic service delivery. This situation has prompted the significant need for transformation of municipal planning and budgeting of the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) programme, which would result in the improvement of basic service delivery. It is arguable that the National MIG unit must systematically establish a national strategy for basic services which will include the national priority, demonstrate capacity building at both national and local levels and fully own the MIG database at national level in order to influence the manner in which municipalities plan and budget for their basic services. The aim of this article is to examine the possibility check for transformation of municipal planning and budgeting to improve basic service delivery. There is a large body of literature on municipal infrastructure and best practice. This literature lacks insight into the academic debate on a reality check for transformation of planning and budgeting in government funded projects. The article argues that an improvement in the manner in which municipalities plan and budget for their MIG programmes will contribute towards improvement in basic service delivery. The article is meant to make an important contribution to empirical knowledge on best practice and municipal infrastructure, and its influence on policy decisions in the MIG programme in South Africa.
Objective role of the South African media industry : the watchdogs for good governance and service deliveryAuthor M.P. SebolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 407 –419 (2012)More Less
The South African media industry has since 1994 been expected to enjoy the freedom of reporting their news without hindrance by the state machinery. Such has been a dream wished by many news reporters of the past, most of who never lived to see the dream they wished for all their lives come to pass. However, the post-apartheid legislation governing the media industry and freedom of the press has drawn contradictory responses, depending on the standpoint of the observer in relation to the fairness and intrusions into private spaces of the news in question. That is, objectivity and accuracy of journalistic reporting is relative, and it reflects the attitude and bias of the public and those who steal the headlines in the exposés. Whereas in South African government administration circles the role of the media is perceived subjectively depending on who among the rulers, public figures and opposition parties has been hurt by the reporting, citizens seem to generally view both the independent print, audio and audio-visual media as watchdogs that keep the politicians on their toes, practising good governance and accelerating the rate of service delivery in the country. This article, therefore, analyses the role of the media industry in South Africa and the extent to which their activities promote good governance and the acceleration of the delivery of services to its citizens.
Community development. Breaking the cycle of poverty (5th Ed.), H. Swanepoel and F. De Beer (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Francois TheronSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 420 –422 (2012)More Less
The Swanepoel-De Beer team has a host of community development classics in their stable. To cite a few, in 1996 three training manuals were published (Training for development; Community-capacity-building and Communication for development) by International Thomson Publishing. This was followed in 1989 (until 1997) with different editions of an old favourite, Community development. Putting plans into action.
Author K. KondloSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 534 –536 (2012)More Less
This Special Issue of the Journal of Public Administration addresses a very important question, which, as Thabo Mbeki in his keynote address at the Knowledge Management Conference in Stellenbosch on 16 January 2012 explained, has always been a "fundamental issue immanent in all philosophical discourse, from ancient times, to date â?? what is knowledge?" This question is asked at the appropriate time in the evolution of the modern world. It is particularly important in contending with the challenges of the knowledge economy as it requires that, as Robinson Ramaite once put it, each of us should become a "knowledge worker and a learning champion in this knowledge economy". The articles contained in this Issue are a revised version of papers presented at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature's Knowledge Management Summit, which took place on 29 September 2011. Their focus is on the management of knowledge rather than the theory of knowledge. But, what does it take to become a knowledge worker, particularly those whose jobs in government are concerned with taking policy decisions? The answer to this question is simple: reading, reading and more reading! This is the point I emphasised at the Knowledge Management Summit, as referred to above, which coincided with the commemoration of 35 years of the death of Steve Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, whose Black Consciousness philosophy emphasises and contextualises the importance of knowledge as a means to, as Ngugi wa Thiong'o put it, decolonise the mind.
Author U. MoiloaSource: Journal of Public Administration 47, pp 537 –540 (2012)More Less
Making reference to the dawn of the information age and the rise of a network society, Manuel Castells wrote: "bypassed by global networks of wealth, power, and information, the modern nation-state has lost much of its sovereignty. By trying to intervene strategically in the global scene, the state loses the capacity to represent its territorially rooted constituencies". This underscores the importance of knowledge and its implication in the running of the state. On 29 September 2011 the Gauteng Provincial Legislature hosted a Knowledge Management Summit, where experts, academics and leaders in the legislative sector addressed the concept of knowledge management and its possible application to enhance the capacity of the legislatures in their law making and oversight responsibilities.