Journal of Public Administration - Volume 48, Issue 2, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 48, Issue 2, 2013
Author M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 205 –208 (2013)More Less
I penned this editorial essay with a sense of vindication. For, the South African Association of Public Administration and Management's (SAAPAM) commitment to cognitive justice is not in vain. Its dividends in various strategic areas that define our scholarship agenda are now beginning to show. That generation of scholars that for many years, in the field of public administration, has been destined to the periphery, rediscovered its consciousness and mustered the courage to, against all odds, challenge the hegemony of gerontocracy in the contestation of the knowledge space in defining the epistemological destiny of the discipline. It "emerged, from the spell of a trigger-marred night; battered, not bowed; bruised, not de-spirited; exhausted, not spent; suffering-bound, hardship-inspired, head-unbowed; gazing proudly at a fresh dawn impregnated with brilliance, dedication, achievements, integrity, comradeship, and humanity".
Author H.A. GichuhiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 209 –224 (2013)More Less
In a mediator's strategies during international mediation to peacefully settle conflicts, it is traditionally held that the mediation process is conducted in secret and the content deemed to be private. Very little information is shared with the mass media and only on 'on a need to know' basis (Bloomfield & Moulton, 1997:63; Galtung, 2000:162). This author argues that when too much secrecy exists, journalists are bound to make up stories or post biased press releases from either side of the conflict. Both situations pose a great danger to the mediation process. This article explores Annan's strategies and techniques in respect to the mass media during the mediation process in Kenya. The literature tends to neglect the role of the mediator in relation to the media during a mediation process because, historically, mediation is conducted in secret, like much in diplomacy. A number of authors have noted in passing that mediators need to use the mass media but have not explored this interaction in a detailed manner (Bercovitch, 1997; Wetzstein, 2010; Wehr & Lederach, 1991; Wolfsfeld, 2004; Juma, 2009). The author argues that Kenya produces a variation on the basic mediation theme and in particular on Annan's interaction with the mass media in a manner not developed in the literature.
A framework for tracking Millennium Poverty Reduction at local government level : a case of KwaZulu-NatalSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 225 –238 (2013)More Less
The purpose of this article is to develop a framework for tracking poverty reduction interventions implemented at local municipality level. The study is based on Kathleen Eisenhardt's framework that describes a method for building theories from case study research. Firstly, the study identifies a specific poverty reduction strategy known as the Premier's Flagship Programme that was developed with the aim of halving the level of poverty in KwaZulu-Natal by 2014. The Premier's Flagship Programme is related to the first millennium development goal that seeks to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day by 2015. The goal of the Premier's Flagship Programme is to implement a comprehensive, inclusive and holistic plan that systematically facilitates economic growth, community development, job creation, strengthening of local institutions and poverty eradication. The study found that the severe development challenges of the Province coupled with sheer volume of deprived households make the institutionalisation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the Premier's Flagship Programme a huge challenge. The study also identified five key dimensions of bottlenecks that impede successful implementation of poverty reduction interventions, namely: policy and planning; governance and accountability; budget and financing; service delivery; and service utilisation.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 239 –250 (2013)More Less
The aim of this article is to examine public perceptions of community engagement with local government, on the one hand, and public perceptions of service delivery on the other. It does so through an analysis of data from a qualitative study comprising in-depth focus groups with local residents from four areas in the Cape Town Metro. In this article, we explore the diversity of views and motivations among residents regarding the need for engagement with local government. We consider a possible link between the interest in improved engagement and levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with service delivery. Our findings indicate that, whereas levels of satisfaction with services vary across the focus groups, an overwhelming majority of all participants noted a lack of engagement between residents and local government. Furthermore, interest in improved engagement with local government varied among respondents, with perceptions of service delivery influencing on this interest positively, negatively or not at all. Thus, interest in engagement is sometimes influenced by, and sometimes independent of perceptions of the quality of service delivery. This reveals the diversity and complexity of governance across South Africa's cities, as well as the importance of factors such as trust in government officials.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 251 –266 (2013)More Less
This article indicates that though few studies exists on youth and service delivery protest in South Africa, it appears not many has addressed the role of the youth and their perception about protests associated with service delivery particularly in Mpumalanga, a province noted for high incidence of service delivery protests in the past few years. To fill this gap, this study examines the perceptions of young men and women based in Wesselton and Siyathemba townships (Mpumalanga Province) on service delivery violence. The study starts by acknowledging various theoretical explanations for violent protests and thereafter utilized content-analysis of questionnaires sent to a sample of 151 young respondents (18-35 years) to describe the reasons for protesting, obtained explanations as to why certain protests turned violent. Further, the study extracted the youth perception about the causes of poor service delivery-that largely led to violent protest and possible solutions. In summary, the main findings of the study indicate that though several issues were highlighted as reasons for violent demonstrations, the majority of the respondents agreed that protests were principally about lack of or poor services delivery in both townships.
A crisis of expectations versus legislative mandate : the case of Molemole and Blouberg Municipalities in Limpopo, South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 267 –281 (2013)More Less
This article measures the expectations of citizens against local government's legislative mandate to deliver services to citizens within the context of the Molemole and Blouberg Municipalities in Limpopo. In doing so, it aims to contribute the discourse on governance from the perspective of the governed. The qualitative study utilized purposive sampling and collected data using unstructured questionnaires; individual and focus group interviews, observation and participatory tools. The key findings are that citizens in the study area are in dire need of the following services: water, electricity, sanitation and sewerage, road maintenance services, housing, refuse removal and health services in that order; and that citizens were unclear about the functions of national, provincial and local government in relation to housing, health and other services. They felt that a local municipality has the responsibility to tar and maintain roads within its jurisdiction, including district roads and even to provide housing and health services. They also felt that, while local government is touted as the sphere that brings government closer to the people, it has not been accorded the necessary powers and functions to provide basic services to communities at a satisfactory level. As a result, since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, communities have lost faith in the ability of local municipalities to improve their welfare.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 282 –298 (2013)More Less
In a bid to effectively and efficiently meet the ever changing citizens' wants and needs, governments around the world are increasingly searching for the best mechanisms to improve the extent to which public office holders can be effectively held accountable and responsible for their actions. In the absence of a comprehensive public accountability framework, achieving effective public accountability still remains increasingly a challenge for most South Africa's government departments. It is on that basis, that this paper provides reflections on public accountability in South Africa with the motive of postulating a comprehensive framework which can be used to enhance accountability across South Africa's government departments. The study is motivated by the fact that public accountability in the South African public service is hinged on discrete and uncoordinated mechanisms which render coherency, efficiency and effectiveness of public accountability almost impossible. It is postulated in this article that the effectiveness of any public accountability framework is measured by three constructs; the core essentials in public accountability, use of a balanced combination of public accountability measures, and constant monitoring and evaluation of positive effects of public accountability on governmental performance.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 299 –320 (2013)More Less
This article examines the significance of political and community oversight in the effective delivery of public services, and specifically the role of such oversight in reinforcing and strengthening good governance. Though a relatively new term, 'good governance' has become part of the accepted development and democratic common sense. It is argued in this article that good governance is an essential precondition for both public and private institutions if they are to improve the lives of the poor. Apart from the institutions expressly created to defend good governance, the authors suggest that communities themselves can and should play an oversight role, thereby holding local government accountable in delivering basic services. South Africa is one of only a few countries that have made formal progress in internalising and institutionalising the logic and structures of good governance as articulated by the 1996 Constitution and the earlier Bill of Rights. Although oversight structures exist, there is a fine line between the role of government and the polity in crucial decision-making processes. Political oversight is often undermined by party political interference and the effects of the politico-administrative dichotomy - a situation which is in turn exacerbated by the often nebulous separation of power between the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of the state. This paper asserts that the involvement of organisations as watchdogs and pressure groups could be instrumental in upholding transparency and accountability, thus enhancing delivery of basic public services. The paper makes use of two case studies to highlight issues of political and community oversight for good governance, and suggests how the polity and community could reposition themselves so as to become more effective in their oversight roles.
Building safer urban human settlements in South Africa : a case of the National Development Plan 2030Author T. RamorokaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 321 –333 (2013)More Less
South Africa is faced with a variety of development challenges, one of which relates to crime. In response to the persistent and unacceptable high rates of crime, among other challenges, the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 was published in August 2012. Regarding safety and security within South Africa's human settlements, the NDP 2030 provides strategies for crime reduction and prevention. However, the NDP 2030 accords negligible attention to the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) as a crime reduction and prevention strategy, especially for congested built urban environments. Theoretically, there is a significant direct relationship between congested, built urban environments and crime rate. Consequently, the CPTED is increasingly accepted and used as one of the key tools for crime reduction and prevention in most developed and developing countries. This article argues that the CPTED has the ability to create safe human settlements by using built environment as an instrument of crime governance, specifically at local level. Built environment is significant in influencing perceptions of safety as well as reducing the costs of providing security through police and private security services, which the NDP 2030 promotes. Theoretically, the article demonstrates that the CPTED can be used as an effective strategy in reducing and preventing crime in South Africa if it were to be incorporated into the NDP 2030 strategies. The article asserts that environmental planning and design techniques can be effectively and efficiently applied in governance of crime reduction and prevention within congested, built-up urban localities.
The role of government in ensuring an affordable supply of electricity in South Africa : challenges and future prospectsAuthor K. MoetiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 334 –341 (2013)More Less
Electricity serves as one of the most critical functions in the development and prosperity of a nation. It is the pivotal axis upon which economies turn, and human existence is made bearable. With regards to both the former and the latter pronouncements, it can be noted that the availability of reliable and affordable sources of electricity are pre-requisite for industrialization, technological innovation, maintaining a reasonable cost of living, stable inflationary outlook and so on. Any modern society, its economy and formal institutions, if deprived of electric power would surely come to a grinding halt and perhaps fall into chaos. The South African government, through its state owned enterprise (SOE) for energy production and distribution, the Electricity Supply Commission (ESKOM), finds itself on the precipice of just such a chaotic state of affairs. The current South African electricity supply crisis was characterized on the one hand by frequent and prolonged power outages starting in the year 2005, and on the other hand policy decisions revolving around pricing coal produced electricity to take account of current and future infrastructural needs as well as capital investment in newer cleaner technologies. The result thereof, saw tariff increases of 25% per year from 2010 to present, and at the time of writing this article (in 2013) Eskom is requesting an additional 16% per year increase over the ensuing 5 years. This article seeks to briefly explore some of the causes of this crisis; the effects of the crisis on citizens and the economy; and lastly attempts to explore the way forward in terms of ensuring an end to the state of crisis in electricity supply vis-à-vis resolving this crisis and avoiding future ones.
Author M.M. BaloyiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 342 –352 (2013)More Less
The implementation of the Taxi Recapitalisation Policy (TRP) was articulated by the South African government since 1999 with the purpose of formalising and regulating the South African minibus taxi industry and its estimated time implementation in 2005. The South African minibus taxi industry is labelled badly as a result of violence, un-roadworthy and unsafe taxi vehicles. The industry is also unregulated and informal. The violence that has dominated the industry has unfortunately overshadowed the significant role played by the minibus taxi industry in the country's transport system. The introduction of the Taxi Recapitalisation Policy brought hope to number of minibus taxi commuters who were becoming victims of taxi violence. It is almost a decade since the policy was introduced and implemented but what change has it brought? Has it cleansed the industry of its violence, is the industry now having safer and roadworthy vehicles operating? Most importantly has the policy managed to live up to its objectives, mainly formalising and regulating the industry? The empirical evidence has revealed that Taxi Recapitalisation Policy has failed to achieve its objectives; the South African roads are still packed with un-roadworthy taxi vehicles, taxi violence is still taking place, the industry is still practically informal and unregulated. The purpose of this paper is to argue that while the Taxi Recapitalisation Policy is a good policy with great intends, but its implementation is a flop. The paper also intends answering whether the Taxi Recapitalisation Policy is just a hollow dream through observation and literature.
Emotional Intelligent (EI) and the enhancement of humane local political leadership at local government level : leadership with feelingAuthor N. TshishongaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 353 –368 (2013)More Less
It is against the background of poor or lack of leadership which led to strikes and demonstrations at local government level that the article examines the potential impact of employing Emotional Intelligence (EI) to enhance well balanced leaders. Considering various challenges confronting local municipal leaders (councillors and Mayors), the article argues that these calibre of leaders require more than conventional management skills, but also need to be emotionally intelligent. Often municipal leaders are accused of being ineffective; procrastinate on issues and needs and demands of people. They are even blamed for rampant corruption yet without engaging them emotionally in mapping their talents and skills towards addressing problems in order to explore alternative solutions. The article uses secondary data and individual interviews with selected municipal managers and councillors. The article found that the lack of managerial and professionalism is inter alia, contributory factors in undermining the potential of local government to fulfil its mandate. In addition, the interviews conducted revealed that the leaders' failure to handle relationship often coupled by either a laissez-faire or autocratic leadership style is an issue of concern. In essence, an intelligent leader is further obliged to exercise psychological or subjective responsibility and to act responsibly.
Author E.M. RankhumiseSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 369 –380 (2013)More Less
The article reports on mentoring programmes as a way to enhance protégés so that they can adapt in their new roles. Since 1995, efforts have been made to overcome the skewed human resource patterns at high skills levels in South Africa through the repeal of old legislation and the introduction of various other legislations. Beyond the legislative regiment the success of human resource transformation is highly dependent on the implementation of effective mentoring programmes. While such programmes usually have noble intentions, their effectiveness and success are greatly dependent on the support of the historical pool of skilled mentors. To understand the efficiency or lack of mentoring programmes, this research was conducted at six public hospitals from Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Within these hospitals, 20 mentors were purposively drawn to take part in the study. Among other things, the main views of the mentors suggest that mentorship programmes play a pivotal role in fulfilling their protégés' developmental needs. Furthermore, suggestions are that the success of mentoring programmes depends not only on mentoring capabilities, but also on the commitment of both mentors and the institutional management to the process of transformation. In the end when mentoring is properly implemented, it is likely that the protégés would be able to adapt to their new roles quickly.