Journal of Public Administration - Volume 48, Issue 4, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 48, Issue 4, 2013
Author M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 526 –527 (2013)More Less
As the year 2013 ends a thinking community is necessarily inclined to ask the question: what is the state of the State in South Africa? This question is inevitable, as the year 2014 marks 20 years since the birth of democracy. An introspective reflection on the democratic path traversed is important to make sense of the strides that the post-apartheid state made in various areas of governance and development, and the challenges it had to contend with. This is important to answer the question: quo vadis demokratia? Or, perhaps, in more specific terms, the question could be: whither goest thou, post-apartheid South Africa? The articles contained in this December 2013 edition of the Journal of Public Administration are a precursor to a big debate on this question that the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) would be engaging in its 14th Annual Conference, themed The Path Traversed - 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa, scheduled to take place on 26-28 March 2014 in the Limpopo Province [Park Hotel, Mokopane].
Author L.S. MolloSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 528 –542 (2013)More Less
The success of the public service is largely dependent upon the requisite skills, experience and expertise within the state. This much the post-1994 South African state acknowledged as a strategic necessity in its establishment of a training institution in the public service, named the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI), which thereafter became the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA), and now the National School of Government (NSG). The evolution of this training institution in the South African public service, which in various epochs assumed different designations, underscores its strategic importance in building state capacity. This article examines the constitutional mandate for public service training. It argues that in order to address the huge skills shortage in the public service, the targeted capacity building activities are imperative. Such a contribution through the National School of Government could assist in the enhancement of the professional image of public service institutions at large.
Tracking down the dialectic of the 'ethical' and the 'political' in public leadership : does presidential leadership carry the burden of ethical duty?Author K. KondloSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 543 –552 (2013)More Less
What is lacking in South African scholarship, post 1994, is more focused research into presidential leadership. The research is even more lacking on ethical leadership in presidential leadership. This does not mean that before 1994 there were any remarkable studies on this subject of governance. This attests to the way the presidency as an institution of State is perceived if not often cast in a messianic mode, if not 'a discursive gravitational field' (Gelis-Filho, 2012) in our society. This article explores what it perceives to be a rather neglected and controversial intellectual space on presidential leadership in South Africa. It focuses on the embedded but inadvertent burden of ethical duty of this particular position in society. At level of values, inspiration and personal example, the article argues that the president has a duty to the nation. The article argues that the 'ethical', especially its context-transcendent and generalisable human dimension, is a critical aspect of presidential leadership. Hence at the heart of the leadership of a president, in many successful nations, especially liberal democracies founded on predominantly western ideational rubrics, the president's duty is not merely political leadership and governance of the country but ethical example to the entire nation. In essence, the article argues that presidential leadership in a democratic state also implies ethical leadership, a duty which could either be fulfilled or abandoned. Ethical leadership is at the centre of presidential leadership and this is so despite the existence of oversight institutions and an independent judiciary. The article uses as its case of reference, Jacob Zuma's presidential leadership period, 2009 to 2014. The issues examined in the article have nothing to do with political factionalism or position for or against Jacob Zuma as a person and president but have all to do with scholarly freedom and commitment to the truth.
The [in]effectiveness of anti-corruption programmes in addressing public sector corruption : a corporative governance perspectiveAuthor S. DintweSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 553 –567 (2013)More Less
The new democratic dispensation brought about a realisation of the levels of corruption within the public service. Corruption is an indicator of a defective system of public accountability which involves subversion of public interest for personal gains. An ability to deal with corruption manifests itself in a two-fold paraphnelia. It encompasses understanding the causes of corruption on the one hand and the calculated responses in countering corruption on the other. Although corruption may have been rampant even before the first democratic elections in 1994, a call for accountability and transparency which became synonymous with democracy removed a dark veil which covered unbecoming actions of public servants mainly in the democratic South Africa. Due to manifestation of these corrupt activities and a desire for clean governance, the government of South Africa immediately developed various mechanisms aimed at dealing with the problem of public sector corruption. This was also as a result of the acknowledgement that the incidents of corruption, characterised by colossal thefts, embezzlements and rampant bribery are capable of eroding the fabric upon which the South Africa's economy is built. Although this article acknowledges the presence of corruption during the apartheid era, its crux is mainly on whether the programmes employed after democratisation in South Africa proved adequate in turning the tide against the scourge of corruption. The aim of this article is therefore to establish whether the anti-corruption programme employed by the South African government encapsulate the internationally accepted elements reminiscent of an anti-corruption programmes worldwide and whether this strategy is effective enough to thwart public corruption. These elements are inter-alia: measurement of public perceptions, creation of public awareness, disincentivising corruption, visible sanctions, bureaucratic reform and most importantly, the political will in dealing with public corruption.
Total quality management and internal audit as tools of governance in the public sector : a South African perspectiveAuthor K.N. MotubatseSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 568 –578 (2013)More Less
This article discusses total quality management (TQM) by examining its usefulness in the internal audit function (IAF) in the public sector in South Africa. The article is aimed at recommending integration of the TQM with the IAFs. The emphasis is on the application of TQM elements and their relevance to the IAF. The article is grounded in the conceptual analysis of TQM, the role and mandate of internal audit in the public sector. It presents the definition and elements of TQM and how they could be used by IAFs in the public sector. The article concludes with recommendations.
Accountability and oversight in municipal financial management : the role of municipal public accounts committeesAuthor T. KhaloSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 579 –593 (2013)More Less
South Africa is a unitary state with three distinct and interdependent spheres of government. The local sphere of government is constitutionally deemed unique and autonomous from the two spheres of government. This necessitated the local government sphere to establish its own financial systems and processes with limited oversight and accountability mechanisms than in the national and provincial spheres. The national government therefore, in exercising accountability and oversight on municipal financial management in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, relies on performance review reports of the Auditor-General (A-G). In reviewing the management of finances and accountability, the Auditor-General raises shortcomings in how local governments (municipalities) account and respond to the reports. This necessitated the establishment of Municipal Public Accounts Committees (MPACs) to close gaps as well as deficiencies in the local government oversight and accountability mechanisms, which are entrenched in the new legal and financial management policy framework. All municipalities have established MPACs and populated them with members from the contingent of non-executive councillors. The terms of reference and process plans have been developed and adopted.
As oversight function of this nature in the local government sphere in South Africa is new, an uncharted territory. To this end one is inclined to ask, will the MPACs succeed in closing gaps as well as deficiencies in oversight and accountability mechanisms like Standing Committees on Public Accounts (SCOPA) are, at national and provincial spheres of government? The article examines and analyses the role played by recently established Municipal Public Accounts Committees in closing gaps and deficiencies in oversight and accountability at the local sphere of government particularly, and Standing Committees on Public Accounts in the national and provincial spheres to some extent, and compare and contrast SCOPA and MPACs to determine the extent to which MPACs can achieve objectives envisioned in their establishment. The challenges faced by the MPACs are highlighted and thereafter recommendations are made.
Enhancing customer care in the public sector : the case of the Department of Basic Education in the Province of the Eastern CapeSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 594 –605 (2013)More Less
Taking care of the needs of customers in service delivery is crucial for any institution, since it helps improve the quality of service. This principle applies to both the private sector and public institutions. There have been various customer care improvement initiatives in the public sector since South Africa became a democracy in 1994. The South African government has indicated through, among others, the policy framework, speeches of political office-bearers, the presidential hotline and the establishment of customer care units, that it recognises and encourages customer care in public sector service delivery processes. One such initiative has been the establishment of the Customer Care Unit in the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education (ECDBE) for the purpose of receiving and addressing the concerns and complaints of internal and external clients of the Department. The Unit works in conjunction with the Office of the Premier of the Eastern Cape and the Presidential Hotline. In this article, the challenges facing the Customer Care Unit of the ECDBE are identified and analysed, with a view to enhancing service delivery. Subsequently, relevant recommendations are made.
Local government administrators : purveyors of social equity in the South African public administration?Author O. NzewiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 606 –624 (2013)More Less
Social equity espouses two central values of "fairness" and "different equalities" of outcomes in public service delivery and policy implementation. As a democratic developmental state with its own unique character and history, South Africa's public administration is bound by these exigencies. Nevertheless, poor performance and questionable management of scare resources in local government in South Africa raises serious questions about what service delivery 'ethos' is best suited for South Africa. The aim of this article is to examine the role of local government administrators as purveyors of social equity priorities in service delivery at the local government sphere in South Africa. The article approaches this by establishing a critical connection between the foundations of social equity in public administration and its manifestation in South African governance and policy frameworks. The article then examines the contradictions of social equity in the South African socio-economic policy landscape. Finally, using recent service delivery trends in local government in South Africa and the new Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTS) as benchmarks for assessment, the article goes further to argue that despite the political and economic contradictions in South Africa's social equity policy pursuits, there is equally an unparalleled opportunity for public administrators to push social equity through innovation and discretionary leadership at the delivery level.
Author V.E. MashumiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 625 –639 (2013)More Less
With negative coverage largely in the media of the municipalities in South Africa whose officials' ethical rectitude is declining, the question that this article asks is whether professionalising local government management could arrest this situation, which is getting dire? If so, how this pursuit could be realised in the post-Institute of Town Clerks, which before 1994, it used to be the custodian of ethical disposition in the management of local government. In this article the need to professionalise local government management in the post-Institute of Town Clerks of Southern Africa (ITC) era and the role of the Institute for Local Government Management of South Africa (ILGM) therein, and the "cadre deployment" policy and party politics in municipalities, are examined.
Author C.M. RogersonSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 640 –655 (2013)More Less
Against the backdrop of a rethinking of national frameworks for local economic development (LED) in South Africa, this article examines the changing international environment which impacts upon the framing of LED policy and practice. Six major themes are extracted from recent international research and evolving policy debates about LED to capture the essential contemporary directions and core issues from the international experience which need to be taken into consideration in reframing LED in South Africa. The identified themes are the continued relevance of LED in a changing world economy, the positive potential role of the local developmental state, recognizing the positive development impacts that can arise from the adoption of LED strategies, the challenge of planning informal economies, building local competitiveness, and of the greening of LED strategies.
Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises in local economic development : a South African local government perspectiveAuthor M.M. SibandaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 656 –670 (2013)More Less
The purpose of this article is to interrogate the role of Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs) in the South African local government and their place in the application of Local Economic Development (LED). The article specifically focuses on the role of SMMEs in LED and the South African local government interventions for addressing the challenges confronting SMMEs in realising LED objectives. SMMEs can become key economic sectors that catalyse LED strategies thereby creating employment and alleviating poverty. LED units in municipalities as well as institutionalised LED in local government have to robustly understand and appreciate strategies LED implementation could take, as it seeks to nurture SMME development. Notwithstanding that municipalities are expected to create enabling LED environments that promote and support SMME initiatives, SMMEs in municipalities are not always linked to LED activities. Given that municipalities in South Africa are confronted with huge development challenges, it is imperative that they locate SMME development strategies alongside and within the context of LED functions for employment creation and poverty alleviation.
Small Medium, and Micro Enterprise and local economic-base restructuring - a South African local government perspectiveAuthor S.R. MalefaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 671 –690 (2013)More Less
Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) worldwide are seen as the cornerstones of national economies. In South Africa they acquire government support as a means of restructuring the national economy and to reduce poverty. In local government, SMMEs are an integral part of local economic development strategies to reduce persistent spatial inequalities that are most obvious when comparing towns with townships. If SMME development could be driven by local municipalities, spatial inequalities would be reduced and the pace of local economic-base restructuring increased. Sadly, municipalities fail to take advantage of their intergovernmental relations roles and as a result rely on SMME development support interventions from national and provincial spheres of government. SMMEs have the potential to reduce unemployment, generate income, create assets, contribute to skills development, reduce the rate of crime and (often violent) service delivery protests, and attract investments in local municipalities. They thus have the potential to contribute to the local economic-base restructuring of South African local government.