Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, December 2013
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, December 2013
Author K. PhagoSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 693 –696 (2013)More Less
The question of leadership and governance are broad and often intricate to fathom with precision and certainty. This is especially true in a public sphere where there are many actors who offer antithetic interests to the society. For example, an establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which later evolved to become the African Union (AU) has been attempting to pontificate the epistle of Africa and its people to translate their leadership and governance errands into refulgent prospects. This has been happening for decades with the resultant decolonisation agenda and subsequently with South Africa obtaining freedom from the shackles of its apartheid system. These systems (colonisation and apartheid) did not only dehumanise people, but treated them as if they did not exist in all the societal spheres, including in government.
Modern science for governance in the democratic South Africa : attempts to breathe life in the elephant's carcassSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 697 –714 (2013)More Less
This article puts forward a conceptual argument that in as much as modern science in its positivist form is necessary for governance in the post-apartheid South Africa, ensuring proper governance requires analysis that is beyond the realm of modern scientific rationality. Modern science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. It is through modern science that problems are broken apart for proper rational analysis. Of course, in public administration practice such problems are huge to an extent that they can be metaphorically likened to an elephant. If indeed such problems are an elephant, does it mean that we have to divide that elephant in pieces in order to understand each part separately with a view of understanding the whole elephant? The same fallacy in dividing an elephant into two halves does not result in having two small elephants. The article concludes that modern science has of course presented a breakthrough in the development of humankind. Consciously so, the utilising of modern science for governance within public administration practice proves to have limitations. Therefore trans-disciplinarity that will eventually shift the ontological stance remains an option.
Author C.J. AuriacombeSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 715 –729 (2013)More Less
This article provides the rationale for the importance of evaluation as a research tool for the public sector to be accountable for improving better democratic governance outcomes in terms of its policies, interventions, projects and programmes. The article covers the historical background of evaluation and introduces a classification of democracy models and the type of evaluation needed. It explains the relationship between the needs of democratic societies with different evaluation paradigms as well as the different methods and values of evaluation approaches. It explains the development of a classification system to meet the needs of democratic society to improve good governance. The article addresses the question of whether improved governance outcomes can be achieved by way of developing a new evaluation paradigm and innovative methods and techniques that could focus the evaluation efforts of government more clearly. To meet the complexities of governance, it is necessary to develop enhanced evaluation designs that will be responsive to the changing needs of stakeholders. This is especially true for system change reform and comprehensive community initiatives which many evaluators are now attempting to implement.
Author M.O. DassahSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 730 –750 (2013)More Less
Good governance, the Holy Grail all countries, particularly developing countries, seek has been a topic of interest in Africa since the 1990s, spurred by concerns about the continent's lagging development. This article analyses the quality of South African governance based on 2007 to 2012 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IAG) reports, which provide substantial, reliable and objective data for analysis. The IAG responds to the need for a relevant, objective, quantitative instrument for measuring quality of African governance and facilitating institutionalisation of good governance. African leaders have been concerned with devising an appropriate mechanism that would not only measure quality of governance but, more importantly, provide an opportunity for countries to improve through learning from one another. Bad governance, invariably synonymous with pursuit and implementation of policies that are not in the interest of majority of citizens or policies with undesirable outcomes, is the bane of many developing countries globally, particularly in Africa. The apartheid regime in South Africa represented an epitome of bad governance. Dismantling of apartheid in 1994 marked a watershed in the country's history and signaled the African National Congress-led democratic government's determination to provide a 'better life for all'. The eve of the twentieth anniversary of majority rule is opportune to assess South African governance. The article notes that although government performance has improved and the country consistently ranked fifth best-governed in Africa, performance in three of the four pillars (Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights and Sustainable Economic Opportunity) has deteriorated from 2006 to 2011. In this period, minimal improvement has occurred in Human Development. It is recommended that government should prioritise Participation, Accountability, Infrastructure and Personal Safety, while not relapsing in the other IAG indicators.
Author M.J. MafunisaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 751 –763 (2013)More Less
Public servants play a major role in providing services that are responsive to the needs of members of the public. Public servants should be commitment to their work. Worthwhile commitment does not come automatically. It has to be created. Creating commitment in public servants contributes in developing a positive work ethic as commitment is one of its behavioural indicants. In this article, the description of the term commitment will be provided. Four pillars of creating commitment will be identified and discussed. These pillars are: a sense of belonging to the public service, a sense of excitement in the job, confidence in leadership and public servant competencies that allow success. The informing of public servants about the public service values and involving them in making decisions that affect their work will be used to indicate how public servants can be influenced to feel that they belong to the public service. It is concluded that the manifestations of unethical behaviour by senior public functionaries not only reduce the morale of many committed junior public servants but also negatively influence others in engaging themselves in similar practices. To break this culture of unethical behaviour, experience indicates that frying a big fish is essential. Big, corrupt actors must be named and punished so that a cynical citizenry believes that an anti-corruption drive is more than words.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 764 –776 (2013)More Less
The provision of better services to the people is a constitutional obligation of the South African government, and for that to happen local municipalities need to have leaders with the right sets of skills. For that reason, local municipalities saw it fit to introduce programmes that would empower their councillors with necessary and appropriate leadership skills that would enhance their performance for the betterment of service delivery. The Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality in the Limpopo Province is one of the municipalities that initiated leadership development programmes with the aim to empower women councillors with the skills that would see them improve their leadership skills for better municipal performance. The purpose of this article is to ascertain how effective the leadership programme introduced by the Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality has been empowering women councillors with much needed skills. The article argues that although there have been successes in the implementation of the programme, challenges such as, lack of funding for the sustainability of the programme, the duration of the programme and the use of facilitators need to be addressed.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 777 –795 (2013)More Less
All government spheres in multi-level governance systems face challenges of co-ordination and alignment of scarce resources for the common good - while retaining their distinctiveness and independence. Within a decentralised system, the challenges of poverty and inequality require a co-ordinated response by all spheres of government, and it is considered that network governance may provide a useful model for co-ordinating a joint response to such complexity. This article examines network governance using two case studies. The first is South Africa's KwaNaloga Games, an annual sporting event run under the aegis of KwaNaloga (the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government Association) and the second is Uganda's Nutritional and Early Childhood Development Project (NECDP), which aims to improve the quality of life of children below the age of six years. The programmes are a microcosm of active network governance and their success is attributed to the role played by network governance in co-ordinating the interaction of divergent governmental and nongovernmental entities. We draw from previous research on these case studies and use document analysis to show how the various systems deal with challenges of decentralisation by drawing on bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic; formal and informal structures. We conclude that in a decentralised system, network governance can indeed contribute to service delivery amidst resource-poor units of local government - especially if there is strong and effective collaboration across the different spheres of government, the private sector, and civil society.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 796 –810 (2013)More Less
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of mentoring on leadership behaviour. There were fifty-six employees in leadership positions who participated in this study. The sample was drawn from organisations based in Johannesburg. Leadership behaviour was measured using Stogdil's (1963) Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire (LDBQ) From XII Self. The test scores of participants in leadership positions who went through a formal organisational mentorship programme were compared with those of employees in leadership positions who did not receive organisational mentorship. Data were analysed using t-tests. The results showed significant differences in leadership behaviour between the two groups with respect to two aspects of leadership behaviour. The two groups differed significantly on leadership behaviours such as demand reconciliation and consideration. The findings suggest that mentorship had a positive impact on some aspects of leadership behaviour. Directions for future studies could focus on the aspects of leadership behaviour that are lacking in most of the leaders managing organisations in South Africa.
Monitoring and evaluation systems for enhancing governance and government legitimacy in South AfricaAuthor I.G. GovenderSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 811 –823 (2013)More Less
The purpose of the article is to investigate the influence of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) on governance and government legitimacy. Monitoring and evaluation could enhance governance and government legitimacy through a participative approach of including more stakeholders in service delivery. The absence of proper performance management systems and accountability mechanisms diminish the value of M&E initiatives. The article proposes that M&E audits be undertaken through a cost-benefit analysis to ascertain their value to improving performance management and service delivery. The article further proposes that the government undertake accountability reforms to ensure the demand and sustainability of the M&E systems. The article is of value to institutions and officials with oversight roles to ensure effective and efficient management of state resources for the compliance with the national, provincial and local government socioeconomic developmental mandates.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 824 –842 (2013)More Less
This article reviews the empowerment needs of councillors at a selected local municipality in the Province of the Eastern Cape. The article further assesses capacity-building programmes previously offered by the selected municipality in an effort to empower its councillors in terms of the "new" developmental mandate, rules of procedure and the need for effective public consultation strategies. A recent empirical survey carried out at the selected municipality revealed that certain councillors require additional capacity-building programmes in areas such as local government law, council's rules of procedure and the new developmental mandate assigned to local government. The empirical survey further revealed that the professional relationship between certain councillors and the bureaucracy is somewhat strained and remedial intervention is required to restore mutual trust. The article proposes that local municipalities should provide regular "in house" training to their councillors and officials and that additional training by outside agencies should also be implemented. In this regard universities have a particular important role to play.
Perceptions of organisational incentive schemes and continuance commitment in talent management among final year university studentsSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 843 –866 (2013)More Less
The aim of the study was to look at the relationship between organisational incentive schemes and continuance commitment among final year university students. There were 17 male students and 43 female students. Perceptions of participants regarding organisational incentive schemes and continuance commitment were assessed using the short-term incentive questionnaire, long-term incentive questionnaire, the investment in employee development questionnaire, the employee share incentive questionnaire and the continuance commitment questionnaire. Data were analysed using correlations and multiple regression analysis. The results showed that participants were more interested in organisational incentive schemes that were on a long-term basis and organisational incentive schemes that focused on the career development of employees. Such incentives were associated with good governance necessary for the retention of talent in organisations. There were significant correlations between long-term incentive schemes, investment in employee development schemes and continuance commitment. Multiple regression analysis showed a significant relationship between the predictor variables and continuance commitment.
Scarce and critical skills for local government : assessing the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan MunicipalitySource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 867 –882 (2013)More Less
The level of citizen confidence held in the managerial and political commitment of local government to meet basic needs is low. This lack of confidence also manifests clearly from recurring service delivery protests. This article postulates that the availability of requisite skills at local government, technical as well as administrative, will lead to improved performance in meeting defined developmental goals which would improve citizen confidence held in government. This article will explore the conceptualisation of scarce skills in respect of macro-policy frameworks that seek to improve the availability of skills in South Africa. Secondly, reference will be made to skill acquisition frameworks for local government aimed at skill development. The article will draw on findings from a study conducted that assessed perceptions of skills development held by project managers and artisans in the Department of Infrastructure and Engineering at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality during 2012. The main finding of this study as reported in this article is that a shortage of critical skills hampers effective strategic leadership for efficient service delivery. Finally, reference will be made to lessons learnt and recommendations are suggested for the acquisition of requisite skills that will lead to improved service delivery.
Author R.S. MasangoSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 883 –896 (2013)More Less
This article analyses the need for staff retention in Higher Education Institutions with reference to two selected South African universities. It highlights the pros and cons of high employee turnover in these institutions. A content analysis is used to identify mechanisms for staff retention in the selected universities. Policy documents pertaining to the retention of staff in these universities show that both universities have appropriate policy instruments for staff retention. The article notes that in spite of the availability of such instruments, voluntary staff turnover is continuing. The article recommends that in an attempt to reduce high voluntary turnover, university managements should ensure that regular surveys and exit interviews are conducted in their institutions and the opportunities for development and promotion are provided.