Journal of Public Administration - Volume 49, Issue 1, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 49, Issue 1, 2014
Complicating complexity in public administration practice within the democratic South Africa : stuck in the world of modernitySource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 287 –299 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this paper is to put forward a conceptual debate that in as much as South Africa has transcended beyond the democratic dispensation during the 1994 transition, its state of public administration practice is still stuck in the dominant modern conception that sought to complicate the complex phenomena that came about through the philosophy of dominant rational science. It is argued that in as much as there is a need for theory for the development of Public Administration in a maturing democracy like that of South Africa, very little has been done since the dawn of democracy to engage on a theoretical discourse that would have suitably respond to the complexities that manifested themselves in practice. Such has eventually open space for the purported new democratic public administration practice to remain within the rational logic of modern discourse that sought a simplistic approach to complex problems. Consequently that opened up the practice to be invaded by practitioners from other disciplines that regard the phenomena as a common sense compatible arena. Instead complexities that accompanied the practice of public administration necessitate a need to have analysis and draw inferences beyond complicated explanations that remain dominant within modern scientific discourse. Therefore the practice of public administration is not an open for all career advancement like it is appearing to be in a democratic South Africa. The conclusion therefore is that the practice of public administration in a fragile democratic state like that of South Africa, need to be preceded by necessary acquiring of the relevant discipline of Public Administration as the arena of practice out there is complex especially if it is evolving towards a capable developmental state.
The Community Policing philosophy and the right to public protest in South Africa : are there positive developments after two decades of democracy?Author M.P. SebolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 300 –313 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this paper is to put forward an argument that despite the adoption of a new approach into policing dubbed Community Policing in South Africa, challenges of controlling public especially during protests are replica to those of apartheid era and triggering similar output and criticism among some parts of the society. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, unlike the pre-1994 constitutions, provides for the South African population with the right to protest and express their dissatisfaction against government on socio-economic issues. These rights which are enshrined in the 1996 Constitution are supposed to be limited within the parameters of the law. However, a reaction from the South African Police Services (SAPS) in handling public protests contradict the provisions of the Constitution in the sense that elements of brutality still prevail. This paper is conceptual in the sense that it evaluates and analyse the philosophical system of policing in South Africa from 1994 to 2014 in trying to establish whether there are positive developments or not in line with the spirit of the new democratically dispensation. The paper therefore conclude that the Community Policing philosophy is not positively working as an applicable model suitable for policing in a democratic South Africa and its current application retains the status quo of the apartheid-era police practice and therefore the country need to review its approach in policing and public order control.
Author A.A. OlutolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 314 –329 (2014)More Less
Criminological theory connotes the preposition of a theory for the scientific study of crime and possible solution to the menace of crime. The reality however, is that most criminological theories originates from scholars outside Africa continent and those scholars naturally assumed that a general criminological theory will work for all. The purport of this paper is to deviate from the populist criminological theory and advocates for Afrocentric criminological theory. The paper adopts literature review with document analyses and concludes that there is no basis for a legitimate expectation that "Eurocentric or Americancentric criminological theory(ies)" will produce the desire results in a distant Africa continent (in the global struggle against the menace of crime and or its prevention).
Author K.G. PhagoSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 330 –348 (2014)More Less
Turnover of health care professionals is a major global challenge where developing countries have largely bore the brunt of it. In particular, South Africa has also experienced this problem of the turnover within its hospitals with dire consequences such as high vacancy rates as it has become increasingly difficult to fill these posts sustainably. This paper undertakes to consider key challenges such as a lack of clear understanding of the factors contributing to high turnover rate of health care professionals as well as the formulation of effective recruitment and retention interventions. In this regard then, the purpose of this paper is to analyse factors that contribute to turnover of health care professionals at Polokwane and Mankweng Tertiary Hospital in Limpopo Province. In the process of analysing these factors, relevant quantitative methods and approaches were used to facilitate the undertaking of an empirical data. It is found that there are key factors which should be considered in effectively addressing these health care turnover problems in order to ensure that conditions for health care professionals are conducive for their retention within the South African health system.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 349 –361 (2014)More Less
The history of policing in many countries, including South Africa, seems to be littered with cases of "things going wrong", also referred to as "system failure". While the apartheid state gained notoriety for its repressive use of security forces, including the police, it seems that post-apartheid South Africa is not out of the woods yet. From Police Commissioners Jackie Selebi to Bheki Cele and from Bheki Cele to Riah Phiyega, experts on police have ceaselessly worried over one key problem during their term: how to control and manage the police who maintain that order. This is indeed a conundrum. Despite a glorified picture of crime statistics, the management of the South African Police Services remains a challenge. The police, unlike almost everyone else in South African society, are commissioned to use force, even deadly force. However, unlike other forces licensed to use force, such as prison warders and soldiers, police are not sequestered in prisons or on bases. Police do not operate in a group under close command and control, but are dispersed throughout society and over wide geographical spaces, both urban and rural. And as they patrol unsupervised, singly or in pairs, their power exposes them to mighty temptations. Police brutality is on the rise in South Africa. In the light of the current spate of this brutality, the management and leadership of the South African Police Service remain a challenge.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 362 –374 (2014)More Less
Within liberal democratic countries, demands that ethics of public office be formally codified are becoming louder. Ethics committees are a growth in many organisations. Ethics education policies are in the public sector are developed on an ad hoc basis, rather than drawn from any systematically considered ethical theory or embedded within any pragmatic, workable education programme. Many militaries around the world are setting a good example by implementing ethics programmes directly based on the work of academic philosophers and social scientists therefore public administration must follow. Philosophical principles around ethics programmes are, however, often very different schools of public administration and management. If the South African Public Administration curriculum in universities is to maintain its professional focus, certain valuable intellectual investigation must be sacrificed. One can hope that graduates in public administration already acquired a rich background in the liberal arts. But, one cannot demand extensive philosophical investigations from public administration students after starting their professional studies. To take political philosophy as part of a course in ethics will not be fair to the students or to philosophy itself. Therefore, academics must look elsewhere for the foundation of the course in ethics. This article outlines a method of integrating the study of ethics in the South African public administration curriculum.
South Africa's twenty years of "civilizing missions" for Africa : faded continental posture and agendaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 375 –391 (2014)More Less
This article uses the nuance imperial paradigm to examine South Africa's twenty years of conduct of international relations to demonstrate that this country's continental "civilizing missions" have faded over time as it drifted towards extraterritorial non-state global actor, BRICS. There is a growing search for nuance paradigm for the conceptualisation of the emerging global settings wherein the conduct of the USA, China, European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Russia resembles the "geopolitical self-imaginary" of contemporary empires. The resurgence of imperial paradigm seeks to make for inadequacies of the concepts of global or pivotal states, great powers and hegemons in explaining governance of contemporary international relations. For example, the Al-Qaeda polity became a global actor shaping governance of international relations virtually overnight, post-9/11. Concepts of states, great powers and hegemonies are criticised for not accounting for the roles played by "pride, glory, morality or religious zeal" in international relations. Conversely, empires are conspicuous by their "civilizing missions", which account for analysis of moral and ideological aspects in international relations. Together with their "geopolitical self-imaginary", "civilizing missions" are recognized for giving purpose and moral meanings to imperial policies in extremes of guises such as global security, fight against barbarism and terrorism, resistance, spreading enlightenment and reason, as well as protecting human rights and freedoms. Civilizing missions, atrocious or otherwise, can serve integration purpose, legitimization of democratic and autocratic policies, or even justification of the empire's global objectives. A democratic South Africa's conduct of international relations in Africa and globally has remained elusive for cognitive analysis through the dominant explanatory paradigms reliant on concepts of pivotal states, great powers and hegemons. The period 1994-2009 was dominated by puerile nationalistic sentiments of post-apartheid polity leading African Renaissance, continental recovery and renewal. Post-2009, South Africa appeared to overtly peddle the notion of Africa's sole emerging market that would become the future engine of global growth, by using desperate measure to be accepted in BRICS. The article concedes that acceding membership of BRICS, South Africa proved that its engagement of international relations has increasingly become a rudimentary nominal attempt at governance of global geopolitics with "nonplaces". The article concludes that South Africa's Africa agenda faded over the past twenty years as the puerility of its "civilizing missions" was increasingly exposed and largely detested.
Twenty years of faltering "democracy" : service delivery planning and public participation in South AfricaAuthor J.P. TsheolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 392 –405 (2014)More Less
One of the pertinent distinctions of the concept of democracy is that it serves as an ideal for the exercise of people's power as a totality of political association. This paper holds that democracy, as a set of principles rather than mere institutions, remains nebulous if it is not given pragmatic effect in ordinary citizenry's specific contexts. In a "democratic" South Africa, such a context would unavoidably involve the application of democratic principles in the service delivery planning and implementation so that the latter activities conform to the decisions shaped through popular public participation for consensus building. This paper contests that decisions about priorities relating to services to be delivered, the mushrooming of popular social protests that are violent as well as the evident upward spiral in voter apathy are inescapable pointers to a faltering democracy. This paper uses conceptions of democracy, its pragmatic realisation in service delivery planning through public participation, as well as the declining trends in voter perceptions about South Africa going in the right and government performance, to demonstrate that the citizenry as experienced twenty years of faltering democracy.
Student experiences of service delivery in an academic department at a higher education institution in South AfricaAuthor E.J. Van der WesthuizenSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 406 –423 (2014)More Less
This research was undertaken to determine the actual level of student satisfaction with service delivery levels in an academic department at a higher education institution in South Africa. A quantitative research approach was used employing survey research through a questionnaire. The target group consisted of 1 033 Public Administration students from which a sample of 194 students was randomly drawn. Data was subjected to descriptive statistics and all the constructs were tested for reliability and validity by conducting the Cronbach's alpha. To check for significant differences between the demographics of population and age, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. A major result revealed that the respondents had overall high expectations for service delivery. They also perceived the experiences of service delivery as overwhelmingly positive. It was found that empathy and accessibility do not make considerable contributions to students' experiences of quality services. These results support the principles of the SERVQUAL model, implying that the general experiences of the respondents can be classified as new knowledge in service delivery literature. The results may serve as guidelines to a follow-up study and may be extended to other academic modules in the same academic department. The results may also contribute to better comprehension of service delivery matters.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 424 –438 (2014)More Less
As an approach to economic development, local economic development (LED) relates to development activities in cities, districts and small towns. Globalisation and decentralisation as socioeconomic and political processes have seen a number of municipalities adopting an entrepreneurial outlook. With the ever-diminishing coffers of (mainly) rural municipalities having to sustain a constantly increasing burden of responsibilities, municipalities have added incentive to find ways and means for increasing local revenue and, by implication, broadening their tax base. For rural municipalities therefore, local economic development is a survival necessity. It is a draw card for investors, a source of tax revenue for municipal functions and a nurturer of social harmony. But what are the odds for rural municipalities seeking to create vibrant local economies? In this paper we describe the existing policy and legislative framework for LED in South Africa. Against this backdrop we examine, through the lens of a rural municipality, the limits of local economic development and we suggest a re-focus of the conceptualisation, planning and management of LED interventions in rural areas.