Journal of Public Administration - Volume 49, Issue 2, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 49, Issue 2, 2014
Author M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 439 –441 (2014)More Less
To secure the future of Africa and take her to new greatness, we need to heed Janita Patrick's (2009) warning that "it's awfully cruel to plant seeds of ignorance in fertile minds". This is profoundly instructive in that, as in Africa, we have a history of being preoccupied with what Ali Mazrui describes as "alien paradigms", ignoring the fact that we have knowledge of our own to frame our thinking and imagination of the future of the continent. However, such knowledge is not sufficiently documented. We seemed to have failed to muster the courage to challenge the power of the West, which, as Ziauddin Sardar (1999) explains, "is not located in its economic muscle and technological might. Rather, it resides in its power to define" the essence of who we are, and to prescribe that we should understand ourselves according to its frame of analysis. For fear of being defined out of existence, the large part of African scholarship succumbed to the definitions of the West about "what is, for example, freedom, progress, and civil behaviour, law, tradition and community; mathematics and science; what is real and what it means to be real". In most instances African scholarship just simply accepts these definitions, with its paradigmatic orientation embedded in the Western philosophies and theories propagated as the finite of science.
Improving the fit : making the Skills Development Levies Act work better in South African national government departmentsSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 442 –459 (2014)More Less
This article presents a case study of how the Skills Development Levies Act (SDLA) of 1999 (RSA, 1999) was implemented to drive skills development and training in both public and the private sectors. The authors argue that the skills development levy policy did not afford an optimal fit with the public sector organisational environment. Unintentional consequences of this policy have hampered generation of data, restricted planning, monitoring and evaluation activities, as well as impeded effective government-wide coordination of training. This contributes to financial, information and administrative gaps in skills planning. The literature observes how implementation failure can result when actions such as: mobilisation of the necessary resources, enhancing the legitimacy of the policy and emphasising monitoring of progress are not followed. We observe how government elected not to amend or replace the policy, opting rather to intervene by: implementing a standardised national human resources data system, linking human resources data to financial data for analysing costs and benefits of training, making more financial resources available to the Public Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA) and emphasising monitoring and evaluation in government formations. These changes have potential to improve the policy fit and support better skills planning within the framework of the SDLA.
Author S. LatibSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 460 –473 (2014)More Less
The government of South Africa has, over the past few years, introduced a new, integrated approach to monitoring and evaluation. The system, as implemented, is predicated on a belief that government needs a 'strong centre' to drive the development agenda, and that a coherent structure, with evidence-based reporting at the apex of government, is essential for service delivery across society. This article serves to explore this orientation, with a view to highlighting some of the difficulties embedded in it. The analysis primarily focuses on the extent to which the unfolding system fosters better and more inclusive policy-making. It is postulated that the current strategy of information coherence for generating conclusive reports on implementation progress, for monitoring at the centre of government, comes at the expense of inclusivity and substantive accountability. By engaging with the overall approach, including its structural, systemic and capacity manifestations, the enquiry provides a perspective on the importance of appreciating the politics in policy and decision processes. To facilitate future reflection on the unfolding system, the article concludes with a perspective on moving away from the current centre-dominated approach to one that is focused on opening spaces for wider contestation on delivery and the evidence generated by technocrats.
Author M.K. IngleSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 474 –484 (2014)More Less
The South African government has identified Local Economic Development (LED) as a key element in its drive to institute 'developmental local government'. Local government in the country has accordingly been mandated to give effect to the LED function. This article advances a number of means by which LED can be stimulated, and obstacles to small town economic growth neutralised. The article also reviews the roles played by government institutions, value chains and donor funding in enhancing LED and discusses some of the ways in which these factors may prove to exert a counter-productive effect. It is submitted that municipalities should exploit advantageous synergies with the private sector to strengthen their LED portfolios.
Author M.P. MashigoSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 485 –498 (2014)More Less
Majority of South Africans experience high levels of poverty and unemployment. In most cases, the unemployed resort to self-employment where they engage in small and informal business activities to generate a sustainable livelihood. The underlying problem is that it is costly to serve micro enterprises in South Africa due to high security costs, collateral constraints and the regulatory bottlenecks that hinder lending. The objective of this article is to propose strategic microfinance models that can be used to improve the provision of micro credit to micro enterprises in South Africa. The research is literature-based since it draws on a wide range of academic literature that documents government strategies of financing micro enterprises in South Africa. Relevant information was also accumulated through an analysis of official documentation and/or annual reports obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). International best practices which are equally important and crucial were used to identify successful microfinance models that alleviate the need for collateral and high security costs in credit applications. The research findings reveal that continuous development of government strategies of supporting micro enterprises in South Africa is coupled with practical difficulties and constraints. Based on these findings, it is recommended that strategic microfinance models be developed to support micro enterprises and achieve enhanced results.
Author R.M. MukonzaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 499 –511 (2014)More Less
The quandary within which Public Administration finds itself calls for academics and practitioners in the field to astutely apply their minds so as to provide an accurate description and analysis of the current state as well as predicting its future course. The five paradigms put forward by Nicholas Henry in 1975 provide a sound base on the evolutionary discussion of the emergence of Public Administration since Woodrow Wilson's seminal article 'The study of Administration' in 1887. More recently, the New Public Management and the governance paradigms have been suggested as more accurately explaining the state of the field. E-governance has also brought another dimension to the discourse. The introduction of Information Communication and Technologies (ICTs) has had an influence in both the structure and function of government. Notwithstanding the challenges faced in adopting ICTs in governance, there appear to be consensus among scholars from different parts of the world about their positive contribution to society; it is argued that the introduction has improved efficiency as well as promoting public participation. The guiding question in this paper is; does e-governance represent a new paradigm in the field of Public Administration? If indeed it represents one, then it can be argued that e-governance is the future of Public Administration. In examining the question posed, the paper will also endeavour to establish both the locus and focus of e-governance within the Public Administration field.
Factors influencing readiness for transformational e-government : a perspective of local governments in South AfricaAuthor M. Twum-DarkoSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 512 –523 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this article was to explore the readiness of local governments (municipalities) in South Africa to transform to be able to deliver services to its citizens using ICT. The study applied Structuration Theory (ST) and drew on the concepts of duality of structure and action particularly: the enactment of technology-in-practice (ETiP) as a lens to understand and interpret the social construct. The objective was to determine the factors contributing to the readiness of municipalities to adopt ICT to transform the way and manner they deliver essential services to the public. The concept "Transformational e-Government" (TeG) is discussed in this paper to analyse the determinant factors influencing service delivery. This paper aimed to analyse the readiness of South African local government when rendering services through information and communication technology (ICT). An interpretive case study research methodology where structured interviews were used to collect data was applied. The findings were that out of the 15 municipalities interviewed only 7% were ready for TeG initiatives, 60% were near ready and 33% have a long way to go to implement TeG initiatives. The results also showed that 5 out of the 8 Metro Cities in South Africa were ready to implement TeG initiatives successfully. The implications of the study were that, the ST is able to provide the lens through which to understand, interpret and determine the factors contributing to the readiness of municipalities to implement TeG to improve service delivery.
Key generic leadership competencies relevant to globalisation : an empirical study of their prevalence in the industrial development zones in South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 524 –547 (2014)More Less
In the literature reviewed, a lack in leadership competencies to deal with globalisation within the South African Industrial Development Zones was identified. This led to questions being raised on the prevalence of these essential global leadership competencies within these zones. Realising the need for the development of an outwardly focused and globally competitive leadership model this study sought to investigate the key generic leadership competencies relevant to globalisation and the demonstration of these competencies within the zones. The study also sought to investigate:
- The key generic leadership competencies relevant to globalisation;
- The specific relevant leadership competencies and their prevalence within the industrial development zones in South Africa; and
- Whether or not the surveyed global leadership competencies were significant and had impact on global leadership competencies that rendered leaders capable of operating in a global environment.
Author A.J. DialeSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 548 –561 (2014)More Less
South Africa has had its fair share of fortunes and misfortunes since the inaugural democratic dispensation. What characterised the Mandela era (1994-1999) has been referred to as the reconciliation era wherein business bought into the much-vaunted social contract. However, this period did not bring in the much needed trust; the Mbeki era (1999-2008) came to be known as the African renaissance era with emphasis on transformation of the racially skewed structure of ownership and management within the corporate sector and the introduction of the black economic empowerment mantra, unfortunately, the Zuma era (2009 - 2014) cannot be characterised as yet since there is no clear vision relating to economic outlook, this include the highly contested National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) by some in the alliance and, what should characterise this administration's relations with business. This could be attributed to the conflicted coalition that ensured Zuma's ascendency to power, the resurgence of the nationalization debate, frequent cabinet reshuffles and now of late, the crippling labour unrests within the mining sector. These occurrences resulted in some form of discomfort among the business fraternity and, the downgrading of South Africa's credit worthiness by the international rating agencies.
The intention of this paper is to look into state-business relations over the period of the African National Congress' (ANC) rule of a democratic South Africa, the challenges experienced and; how these relations are sought to be harmonised by various partners. In conclusion, some suggestions will be advanced for the both parties to consider in creating a favourable climate for constructive engagement.