n Journal of Public Administration - Cadre deployment and its implications on service delivery in South Africa : a human development capability approach

Volume 49, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This paper examines the implications of cadre deployment policy on service delivery as well as on effective and efficient public administration in South Africa. The paper argues that deploying people who are incompetent and unskilled does not only exacerbate a dire need for service delivery but also cements the idea that South Africa does not have qualified and experienced personnel for the jobs in public service. Cadre deployment policy was adopted by the ruling party (African National Congress) as a model to strategically place loyal party members in positions to execute policy and programme imperatives of the government. While the deployment of party cadres is a noble move, it often does not guarantee delivery to both party and public expectations, unless personnel is selected based on their capability and capacity regarding the requirements of the position at hand. Cadre deployment solely based on trust, as this paper finds, has contributed to multiple problems that range from lack of planning and ineffective leadership to underspending and mismanagement of financial resources. The paper proposes a human (development) capability approach as a remedy to the deployment of cadres based on loyalty, rather than skills, knowledge and competency, to do the job assigned. The paper argues that the blind employment of cadre deployment policy to all organs of the state is unethical as it deprives capable, competent and skilled citizens of the opportunity to contribute towards the development of South Africa.

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