Journal of Public Administration - Volume 49, Issue 4, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 49, Issue 4, 2014
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 960 –962 (2014)More Less
Any lapse in the politics and administration of the state is attributed to a lack of good governance, which is sometimes the consequence of not knowing what it means. At the time of putting together this edition Limpopo provincial government had just regained consciousness from the lapse. This follows the intervention by the national government, where five (5) departments had to be placed under tutelage. In other words, governance in Limpopo had collapsed and the national government had to intervene to resuscitate it. The state-owned enterprises are not in good shape. Government is often compelled to financially salvage them. This is because of the lapse in their administrations, especially in terms of systems and processes required to optimise organisational efficiency.
Author M.H. MaserumuleSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 963 –994 (2014)More Less
Good governance continues to be a thematic focus of scholarly and policy discourses, largely with little analysis of its originative historical foundation. This eschews the profundity of the concept in theorising the state. In this article good governance is considered with these questions in mind: What is good governance and how did it evolve to arrive at its current form and usage? What is the character of its conceptual problematique in the broader contemporary development discourse? In considering these questions the article starts with a reflection on the philosophical and theoretical antecedents of good governance. Plato's concept of the good and Aristotle's common good are analysed to determine the conceptual lineage of good governance. Based on this analysis the article argues that the concept of good governance does have a long ideational lineage that dates back to the ancient Greek history on the normative imperatives of politics. This contention is followed by the analytical consideration of good governance in the contemporary development discourse as a term that was used for the first time in the eighties by the World Bank to describe an idea that has a long history. Throughout the discourse its conceptual problematique is delineated. The article ends with a contention that good governance is a trans-contextual, value-laden and multidimensional concept with multi-vocal meanings and, because of its epistemic relativism, can mean different things to different people depending on the context in which it is used.
Administrative policies for good governance in Africa : makers, implementers, liars and no integrityAuthor M.P. SebolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 995 –1007 (2014)More Less
All governments on the globe including Africa's have adopted some form of policy for providing fair administrative government that would benefit the citizens. In democratic countries in Africa, the policies adopted are indeed made by the legislative authority, implemented by the executive and corrected by the courts of law in the country in cases of disputes among states and citizens, and citizens and citizens. This article uses a literature analysis to argue that while the making of policies is clear and the implementation is expected, in between these (the makers, the implementers and adjudicators) each would like to twist policy benefits against the primary intended purpose thereby compromising good governance. The article concludes that good governance in Africa is not equally possible because the makers of the law and the implementers would dodge the truth and resort to political lies in order to protect mischief in government without considering their integrity.
"Finding our way" : the need for accountable leadership and good governance in South Africa's public servicesAuthor M.D.J. MatshabaphalaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1008 –1018 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this article is to provide a conceptual framework for good governance against the background of an environment of empowered employees and clientele publics. The dawn of the new political order in the Republic of South Africa entailed a democratic culture and good governance in the delivery of public goods. That is, the apartheid national governance was to be replaced with a new democratic Grand National Narrative paradigm. The old life-negating and dehumanising attributes of the closed systems paradigm were to be substituted with the open systems paradigm that endeavours to restore human rights and dignity. The new Grand National Narrative paradigm demands that public servants and services are oriented towards people's needs. A commonly accepted view is that the clientele publics aspire for good governance, which is possible with accountable leadership. Indeed, the new political order was ushered with hyperbolic impulses of public service that is democratic and accountable. Notwithstanding this noble guiding spirit, a democratic South Africa has in time evolved into, if not returned to, the closed systems paradigm in the public service delivery wherein rigidity, fixed control, over-bureaucratisation and imposition exemplifying closed systems paradigm are increasingly the order of the day. This article argues that South Africa's present socio-political reality presents a social ontology with the attributes of the open systems paradigm wherein the publics is supposedly more empowered about human rights to dignity and quality service. It asserts that from Leadership and the New Science perspectives, there is a need for "Finding Our Way" of providing services to empowered publics. The article applies functional approaches to leadership and good governance narratives to navigate the challenges of "Finding Our Way" out of captivity of the closed systems paradigm in service delivery.
Transforming public service delivery within the Department of Public Service and Administration : the quest for good governanceSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1019 –1035 (2014)More Less
The post-1994 democratic government of the Republic of South Africa is faced with immense socio-economic challenges that emanate from decades of a discriminatory system of government, both under British colonialism and the infamous Nationalist Party's apartheid system. This article is based on a study undertaken to assess the transformation and modernisation of public service delivery in South Africa with specific reference to the Department of Public Service and Administration as the department responsible for leading the public service transformation and modernisation process. It examines the extent to which public policies on public service transformation, like the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service, 1995, (Notice 1227 of 1995) and the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery, 1997, (Notice 1459 of 1997) have influenced service delivery within the public service since their inception. The findings of this study established that the Batho Pele White Paper was not equally embraced, and that it was not sufficiently and equally understood by all public officials in the DPSA.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1036 –1045 (2014)More Less
This article tackles the socio-cultural challenges facing private and public sector organisations in relation to multi-cultural inclusivity in South Africa. Firstly, it raises the concern that in many of our organisations, indigenous Africans are the cultural "other" even though they invariably constitute the bulk of the workforce. It argues that a work environment in which the majority is made up of indigenous Africans should logically have a predominantly indigenous African organisational culture. Secondly, the article argues that debates around diversity management are misplaced and perhaps overly optimistic. In a context where organisational culture is still largely dictated to by middle class and Euro-American, western nuances and its soul refuses to see the need for drastic change, there is an urgent need for a Kuhnian paradigm shift (1970). Thirdly, the article argues that as long as the approach is that of slight change, only to the extent that the balance of cultural power remains in the same hands, organisations must be willing to pay the price of having a highly task-oriented but equally disengaged workforce. Fourthly, importing ideas from a Euro-American context seriously undermines the drive for diversity and workforce inclusivity in the South African context.
Author T. MeyerSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1046 –1059 (2014)More Less
At the inception of democracy in 1994 equal representation became a key foundation of public service reform in South Africa. This article evaluates how the theory of representative bureaucracy can be used to analyse the South African public service. In doing this, it uses the Personnel and Salary Information System (PERSAL) data from 2000-2012 to examine the extent to which women have been represented in the management echelon (salary level 9-16) of the public service, and measured against affirmative action equity targets. The article also considers whether the number of women (passive representation) in management positions will necessarily promote the interests of all other women (active representation), as assumed by the theory of representative bureaucracy. The article shows that the theory of representative bureaucracy offers a useful logic to understand the policy language of affirmative action and the public service position. The data shows that women are still underrepresented, that the numbers continue to be close to the margin, and that the current rate of increase is unlikely to yield the desired 50% in the next decade. The policy language of affirmative action points towards representative bureaucracy. However, the extent to which passive representation equals active representation is questionable.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1060 –1082 (2014)More Less
The South African Government has set gender equity targets for the inclusion of women in senior management services (SMS) in the public service. This article explores the extent to which the gender equity goal of 50% women in SMS level has advanced women's equality in the public service and in the household. The results show that it would be challenging for the South African Government to achieve its ambitious goal of 50% women in SMS within the foreseeable future. It reveals that women in SMS level are being empowered and developed professionally and technically. However, at management level they remain disadvantaged. In the primary sectors predominantly men are employed because there are not enough women to fill even half of the posts in those sectors. The article proposes that the South African Government would be able to reach its target provided enormous investment in education is made. Equal access to development opportunities should be afforded to both men and women. This would be possible provided the current leadership approach of the South African public service is replaced by a transformational leadership approach, which would transform the public service.
Performance management system quandary in the public service : a case of the Limpopo province, South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1083 –1099 (2014)More Less
The Performance Management System (PMS) was introduced in the South African public service with the intention of monitoring, reviewing, assessing, and developing underperformers, and recognising, as well as rewarding, good performance. This article was undertaken as an attempt to investigate whether the PMS of the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA) contributes to the improvement of performance for departmental productivity. A qualitative research approach with semi-structured questionnaire, documentary analysis and observations was used to collect data. Both primary and secondary findings of the research show that there is generally a poor understanding of PMS in the public service and in the COGHSTA, in particular. Further, it is clear that there is a challenge in biased ratings due to subjective assessment, and a setting of unrealistic performance targets that are unrealisable by employees. The foregoing justifies the reasons why productivity levels are not always realised and targets not achieved by the COGHSTA.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1100 –1112 (2014)More Less
Government relies heavily on public officials to successfully implement public financial management policies designed to respond to various challenges facing our country. The public financial management system (PFM) plays a major role in providing support and direction to public institutions. National Treasury plays a major role in addressing the PFM skills shortage facing national, provincial and local institutions. South Africa's shortage of skills is felt sharply in PFM. With the growing recognition of the importance of a sound PFM system to the delivery of a country's developmental efforts and aid effectiveness, there has been an increased focus on the need to understand what PFM and its role players are. This article starts by providing the definition of public financial management and of a PFM practitioner. Both national and international definitions of the concept are provided. The article then focuses on the state of the PFM skills shortage in the public service, addressing scarce and critical PFM skills in the public service and identifying and explaining the data attributes required of PFM practitioners.
Community participation in South Africa : an assessment of the N2 Gateway Housing Project in Langa/Joe Slovo TownshipSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1113 –1125 (2014)More Less
The principle of community participation entails that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. The implication of this is that the public's contribution can influence decisions taken as well as outcomes of those decisions. This study was conducted in Langa (Joe Slovo) community in Cape Town, Western Cape Province. Langa (Joe Slovo) is the largest informal settlement in South Africa and has been the focal point of one of Government's largest and most well-publicised housing delivery initiatives, known as the N2 Gateway Housing Project. This article is based on a project which is intergovernmental in scope as it calls upon each of the three spheres of government in South Africa to cooperate with each other in order to address public housing needs as part of the effort towards poverty alleviation in the country. The project also employed public-private partnership as a strategy vis-à-vis outsourcing project management, construction contracting, and oversight to a Section 21 (non-profit) company, Thubelisha Homes. Within the context of the N2 Gateway Housing Project, the article interrogates the effectiveness of approaches initiated by Government to deliver low-cost housing to low-income communities, and the extent to which community participation featured in the project.
Author C. HofisiSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1126 –1138 (2014)More Less
The South African local government legislation provides for community participation in Integrated development planning. However, the concept of community participation suffers from conceptual imprecision and to some extent, theoretical underdevelopment. This article is an explication of how community participation can be made real in integrated development planning. Adopting participatory development as a theoretical framework and extensive literature review as a method, the article argues that participatory integrated development planning is the refocusing of the integrated development planning agenda to embrace the primacy of the people or beneficiaries in integrated development planning endeavours. Therefore, ensuring participation by poor ordinary villagers and not "village elites" is key in making participation real in integrated development planning. The following arguments are presented in making participation real. There is need for effective and efficient participatory methodologies to enhance participation by communities and making it real. Communities need to be empowered for them to participate meaningfully. IDP Road shows and advertising in newspapers are not effective in ensuring participation by the poorest of the poor since they are either illiterate or lack access to such methods. Critiques of the participatory approach allude to tokenism, myths of communities as coherent and cohesive and 'elite capture of local power' as pitfalls that may compromise the effectiveness of the approach. All of these factors need careful consideration so that capacity is built and competency enhanced in the design of participatory methodologies which are ideal for real participation in integrated development planning.
The role of municipal councillors and traditional leaders in service delivery : the case of Thulamela Local MunicipalityAuthor M.M. NekhavhambeSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1139 –1152 (2014)More Less
Cooperation between municipalities and traditional leaders is a challenge. This contributes to lack of service delivery. Local government is a democratically elected institution that has legitimate powers to handle issues relating to the delivery of services, which involves public monies. Traditional leaders' responsibilities should, therefore, solely be for issues of tradition and custom, as they are custodians of culture and tradition. This, however, is not sufficient to traditional leaders as they have vast areas of land and subjects under their leadership. It is therefore important for both institutions to find an amicable solution to this so that there is cooperation for the benefit of service delivery in the community. This article looks at the viability of co-operation in developing areas that fall under traditional leaders, whether traditional leaders are satisfied with the roles and functions as provided for by the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act 41 of 2003). It also focuses on the possibility of creating a forum that traditional leaders and municipal governments can use to iron out their differences.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1153 –1170 (2014)More Less
Namibia is a unitary state with three levels of government: national, regional and local. Government comprises twenty ministries that provide services and supervise national development within the specific sectors it has created. One such ministry is Health and Social Services (MOHSS). The overall aim of the MOHSS is to provide primary health care services to the Namibian people focusing on the prevention and cure of disease in an efficient and effective manner. Although Namibia has an elaborate institutional setting in which to provide health services, the scale of the HIV/Aids pandemic poses a great challenge to the efficacy of its health system. The management of the disease requires proper planning and an ability to execute intelligible procedural actions, which need to be put in place for those who are not infected, the affected, as well as children and family members left behind by deceased parents and breadwinners. It further requires cooperation and partnership with international donor agencies, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the community. Community participation and involvement is critical in enhancing the viability and applicability of strategies that are put in place to deal with the pandemic.
Local economic development and social responsibility of micro-business in Thulamela Local MunicipalityAuthor L.G. NkondoSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1171 –1184 (2014)More Less
Socially responsible actions of businesses are beneficial to local municipalities, public and private organisations, consumers as well as society as a whole. Previously community organisations had focused on the social responsibility of larger corporations, and SMEs while neglecting micro-businesses. These micro-businesses occupy a strategic economic position in the country that cannot be ignored. However, their social responsibility in the community has not been studied as there is little data in this area. This study explores the socially responsible practices of micro-business owners in Thohoyandou, in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Qualitative research design was used with data gathered using individual interviews, observation, focus group discussions and secondary data. The study used content analysis and the following themes arose from the findings: sold products, environmental health, law enforcement, and training. The main conclusions drawn from the findings were that the behaviour of micro-businesses in Thohoyandou demonstrates a lack of social responsibility.
Author N.J. VermaakSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1185 –1195 (2014)More Less
Informal economies occur worldwide and are indicative of the development process of a country. The purpose of the study is to look at informal markets and to debate whether informal markets can improve the social well-being of traders. Based on a selection of cases of informal markets worldwide and fieldwork done in a market in Thohoyandou, South Africa, the resourceful value of social capital is re-examined. Rising unemployment and poverty are major challenges for local governments in South Africa and a clear national strategy is needed to take advantage of the opportunities that informal markets have for urban communities. The Thohoyandou informal market demonstrates that social capital supports entrepreneurship, creativity and personal adjustment, which are important prospects for development. It is argued that integrated development in cities can be improved and sustained with the right government support and that the nature of government support will determine the ability of traders to adapt to their circumstances.
Effective collaboration model for agricultural research and development in Limpopo province of South AfricaAuthor E. NesamvuniSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1196 –1212 (2014)More Less
Effective research and development requires new forms of collaboration based on opportunities offered by willing stakeholders, and by the globalisation of scientific knowledge. The objective of the study that led to this article was to assess the research capacity of the Limpopo (Provincial) Department of Agriculture (LDA) in South Africa and to propose considerations for an effective collaboration model. The considerations were based on lessons from a crop-livestock collaboration project for which the impact was assessed using the Political-Economic-Social-Technological-Environmental-Legal (PESTEL) framework. As revealed by the PESTEL-based assessment, the implementation of the crop-livestock collaboration project had weaknesses, which included lack of involvement of all relevant stakeholders and poor social mobilisation, evident from demotivated and non-cooperating participants, and limited attention to policies and strategies. Based on the lessons from the crop-livestock collaboration project, important considerations for an effective collaboration model were proposed: target stakeholders, combine research capacity, environment, technology, and institutional arrangement.
The application of the concept of strategic human resources management to the overall institutional strategy : a case study of Thulamela MunicipalityAuthor K.E. KhashaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1213 –1229 (2014)More Less
This article focuses on the application of the concept of strategic human resources management (SHRM) to the overall strategy at Thulamela Municipality. Strategic human resources management is concerned with the contributions human resources strategies make to institutional effectiveness and the way these human strategies are applied. Important features underlying SHRM are fit, competitive edge and performance, which reflects the interactive role of practices and their relationship to the attainment of institutional strategy. This case study extends SHRM thinking to theory and research on applicability of SHRM concepts to Thulamela Municipality. The integrative approach and Guest model (1989) of human resources management (HRM) were used. The aim of the study was to examine to what extent the human resources management function in Thulamela Municipality has been implementing SHRM. Research findings have shown that Thulamela Municipality has adopted a number of approaches in applying the SHRM concept, including the multiple role model. The findings reveal that SHRM is to a lesser extent applicable to Thulamela Municipality.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 49, pp 1230 –1243 (2014)More Less
This article analyses the fraud prevention plans concept, including why fraud prevention plans are designed and how to make them effective. First, it addresses fraud and corruption, identifying what they involve in regard to government interventions against fraud and corruption within the South African public service. Second, it identifies and describes the legislative and regulatory framework for preventing and detecting fraud. Third, it focuses on aspects such as fraud and risk preparedness, existence and content of a fraud prevention plan, fraud prevention structures and mechanisms, fraud profile and awareness, types of fraud and mitigation measures and elements of good fraud prevention plans. Fourth, the role of senior management in promoting an ethical culture is discussed. Finally, it concludes that an effective fraud control plan should also be subject to regular monitoring and evaluation, which should seek to answer the following two questions: "is it up-to-date?" and "is it effective?" The fraud prevention plan is effective if it reduces fraud and corruption in public service departments.