n Journal of Public Administration - Performance management system quandary in the public service : a case of the Limpopo province, South Africa




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.


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