Journal of Public Administration - Volume 50, Issue 2, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 50, Issue 2, 2015
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 172 –173 (2015)More Less
Looking the same and expecting to be looked at differently is insanity. This is a reincarnation of Albert Einstein's conceptualisation of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Those with vigilant eyes can immediately tell why this editorial starts on this note. The Journal does not look the same. Its old greenish-yellowish mix on the dust cover, with a bluish imprint, glamorous to an extent, is gone. We deliberately decided to shed the look of the Journal. Henceforth, the dust cover of the Journal of Public Administration is largely white, with bluish and greying imprints. The emblem of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) remains encrypted distinctively to give the Journal identity. The new look of the Journal is most likely to fascinate a curious mind, with this inevitable question being a preoccupation: what is the reason for the Journal's ecdysis? The answer is simple. Looking the same over and over again bores the beholder.
How to speak of ending apartheid humanities : transformation, renaissance, metamorphosis or resurrection?Author Colin T. ChasiSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 174 –190 (2015)More Less
In South Africa, the 1989-1994 negotiated settlement between anti-apartheid forces and the apartheid regime did not see the defeat of apartheid. In this context, continuities of the apartheid past undercut and truncate African intellectual expression, leading to questions being asked about the comprehensive transformation of the university in South Africa. I concertedly point out that South Africa requires changes and innovations in the humanities that will enable its people to address development challenges. Specifically, I quest for a motif that best describes the necessary change process. To this end, I query if what is at stake is a question of transformation, renaissance, metamorphosis or resurrection of the humanities. I will favour talk of ending apartheid humanities that recognises that the needed change either demands allowing apartheid humanities to die or killing it off to allow a humanities for the people to rise - i.e. to be resurrected. I will not attempt to draw out practical steps, recipes or menus of action-options.
Coloniality and governance in Africa in the twenty-first century : the challenges of public administrationAuthor Uche O. NnadozieSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 191 –199 (2015)More Less
African states and governments appear to have imbibed a culture of mimicking what is in vogue in other climes, irrespective of whether it is in their interest or not. This has prompted what Fela Anikpolakpo Kuti (1976), a popular Afro-beat musician, refers to as "follow - follow" or "zombie" mentality, that is, a sheeplike and unguarded imitation of whatever other people do. The fad from the late 1950s through the 1960s to early 1970s was freedom and decoloniality. These were supplanted in the 1980s and 1990s by liberalisation and globalisation. In between these were major policy thrusts of African governments such as "development planning" in the 60s and 70s, "structural adjustment programmes" (SAPs) in the 80s, and "good governance" in the 90s. A glance at these policy focuses of African countries reveals that with the exception of decoloniality, the rest were dictated from outside the continent, particularly by western powers through their agents and institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisaton (WTO). Certain questions need to be raised and addressed on all these policies and programmes. First, what has been the role of Public Administration as an academic discipline dedicated to analysing and exposing the myopism and emptiness inherent in these policies and programmes with regard to how they have tackled Africa's needs? Second, how has Public Administration been able to empower and partner with African governments, bureaucrats and other practitioners in the day-to-day governance and management of public affairs? Again, after half a century of existence as a field of academic pursuit, has Public Administration been a tool of western imperialism, in tandem with Claude Ake's book (1982) titled Social Science as imperialism or a discipline in the pursuit of solutions to the myriads of problems confronting African states and peoples? Furthermore, what are the implications of all these on the epistemological foundation of the discipline? This paper is an attempt to interrogate these and other related questions and issues. The writer believes that there is an urgent need to re-examine and reconstruct the theories of the discipline, and, if necessary, invent new ones in order to factor in African perspectives that address issues and problems peculiar to Africa.
Engaged scholarship and liberatory science : a professoriate, Mount Grace, and SAAPAM in the decoloniality mixSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 200 –222 (2015)More Less
Liberatory science is often conflated with postmodern epistemology. These concepts are not the same. Their difference lies largely in the fact that, although postmodern epistemology salvages the knowledge enterprise from the absurdity of modernism, it does not do so to the extent of achieving cognitive justice or liberatory science. Liberatory science is intended to attend to this omission. For, it is "publicly answerable and of some service to progressive interests" (Ross, 1991:29). Engaged scholarship is a means to liberatory science. It is pursued for the public good, for engaged scholarship is scholarship of consequences with utilitarian value. Liberatory science and engaged scholarship are considered in this article, which argues that they have been lurking in what emerged in student activism in South Africa dubbed #FeesMustFall as the variables of the decoloniality project. In other words, as the article argues, this movement is not just only about tuition fees. It invokes a fundamentally important question of the theory of knowledge or philosophy of science. This activism lays bare the colonial logic of Western epistemology, its civilising mission and the imperial ambitions of the global powers using education as a means to "indoctrinate the young" (Giroux, 2015:15).
University students in South Africa are wrestling against this indoctrination, which, in the words of Peter Childs and Patrick Williams, is characterised as "civilisational Others". But aren't students fighting the war of their professors? This question is asked because the epistemological and gnoseological questions require the thought leadership of the professoriate. But, where is the professoriate in the decoloniality discourse pursued for the transformation of higher education? Its tinkering on the edge of the theatre of play which is supposed to be playing is as much as being indifferent. In reaction to #FeesMustFall, beyond a mere issue of tuition fees, a question that the nation should pose to the South African professoriate is: Quo vadis? The discussion on engaged scholarship and liberatory science is, towards the end of the article, reduced to the specificities of the discipline. The article establishes that since 2011 the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) has managed to ask the right questions and courageously take a stand against modernism and the nihilism of the gerontocracy of the discipline. However, the right answers to the right questions SAAPAM eruditely formulated are still outstanding. In other words, the question is: What is the alternative to modernism? Certainly not postmodernism. The article agitates for a liberatory science through engaged scholarship to sustain the decoloniality project.
Author Kedibone G. PhagoSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 223 –233 (2015)More Less
The changes in scholarship of Public Administration in South Africa have not sufficiently responded to the profession and scholarship needs of the African Continent. Part of this glaring failure was also ignorantly carried through a change in the name of its professional association from the South African Institute of Public Administration (SAIPA) to the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) in 1999. The thrust of this paper is on two key issues using a descriptive approach. Firstly is to ensure that Public Administration scholarship activities in South Africa evolve to resonate with pertinent continental research needs and the subsequent agenda. In this regard, this paper argues that SAAPAM has perpetuated an untenable closed system research agenda. Therefore, aligning local pan-African notions to African governance challenges requires key scholarship qualities as advanced here to bridge the scholarship and practice divide in South Africa and the continent. Secondly, the bridging of the existing gap between scholarship and practice requires interventions of an intransigent meritorious kind in the public service. This meritocracy is where the appointment of public officials is embedded in the recognition of academic qualifications, especially for senior positions.
Author Peter E. FranksSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 234 –248 (2015)More Less
South Africa negotiated a peaceful process of regime change from apartheid to a non-racial, non-sexist democracy. It has become a beacon to the world and Africa, attesting to the viability of negotiated settlements for complex socio-political conflicts. Despite the triumph of this political process, South Africa's transition to democracy has stumbled in important ways, slowing the development agenda. High-quality public service training and development is one important element of the necessary politico-administrative changes that must occur so that the country can make progress in an orderly fashion. This remains difficult in the current context. When the apartheid-distorted civil service was overhauled, political allegiance overruled technical competence, in the Weberian sense, in the deployment of cadres to public service positions. The corrupt procurement processes of the previous regime's collusion with the private sector continued to tempt the newly entering public servants. Adding to these challenges was the overlay of New Public Management and developmental state perspectives that failed to utilise concomitant accountability mechanisms, to constrain the strong cultural norms relying on ideology and kinship loyalty as normally found in modern effective administration. While the rudiments of improved public service management, anti-corruption measures and training are presently being put in place, guided by the National Development Plan, it remains to be seen if these initiatives will be widely supported and effectively implemented, or swept away in the next political rotation. Training in support of these initiatives is essential if the public service is to be able to deliver on its mandate.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 249 –261 (2015)More Less
The improvement of public service leadership capabilities remains a complex and illusive challenge for governments and institutions across the world. There are divergent perspectives and approaches on the capacity interventions that are most relevant in context and time. A considered explanation is that initiatives unfold outside of a comprehensive conceptual framework of what is needed for the optimal development of leadership capable individuals, teams and institutions. In addressing this gap in public service leadership theorisation and development, an analysis of the current state of leadership knowledge and the evolution of the leadership construct in Public Administration is provided. This is done for the purpose of articulating a perspective on the adequacy of current approaches. As a step forward, a heuristic model for public service leadership development is outlined. The model is presented together with the terrains of intervention that are relevant in all areas of leadership development. To facilitate further reflection and the utilisation of the model for capability development purposes, the article concludes by outlining how the model can be contextually utilised.
Gender mainstreaming in the South African National School of Government : a senior management challengeSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 262 –275 (2015)More Less
Gender mainstreaming is considered to be an essential part of good governance and is critical for all management levels to integrate into all aspects of their work including policies, activities and programmes. The National Policy Framework for Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality, 2000, and the Strategic Framework for Gender Equality within the Public Service, 2006, ensure that the process of gender mainstreaming is at the centre of the transformation processes within all the structures, policies, procedures, practices and programmes, while the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, 2013, gives effect to Section 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, by arguing for the equal representation of women in all decision-making positions and structures. The article aims to analyse the senior management challenges associated with gender mainstreaming in the South African Public Service, specifically the National School of Government, by focusing on the policy environment enabling gender mainstreaming, the challenges associated with gender mainstreaming and by offering considerations to address these management challenges.
Author Kula I. TheletsaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 276 –285 (2015)More Less
The use of consultants in the South African Public Sector leaves a lot to be desired. In 1996 and 2002 the Auditor General conducted performance audits on the use of consultants by government. The main findings of these audits related to acquisition and appointment processes; the monitoring and control of consultants; the departments' responsibility to create an environment conducive for consultants to work effectively; and the implementation of deliverables. The findings by the Auditor General were not pleasing. The National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration issued various guidelines and regulations to improve the overall management and use of consultants. However, despite these, many weaknesses still exist. In 2013 the Auditor General again conducted audits with regard to the use of consultants and the results are not promising.
Managing the consultantship process in the public sector means grappling with two major issues. First is separating the act of selecting the consultant from the process of managing the consultant experience. This is simple only in theory. The problem is that selection of a consultant often determines how the management process will work or if it is, in fact, possible. The second issue is a bit different - how does one find advice or information on the topic of "management" in view of the almost romanticised view of the process? Consultants are "Business Healers" or "Efficiency Experts", particularly in the private sector literature (which is most of what is available). Consultants solve all corporate and now public ills. There is, of course, increasing question about their use in the public sector, which often becomes outright criticism. This disenchantment, however, has seldom resulted in specific discussions of managing the consultantship experience. This is most unfortunate for public managers who face performance audits as well as public criticism if a contract goes "sour". The fact is consultants are business inclined and they are profit driven and this becomes a challenge for public sector managers who are not in the same league.
Author Logan D. NaidooSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 286 –298 (2015)More Less
Public administration has recently become a greatly discussed topic as different organisations across the world try to introduce proper governance and greater accountability into their administrative structures. Besides the need to understand the concept of organisation and structure, which remains essential for the successful implementation of the objectives of public administration, public officials also need to understand the role of ethics in their actions and decisions. A literature review demonstrates that officials in these organisations, both in the public and private sectors, are confronted with various ethical dilemmas on a daily basis both in their actions and their decision making. Ethical behaviour is crucial if public officials wish to ensure that government programmes are implemented in the most effective and enduring manner within the scope of proper governance and accountability. Leaders in these institutions, as part of management guiding the strategic direction of an organisation, play a major role in ensuring that a culture of ethical behaviour prevails. This paper examines the core concepts of ethics in relation to leadership. It then explores some approaches that have been used in explaining ethics in organisations and the benefits of an ethical organisation. Thereafter the paper focuses on ethical leadership and how it influences the ethical culture of an organisation and its officials. In this section leaders' role in promoting ethical behaviour is highlighted. The paper concludes by providing some guidelines on how ethical behaviour in public organisations can be improved and maintained.
Author Secheba MokhameleliSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 299 –307 (2015)More Less
Mankind has evolved and learned to produce food as the basic necessity for survival. It is argued that the food that is produced by the world is sufficient to feed its people. However, some people have food in abundance while others have less than the required amount to feed themselves. This scenario demonstrates a lack of equitable food production and distribution. The world's food insecure people who have less than the required amount of food per day are found largely in the developing countries such as Lesotho. Hunger and food insecurity are multi-dimensional problems that need intervention in interrelated areas including health, markets, learning, emergency preparedness and early childhood intervention. The determination to succeed is dependent on the political will of the public administration through government assistance and multispectral collaboration. All efforts without this necessary support will not alleviate poverty. This article focuses on the reasons for the current situation, what people can do with or without the support of government to get out of the vicious hunger and food insecurity cycle and on assessing the role of government in sustaining the livelihoods and development of the community to alleviate poverty.
Author Murembiwa S. MukholaSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 308 –317 (2015)More Less
Statistics South Africa indicates that in the third quarter of 2015 the rate of unemployment in South Africa increased to 26%. Joblessness has always been a post-1994 conundrum, exacerbated by the unstable global economy. Because of this, various economic means are pursued to sustain livelihoods. Among these is informal street vending - tinkering at the periphery of the mainstream economy. This article examines this economic activity, which in 1991, was deregulated. The contextual setting of the subject of the article is Polokwane - one of the largest urban areas in the northern part of South Africa. The question that is asked is: What is the implication of deregulating the street vending industry on the environmental conditions of cities and towns in South Africa? An attempt to provide an answer draws from the research the author conducted to understand the challenges facing informal street vendors. The article is biased towards street-food vending. The 1991 deregulation has provided the majority of poor black people with an opportunity to earn a living. However, this approach has created more problems for towns and cities with regard to environmental control. Every corner and pavement of the towns and cities is inundated with street vendors trying to promote their wares, while pedestrians find it difficult to navigate through the cities. Street vendors hardly observe good hygiene practices, as litter and waste water are scattered throughout the selling points. It is recommend that control measures be put in place to bring back towns and cities while affording poor people an opportunity to make a living. This requires an imaginative policy approach and the ingenuity of governance, especially in the local sphere of government.
Community home-based care as a job creation strategy in the informal economy : the case of the Greater Giyani Municipality, South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 318 –332 (2015)More Less
Job creation in a dualistic South African economy remains a formidable challenge to the government. Due to the high unemployment rate, the informal economy is growing in size and importance. This article examines Community Home-Based Care (CHBC) as a strategy for job creation in the informal economy within the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Empirical data was collected by means of in-depth face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions and documentary review. It was established that CHBC in the informal economy has great potential in pushing the frontiers of poverty. Hence, the emerging findings postulate a framework to ensure a sustainable CHBC strategy for job creation. The elements of a CHBC programme that is contextually relevant comprise organisations that value care work for the empowerment of communities, forge partnerships between different stakeholders, ensure gender equity,gain community support, promote health and well-being at individual and community levels, support information-sharing and dissemination, maintain simplicity and flexibility in responding to the needs of patients and their families, and maintain labour-intensity for job creation. It is concluded that attempts to make CHBC a fully-fledged job creation strategy should be encouraged and supported in the context of poverty alleviation.
Causes of cost overruns of Municipal Infrastructure Grant funded projects at the OR Tambo District MunicipalitySource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 333 –344 (2015)More Less
The Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) is the largest infrastructure grant allocated to municipalities by National Treasury. The purpose of the MIG is to provide basic infrastructure-related services to poor communities in South Africa. Unfortunately, projects funded under the MIG have been characterised by cost overruns. OR Tambo District Municipality is no exception to this enigma. With the prevalence of cost overruns on most MIG funded projects it has become difficult for municipalities to estimate, commit and adhere to infrastructure targets. This study focuses on uncovering the causes of cost overrun on MIG funded projects in the OR Tambo District Municipality. The data was gathered by using a survey questionnaire of 69 potential factors and other sources of evidence such as project documentation. A total of 65 respondents, out of a potential 115 sampled, representing service providers and sector departments involved in OR Tambo District Municipality, responded to a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire. Of the 69 potential factors, 21 factors were found to have significant impact on cost overruns. Data gathered from other sources such as project documentation and archival records confirmed the significance of the 21 factors. Main causes of cost overrun included inadequate planning, inadequate funding, and discrepancies in the procurement processes and policies. The study recommends improvements in project planning, adjustments in the project implementation process and policy as the main focus areas to reduce cost overrun.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 345 –369 (2015)More Less
Public participation in local government is important for the delivery of services. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and a plethora of other pieces of legislation encourage, some even prescribe, the participation of communities in the affairs of the municipality. In this article public participation is considered, starting with a review of perspectives that underscore its significance in the delivery of services. The question that it seeks to answer is whether the service delivery protests, increasingly becoming ubiquitous as democracy in South Africa matures, are a manifestation of the fact that the constitutional and legislative requirements for public participation are not being fully adhered to in managing public affairs. The context for the consideration of this question is the City of Tshwane. Based on the study that the authors completed on the subject, the article argues that the City of Tshwane does not always adhere to the constitutional and legislative requirements for public participation. This is largely because of City officials' lack of understanding of the public participation processes. The spate of service delivery protests in the City are largely a manifestation of this. Towards the end, recommendations are made, including a reflection on the international best practice on public participation.
Creating sustainable environments through community participation : the case of Naledi Local Municipality, South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 370 –378 (2015)More Less
The article is based on the study the authors conducted and completed. A survey was conducted to determine the role of planning in creating sustainable environments through community participation in Naledi Local Municipality. Community participation is a critical issue in South Africa. In general, it is seen as an open, accountable process where individuals and groups within selected communities can exchange views and influence decision making. It is seen as a cornerstone of democracy and is mostly used by government, politicians, civil society organisations, analysts and advocates of democracy. After the 1994 elections, the Government of National Unity was formed and was faced with challenges of redressing past injustices. Naledi Local Municipality in the Free State, South Africa, faced challenges with regard to planning, implementation, monitoring and review, including community participation. Primary and secondary data were used for the study. Secondary data was collected from the Naledi Local Municipality Integrated Development Plan (2006/2011) to determine the state of the municipality. Interviews were conducted with professionals and academics with the aim of gaining the perspective and valuable insight from their expertise in the field.
Theoretical basis for Public Administration and Management with reference to tourism in the Transkei Wild CoastSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 379 –396 (2015)More Less
This article explores a philosophical and theoretical basis of the discipline of Public Administration and Management and that of Tourism Development with reference to tourism in the Transkei Wild Coast. Linking the two disciplines is the tourism industry, which is still in its infancy. The government, through municipalities in this area, should take a leading role by injecting funds for the development and growth of this industry. The tourism literature articulates that there are fewer tourism studies than the activities they describe. They are in the business of generalising about the phenomena in the world of tourism and the postulation of theories. Hence a number of tourism scholars such as Tribe have postulated that tourism studies constitute only a microcosm of tourism. Tribe explains that there may be interesting aspects of tourism that are not as yet revealed or discovered by the study of tourism.
This article shows that it is necessary for local governments and, in the broader perspective, provincial government per se, to apply, maintain and uphold the basic principles of public administration, which are encapsulated in Section 195 of the South African Constitution Act 108 of 1996 and which are fundamental to community-oriented public administration.
Interrogating the influence of pre-democratic police legacy on aspects of post apartheid police system in South AfricaSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 397 –406 (2015)More Less
The main objective of this discourse is to reflect on how the apartheid police legacy and negative police sub-culture influenced the present police system in South Africa. This study was carried out within the South African Police Service structures in the Western Cape, Free State and Northern Cape provinces of Republic of South Africa. This study relied mainly on secondary data sources and oral interviews conducted among a purposively selected sample of 27 officers identified from the selected provinces for data gathering purpose. Among other findings, this study revealed that the pre-democratic police legacy and negative police sub-culture still have an influence on the proper execution of police powers and functions and the implementation of pragmatic police principles in the present South African democratic police regime. There have been a copious carry over and re-inventing of some of the apartheid police practices such as excessive use of force, selective policing, militarisation, the race label and identification system, which were given impetus by the subsisting unlimited powers of the Police Service, according to the relevant Police Act. This study therefore recommends a thorough overhauling of the system through designed paradigm shifts and retraining for the new paradigm to ensure a real democratic-based police system in the country.
Author Michael N. KhwelaSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 407 –413 (2015)More Less
The data on recidivism can be really misleading due to the fact that the direct measurement on recidivism may preclude some of the offenders who ought to form part of the data due to the type of measurement that the system is utilising. The statistics on recidivism might be inconsistent but recent data portray that education has a serious impact on recidivism. According to Bednarowski (2010), the governments should invest a great deal in the educational programmes for the inmates as educating an offender reduces recidivism dramatically and it also reduces the costs associated with long term of housing incarcerated offenders. Recent studies indicate that the general numbers for recidivism are that 50% to 70% of offenders recidivate within a period of three years. However, the impact that the educational programmes have on recidivism is that the rate is reduced by at least 29%. Recidivism is mostly defined by researchers and organisations to address the goal and objectives of the study concerned. Recidivism could be defined in three specific ways: duration of time monitored; types of offenses included; and inclusion of parole violations. The duration of time monitored varies per agency but the period of three years is the most generally utilised period to rate recidivism. The credence regarding harsh sentences is that life in prison is abysmal and the societal stigma associated with it might deter criminal behaviour, which could reduce recidivism. However, offenders, when they are sentenced, are mostly antisocial and when they spend most time with other peers who have the same behaviour, they become worse than when they went in, which might lead to recidivism. To this extent, this paper seeks to investigate the effect of incarceration on recidivism and the reduction of crime in South Africa.
Author Ogochukwu I. NzewiSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 414 –419 (2015)More Less
In its preface the book, Managing human capital in the public sector, makes a bold suggestion for a paradigm shift in human resource management study and practice. Central to this shift is the suggestion of additional value added to human resources management as capital to be "appreciated, protected and preserved" (p. v). The idea of human resources or personnel as "capital" is not new. Adam Smith viewed the notion of human capital as lending to the skills, talents and experiences of the worker, which as fixed capital, were comparable to that of a machine, although with cost implications. This idea has certain profitable rewards for the organisation and society in general (Smith, 1779). This is the "economic value" add that has resonance with contemporary discourses on human capital. The task of this book in pushing for this approach was to show the knowledge and practice range of possibilities in taking public sector human resources from the view of employees as generalised conduits for practice to that of valuable assets.