Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, September 2015
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, September 2015
Public human resource practices and performance management development systems in the public sector : editorialAuthor Kedibone G. PhagoSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 620 –622 (2015)More Less
Asking a question about human resource management in the public sector has a specific purpose and intention. This is because, if vacant posts in the public sector are occupied by relevant and skilled officials, the issue of public service delivery and achievement of institutional goals and targets could be enhanced. However, the complex inherent nature of the public sector environment, regarding its efficiency and functioning, often render the issue of relevant and skilled officials a serious challenge. This is because there are cases where public sector posts are occupied by incumbents who are found to be inexperienced. A study of the Public Service Commission (2011) on the "Assessment of Human Resource Development (HRD) Practices in the public service", highlights that "one of the requirements that departments must comply with, as per the skills development legislation and HRD Strategies, is the formation of a structure such as an HRD/Skills committee". The Commission has further pointed out that, despite an overall compliance with the formation of such a structure, "during the interviews conducted with most of the HRD managers of the sampled departments, one of the greatest challenges faced by these committees was the postponement of meetings due to failure to quorate. This was specifically related to senior management service (SMS) stakeholders, who were members of the HRD committee, but who could not attend as a result of other commitments". This finding considers human resource issues as critical and deserving of such a scholarly discourse, in a manner which seeks to ensure a contribution in the field of this subject matter, to inform both government policy and praxis.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 623 –633 (2015)More Less
Democratisation is a multi-dimensional process that occurs within a particular context in any country. The context is normally determined by, among others, the policy framework of the country concerned. This also applies to South Africa's democratisation process, the context of which is derived from the Constitution. The progress of the South African democratisation process can be assessed through growth, development and consolidation of the critical aspects of South Africa's democracy, which are espoused in the country's 1996 Constitution. These aspects include the founding provisions of this Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which include equality. The milestones that have been undertaken to address the issue of equality, in general, and gender equality, in particular, can be used to assess the extent to which the South African democratisation process has progressed in this regard. Prior to the introduction of democracy in 1994, the principle of equality did not receive the attention it deserved. This also applies to gender equality. However, over the past two decades (1994-2014), various pieces of legislation relating to gender equality have been promulgated. This has been accompanied by the establishment of various entities who are the custodians of gender equality. Examples, in this regard, include the Commission for Gender Equality and the Ministry of Women, Children and People Living with Disabilities. The current scenario indicates that there are some positive achievements on gender equality in South Africa. However, in spite of such achievements, it appears that much more needs to be done in pursuit of this goal. This paper reflects on the road travelled regarding gender equality and suggests ways of improving its implementation in South Africa.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 634 –643 (2015)More Less
As every human being is naturally programmed to protect his/her interests and personal safety and surroundings, the protection of his/her country should also form part of these inherited responsibilities. It ought to be the responsibility of each and every citizen. Therefore, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) occupies a unique position within the Republic of South Africa (RSA) with its primary responsibility to defend the sovereignty of the country and all of its inhabitants against external and internal threats. The integration of several armed forces into one National Defence Force in 1994 led to a very diverse SANDF, which presents an array of unique challenges that include diversity management. It is argued that one of the pertinent challenges of the workforce, in the next century, will be the implementation of equity plans to redress the effects of discrimination in the workplace and the South African society at large. As such, statutory measures, such as the Constitution of the RSA and the Employment Equity Act, state that no person can discriminate against any other person whether directly or indirectly. However, these measures aim to achieve a workforce that is representative of the population of South Africa. It is against this background that it is noted that people with disabilities are not a heterogeneous group. They may have a physical disability, or a sensory, intellectual or mental disability. They may have acquired the disability at birth, from their childhood, teenage years or later in life, during further education or while in employment. Their disabilities may have little or no impact on their ability to work or to take part in society, or they may have a major impact that requires a considerable amount of support or assistance. Therefore, given the unique nature of employment within the SANDF, and legislations and regulations laid down in terms of government policies, this paper seeks to examine the issue and complexity of disability management within the SANDF.
Perceived effects of precautionary suspensions on service delivery in a South African provincial government departmentSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 644 –657 (2015)More Less
The practice of precautionary suspensions of senior management in local government has drastically increased over the past decade. Evidence suggests that government departments don't always comply with the processes and procedural requirements for precautionary suspensions. This research investigated the perceived effect of precautionary suspensions on service delivery in a South African provincial government department. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six managers (N=6). The findings showed that precautionary suspensions are not fairly applied and according to prescribed legislative frameworks. Precautionary suspensions have a negative effect on the service delivery and performance of the department. The findings also show that suspensions have a negative impact on the morale of directors and subsequent employee motivation. Recommendations for research and practice are made.
Talent management, motivation and service quality of support staff in a public higher education institutionSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 658 –673 (2015)More Less
Support staff in higher education institutions play an important role in representing an institution's client service and competence. Research on the talent management of this occupational group remains scarce. The main objective of this research was to determine the relationship between talent management, motivation and service quality of support staff members in a Southern African public higher education institution. A Talent Management Measure, Employee Motivation Scale and Servqual were administered among a convenience sample of support staff members (N = 09). The results showed a significant positive relationship between talent management and motivation. Motivation was significantly and positively related to service quality and moderated the relationship between talent management and service quality. The results of this research further point out the poor application of talent management practices for support staff members and the potential outcomes thereof for the service image of public higher education institutions.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 674 –687 (2015)More Less
The implementation of a Performance Management System (PMS) in municipalities is indispensable to the successful execution of municipal programmes designed to realise service delivery priorities, as outlined in the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). It is worth noting that, whereas, there is a plethora of literature on the subject of performance management in the South African public administration discourse, it is important to point out that such literature has a specific and peculiar focus on the PMS, as it applies to institutions in the realm of public service (comprised of government institutions in both national and provincial spheres of government, excluding the local sphere of government). As a result, there is insufficient literature on performance management in local government such that very little is known about the trends of implementing PMS in South African municipalities. To this end, it can be argued that it is largely because of this apparent insufficient empirical and theoretical research on the subject of performance management in local government that there are numerous inadequacies and inconsistencies in the application of PMS in the realm of local government. It is not surprising, therefore, that although most municipalities have adopted a framework for streamlining the management of performance, in order to reach their maximum performance potential with respect to the effective and efficient delivery of services, there have been numerous concerns that the greatest challenge facing most municipalities is to successfully roll out the system to all levels of their institutions. This, undoubtedly, explains the reason for the apparent inconsistent and unholistic application of performance management systems in most of these municipalities. It is within this context that the article seeks to make a contribution by examining the implementation of performance management in South African municipalities with the prime purpose of identifying the trends, issues and challenges associated with the implementation of PMS in order to assist municipalities to improve the implementation of such systems, so as to ensure that they serve their intended purposes.
Performance management and development system in the South African public service : a critical reviewAuthor David M. MelloSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 688 –699 (2015)More Less
A well designed and properly implemented performance management and development system provides a firm foundation for effective service delivery. The morale among staff in an institution, where a performance management system is designed with great care and used optimally, is likely to be higher if all other human resources issues are taken care of. There have been concerns about the level and quality of services in the South African public service. While there are a number of reasons for the poor performance of public institutions, performance management should contribute to the success of service delivery. This article attempts to answer the following questions: What is the nature and extent of performance management-related problems in the South African public service and what can be done to overcome these challenges?
Performance management agreements for senior managers in the Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality : a case of their usage in service deliveryAuthor Pleasure MagoroSource: Journal of Public Administration 50, pp 700 –711 (2015)More Less
Performance management is an essential part of service delivery at local government level. For a municipality to be able to address the service delivery needs of the members of their community, they must put systems in place that will assist them to continuously meet these needs. One of these systems is performance management. This study looks at the intended outcomes of performance management agreements in relation to service delivery. Do performance management agreements for senior managers have any impact on service delivery? This is the question that this study asks, using the Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality as a case study. Its context is that many municipalities face the problem of poor performance and the slow delivery of services to citizens. Even with the use of performance management agreements, some of these municipalities still find it hard to meet their service delivery targets as outlined in their Integrated Development Plans. Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality, like any other municipality, is also faced with the problem. The study concentrates on how senior managers in the Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality use their performance agreements as aids in service delivery. The study will highlight the significance of having performance management agreements in improving service delivery.