Journal of Public Administration - Special issue 1, April 2009
Volumes & issues
Special issue 1, April 2009
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 97 –99 (2009)More Less
South Africa is experiencing major future research challenges regarding both the research output and the quality of research produced. Researchers have established that the majority of the research output is being produced by the aging cohort of 50 years and older. The field of Public Administration and Management is no exception. In order to deal with these challenges, several questions need to be raised, especially from a strategic point of view.
Author K. Asmah-AndohSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 100 –111 (2009)More Less
This article focuses on the role of the local sphere of government in the alleviation of poverty and inequality in South African communities. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 imposed developmental duties on municipalities as the local sphere of government. Programmes for the alleviation of poverty and inequality include the provision of a safety net in the form of social assistance; provision of basic services; and empowering individuals and communities to support themselves. Critical aspects of programme implementation through the local sphere of government could be impacted on by challenges of capacity gaps, lack of communication and co-ordination as each municipality develops its own Integrated Development Plan (IDP), taking into account local factors and emphasising different goals to suit the needs of its community. The government's discussion paper Towards an Anti-Poverty Strategy for South Africa refers to the persistence and pervasiveness of poverty and growing inequality between the poor and rich in communities. This article highlights the challenges posed by implementation of programmes to alleviate poverty and inequality through municipal IDPs. The articles suggests that voluntary municipal collaboration should be considered as part of service delivery to contribute to a more effective role for the local sphere of government in the quest for alleviation of poverty and inequality in South African communities.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 112 –122 (2009)More Less
In the South African context, public participation is an essential component for enhanced and effective accountable governance. National government, therefore, intends to effect a level of accountability and confidence from citizens in respect of governance for improved service delivery. Local government is an important sphere of government to facilitate sustained accountability and confidence in governance by engaging with the citizenry in a participatory manner to effect improved service delivery. However, despite a variety of legislative prescriptions pertaining to participation, a degree of apathy remains amongst communities.
This article reviews the constitutional objectives that indicate the necessity for public participation. Additional legislative prescriptions that give effect to these objectives will also be reviewed. Proposals will be made for enhanced facilitation of public participation in the local sphere of government with specific reference to the role that ward committees can play.
Author R.S. MasangoSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 123 –132 (2009)More Less
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and legislation make provision for public participation in policy making and implementation in South Africa. Although there are indications that South Africans are utilising the opportunities offered by the Constitution and legislation in this regard, authors such as Buccus questions the efficacy of public participation. In this article, it is argued that effective public participation is an imperative for sustainable democracy and effective service delivery. Within the South African context, the efficacy of public participation and its role in service delivery are discussed. Furthermore, the article suggests that civic awareness and continuous control in policy making and implementation could contribute towards sustainable democracy and effective service delivery.
Relationship between the affordability of basic municipal services and satisfaction : the Soweto community case studySource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 133 –144 (2009)More Less
This article assumes that community satisfaction with basic municipal services delivery is based on various factors. The article puts forward the hypothesis that affordability, that is, the ability to pay for basic municipal services, is a factor that determines satisfaction. Affordability is measured through employment, income and the Living Standard Measurement data, while satisfaction is a self-reported attitudinal variable by the communities themselves. The data for this article was obtained through an empirical survey of 200 households from eight Soweto townships; these townships fall within regions 6 and 10 of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Townships were divided into 'well-off' and 'worse-off' on the basis of their assessed ability to pay. Empirical findings confirm the hypothesis that people in well-off townships are significantly dissatisfied with municipal service delivery compared with those in worse-off townships.
Author W. Isaacs-MartinSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 145 –155 (2009)More Less
Housing is the only component of basic service delivery that encompasses ownership. However, the slow rate of housing delivery and intolerance from local government towards enquiries from individuals and interest groups have forced communities to suspect corruption. In addition, demonstrations and riots as methods to secure delivery have resulted in attacks on and displacement of foreigners. This extreme response to access adequate housing has reaffirmed ethnic identity being manifested in a form of negative nationalism. The purpose of this article, is to examine patriotism as a means to evoke pride and responsibility in the public service. The literature review focuses on inculcating patriotism to create a national identity and a tolerance for foreigners. This article argues that the responsibility of patriotism to uphold the Constitution, 1996 as supreme resides with the public service and citizens alike and that critique of local government inaction can promote the realisation of access, psychological dignity and housing ownership.
Structuring South African municipalities for effective local economic development (LED) implementationAuthor S.R. MalefaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 156 –168 (2009)More Less
The leadership role of municipalities in local economic development (LED) is crucial to its success. Despite the recognition that LED is perceived as a municipal intervention, it is not being efficiently implemented in most South African municipalities. This article identifies the relationship between ineffective current municipal structural planning for LED implementation and municipal structures based on notions of bureaucracy and authority. It reports on the current structural planning for LED implementation, where the results of an assessment reveal that the current system of LED implementation offers insufficient economic development opportunities, reduces LED implementation to a municipal department and therefore, renders the municipality unable to offer a representative outlook (economic diversification) on the total municipal economy and promote dominant economic sectors. The system is slow in adapting to environmental changes, with serious implications for local communities. This article recommends the restructuring of the current system for LED implementation. The bases of the recommendations rest on the need to shift towards flexible systems for LED implementation and away from those founded on notions of bureaucracy and autocratic authority.
Public transport system in promoting access and mobility in the Johannesburg Central Business DistrictAuthor B.R. HanyaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 169 –182 (2009)More Less
This article explores public transport mechanisms and strategies for promoting mobility and access in the Johannesburg Central Business District. Transportation as an infrastructure is crucial in promoting sustainable urban development. Central to this debate are the concepts mobility and accessibility as requirements for achieving sustainable public transport goals and objectives. The advent and the demands of global integration and sustainable living have created the need to re-examine the scope, dynamics and developments of the urban transportation system. The City of Johannesburg as a metropolitan authority has an obligation to design, explore and implement constructive urban public transport mechanisms and strategies. In this article, the existing legislation, organisational arrangements, systems and processes designed to promote sustainable public transport in the City of Johannesburg will be examined (this being part of local government service delivery).
Author M. Van HeerdenSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 183 –195 (2009)More Less
The purpose of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000, is to give effect to the constitutional right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair. The Act serves as a basis to promote efficient public administration and creates a framework for the valid execution of all administrative actions. The Act contains a number of definitions of the concept administrative action, all of which strongly suggest that administrative action entails much more than mere actions and means, in fact, a decision and an activity of an administrative nature. Since the Act is rather cumbersome in its definition of the concept administrative action, this article clarifies the different types of actions, explains when particular actions are regarded as administrative action, and describes when such actions take effect and when they may be altered.
Author S.B. KahnSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 196 –208 (2009)More Less
Job reservation practices during the previous dispensation entrenched discrimination against women, which resulted in the under-representation of women at senior management level within the then South African Defence Force (SADF). The White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service 1995, the White Paper on Affirmative Action in the Public Service 1998 and a Cabinet decision of 25 November 2005 revoked discriminatory practices and set targets for the inclusion of women during the period 1999 to 2009. This article examines the extent to which women were represented within senior management in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) between 1998 and 2008. Results of empirical research reveal continued under-representation of women at senior management level, and indicates that the SANDF did not achieve the gender equity targets for the period identified.
Author P.N. MfeneSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 209 –221 (2009)More Less
Service delivery depends on the quality of administration practised by public institutions. The extent to which the community is satisfied with the goods and services provided and rendered by public institutions remains a challenge. The government has had to bridge the gap created by the apartheid government in service delivery. This regime rendered services in a skewed fashion. This anomaly can only be addressed through efficient and effective public administration; such public administration forms part of the governmental system. It is an activity of government that facilitates the provision of goods and services. This article reviews service delivery in the context of public administration. This article starts by giving an overview of public administration and its prerequisites. This is followed by a reflection on the relationship between service delivery and public administration, as well as the manner in which service delivery can be improved.
Author J. Steyn-KotzeSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 222 –233 (2009)More Less
South Africa embarks on its fourth democratic election in 2009, effectively rendering it a stable democracy. The pre-election period has been volatile with the Road to Polokwane and the divisions within the African National Congress (ANC) culminated with the resignation of Thabo Mbeki, the expulsion of Mosiuoa Lekota, and the formation of the Congress of the People (COPE). Political analysis tend focus on the need for strong opposition to ensure a robust democracy and the need for alternative policies to ensure effective service delivery. Central as these issues are, there remains a need to assess South Africa's substantive democratic quality. Regime performance within a stable democratic environment is central to democratic consolidation. The political space is growing narrow due to statements highlighting levels of political intolerance, coupled with democratic consolidation challenges such as poverty, inadequate service delivery, and inequality. The article therefore deconstructs post-Polokwane political rhetoric to assess substantive democratic consolidation.
Author N. HoltzhausenSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 234 –246 (2009)More Less
The purpose of this article is to provide a conceptual framework for trust as a prerequisite for whistleblowing in public sector organisations. A review of existing literature determines that organisational trust should be developed to ensure that whistleblowers can disclose perceived wrongdoing in a protected environment that is characterised by openness, honesty, integrity and trust. Lewicki and Bunker's three-stage framework focusing on the development of organisational trust utilised in this article is an example of how trust can be developed in a public sector organisation. Without organisational trust, whistleblowing might not take place within the organisation as the whistleblower might decide either to remain silent or to blow the whistle outside the organisation.
Author R. WesselsSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 247 –256 (2009)More Less
Public Administration has been taught by means of traditional teaching methods, where the teacher teaches and the learner listens. A new trend has emerged in the field, where learners learn through active participation in a constructive and positive learning environment. This method of instruction is referred to as the case study method and gives the learner an opportunity to acquire knowledge, competencies, skills and attitudes. The purpose of this article is to describe the advantages and challenges of using the case study method of teaching in Public Administration. The qualitative research method was employed in this study to ascertain the views of Public Administration teachers who use the case study method. This article provides the teacher with recommendations to bear in mind when using the case study method of teaching.
Author L.C. Van JaarsveldtSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 257 –267 (2009)More Less
The University of South Africa (UNISA) is an open distance learning (ODL) institution that provides students access to higher education. Many public servants work full time and can only study part time; this means that UNISA is their university of choice. Public Administration education at UNISA can contribute to build human capacity in the public service. Building human capacity in the public service can, in turn, assist in improving service delivery and was a point raised at the ANC conference at Polokwane. It also forms part of the Human Resources Development Strategic Framework for the Public Service: Vision 2015. The purpose of this article is therefore to determine if UNISA's ODL policy can be used to teach Public Administration and thus improve human capacity in the South African public service.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 268 –280 (2009)More Less
The developmental municipalities have experienced challenges of limited resources and methods to provide services in an inclusive, professional and constitutional manner. The purpose of this article is to explore, describe and propose a mechanism that would enable municipalities to be more inclusive, effective, efficient, and economical in the manner in which they accelerate service delivery in the post-2009 government. In this regard, the article considers management of municipal service partnerships (MSP) as a vital democratic mechanism to continuous building and sustaining future people-centred developmental local government. The forms of MSPs are discussed, and stakeholders are identified. Government's bias towards one form of MSPs is problematic. The limitations in the Guide for Municipal Service Partnerships of 2006-2010, provides further opportunity for research on the other forms of partnerships that are not provided for in the guide.
Implementation of poverty alleviation projects : experiences of project members in the Chris Hani District, Eastern Cape ProvinceSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 281 –290 (2009)More Less
The study explored the experiences of project members in the implementation of poverty alleviation projects. A convenience sample of thirty participants was drawn from six poverty alleviation projects in the Chris Hani District, Eastern Cape Province. Data were collected using focus groups, interview schedule and document review. The results obtained from the thematic content analysis indicate that project members experience challenges pertaining to financial resources, infrastructure and capacity to implement the projects. It is recommended that project members received guidance from Community Development Practitioners on how to draw out strengths and successes in a community's shared history in the conceptualisation of projects.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 897 –909 (2009)More Less
The early 1990s saw major political changes in South Africa. Political organisations, most notably the African National Congress (ANC), were unbanned by the F.W. de Klerk government and the government committed itself to negotiating a new constitution with all political parties.
Author R. CameronSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 910 –942 (2009)More Less
The main research question of this paper is: to what extent has the South African public service been influenced by New Public Management (NPM) reforms from 1999 to 2009. This article looks at key areas which are generally considered to be part of the NPM range of ideas.
One of the tenets of NPM reform is decentralisation. While a framework has been put in place, in practice there has not been as much decentralisation as is normally presumed. Instead, there have been moves towards a stronger central state in recent years. For example, there has been the strengthening of the core centre of government, the growth of the stronger developmental state and greater Treasury control. Public service staff were cut in the 1990s. This was not a particularly successful strategy because it led to the exodus of skilled staff. Since 2000 there has been targeted growth to create a more professional public service.
Corporatisation is another widely used NPM reform that has been adopted in the form of public entities. Again, the growth of public entities is perhaps not as widespread as sometimes presumed. The Senior Management Service (SMS) has been created to promote greater efficiency in the state. The evidence on the SMS is mixed. While there have been some good managers, there was concern about the quality of a number of others. Contract appointments are a major feature of NPM. The government has employed directors-general mostly on three year contracts. While this has had its advantages, such as performance-based contracts, it has led to the premature departure of skilled staff from the public service. Performance management has been a major component of public service reform. However, it has only been erratically and inconsistently applied. Lastly, improved service delivery is at the heart of NPM. There have been a number of measures undertaken to improve service delivery. The evidence suggests there have been mixed results. There is still perhaps not a systematic service culture in the public service.
The article concludes that, while there are elements of NPM in the reform programme, it has not taken off in the way that has commonly been presumed.
Author R. LevinSource: Journal of Public Administration 44, pp 943 –968 (2009)More Less
In the wake of the country's first democratic elections in 1994, the ANC-led South African government moved decisively to transform state institutions, in particular the public service, which were essential to the transformation of society. This article reflects on the more important transformation initiatives since 1994, identifying three distinct phases: 1994-1999 where the emphasis was on transformation of legislation and policy along with institutional restructuring; 1999-2004 which focused on consolidation and implementation of policy, in particular efforts at increasing access to government services, anti-corruption measures and the provision of hands-on support to challenged departments; and 2004-2009 in which government researched and debated the capacity and organisation of the state, including proposals to create a Single Public Service encompassing all three spheres of government. The article analyses some of the public administration trends in the first 15 years of democracy, including decentralisation, integration and professionalisation of the public service. The current focus of the ANC Government on building a developmental state is analysed, and its conjunctural manifestation in the South African constitutional state it describes. It concludes that priorities going forward should include continued efforts to expand access to services, ongoing attention to the capacity of the state, especially skills development, and the implementation of macro-organisational reforms.