Journal of Public Administration - Volume 48, Issue 1, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 48, Issue 1, 2013
Author Kedibone PhagoSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 1 –4 (2013)More Less
As this March edition of the Journal of Public Administration (JOPA) was finalised, the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) had just received a joint feedback report, released by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) and the National Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET). The report confirms that JOPA is still one of the premier journals in the country. This dual process of evaluation was done hardly a year after their regular evaluations were conducted in 2011, which also had confirmed the accreditation of the Journal. In his maiden editorial, after his formal appointment as the editor of the Journal, Maserumule raised several issues that pertain to the status of the discipline, which the editorship of this Journal should attend to, in order to maintain the status that it had achieved in terms of its contribution to the evolution of the discipline.
Organisational work procedures and service efficiency : conceptual extrapolations and views from an organisational policy and procedures review processAuthor O. NzewiSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 5 –21 (2013)More Less
This paper examines organisational work procedures as an important efficiency driver in the public sector. Using expositions in literature and drawing from some of the findings from a recent organisational policy and procedures review project, the paper examines the potential role that organisational procedures can play in service efficiency. The paper begins with an assessment of the scientific management concepts of work and efficiency against issues of equity and public value. The aim is to first, investigate the influence of these views in public administration as practiced in South Africa today; second, encourage greater interest in organisational work procedures as a credible research and practice area of Public Administration and third, engage the importance of an efficiency focused service delivery given the growing demands for services in South Africa. Literature and the review project findings indicate that organisational work procedures or processes in the public sector tend to be treated more as compliance tools than practical efficiency drivers. In a state with limited resources and intense public demands for services, the paper highlights the potential of work procedures as a tool for driving efficiency. The paper is envisioned as a foundation for future research on the utilisation of work procedures by South African public employees towards better efficiency.
Author S.B. NgcamuSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 22 –34 (2013)More Less
The Sphere of Local Government tends to appoint employees to specialised positions based on blind allegiance and political affiliation to the ruling political party, which has led to the malfunctioning of the customer care centres within eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality. This malfunctioning has also been seen through unequal distribution of centres, equipment and personnel throughout the municipality, whereby rural or peri-urban centres are characterised by incompetence, a lack of integrity and poor governance. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether distributions of the customer care centres, human capacity and services offered throughout eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality respond positively to the needs of communities. This paper used a qualitative research method, whereby in-depth-interviews were conducted amongst a population size of 53 employees employed within eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality's Regional Centres Unit. The qualitative research findings have revealed disparities between human capacity, office equipment and the services offered by centres in the previously advantaged and disadvantaged customer care centres. This is evidenced by the absence of office equipment and dilapidated centres at peri-urban or rural areas, as compared to urban core centres. Consequently, this paper contributes to knowledge in the field of Public Administration fraternity as this area of research (customer care centres in the public sector) is still emerging. In many cases, customers in receipt of municipal services from the customer care centres are increasingly having their expectations raised by eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality who often fail to deliver the expected standards of services.
State capitalism, meta-governance, state-capital nexus and state activism paradoxes in the Gauteng freewaysAuthor J.P. TsheolaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 35 –50 (2013)More Less
Public Administration highlighted the discrepancies between the international, national and sub-national administrations, prompting calls for state capitalism meta-governance. The latter is established in the state-capital nexus, through corporatisation of public utilities into giant state-owned companies that gobble public funds in public-private partnerships that involve consortiums led by multinational corporations. Rather than serve public interest mandates, and aided by state activism, state-owned companies operate as visible paradoxical agents of the invisible hand of market capitalism. The paper demonstrates that public contestations about the Gauteng Freeways state activism on e-tolling and the imperatives of the Gauteng Management Agency-Bombela nexus and contract, as well as the Gautrain ridership capacity conundrums, provide evidence that practice of state capitalism meta-governance involves state activism which emboldens state-owned companies' circumvention of national public interest mandates.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 51 –62 (2013)More Less
A large part of the discourse of governance envisages cooperation between civil society and the state, with some theorists and practitioners arguing that there is a positive correlation between civil society and good governance. In particular, civil society action is presumed to be a requirement for good governance as well as an indicator of it (Roy, 2008). In essence, the very idea of governance is symbolically significant and suggests that the state alone cannot be the sole manager of public affairs. In this respect, civil society organisations should play a role especially in terms of ensuring state accountability. This paper presents a paradox in that the state is required to accommodate civil society which in turn is required to ensure that the state accounts for its actions.
Significantly and perhaps in a bid to preserve its hegemony, the state provides limits on the civil society by virtue of having to recognise its existence and role. In other words, whereas the civil society may be required to ensure state accountability, its actions must first be legitimised by the state - the very same sphere that the civil society seeks to hold to account - by way of recognising it. In simple terms, this means that although the civil society is theoretically outside of the state, it is nevertheless viewed from the perspective of the state and its effectiveness is, to a large extent, dependent on the attitude of the state. This paper presents a critical assessment of the relationship between the state and civil society, arguing that the legitimacy of civil society activities derives from its recognition by the state, civil society's ability to ensure state accountability is greatly compromised and renders it an affiliate of the state. The paper relied on secondary data to deliberate on governance and civil society discourses as well as the paradox embedded in it.
Research and knowledge management gaps in African election management bodies : a dilemma for governance and electoral democracy?Author K.J. MaphunyeSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 63 –74 (2013)More Less
Research and knowledge management (RKM) are arguably the fundamental basis upon which their success or survival rests in many organisations. Yet, these critical tools for supporting and measuring an organisation's performance in an information age, are often found wanting in African election management bodies (EMBs). The resultant gaps threaten smooth governance in these institutions; and a lack of empirical research and relevant infrastructure in turn affect the governance of elections in these countries. Finally, this situation normally affects governance processes countrywide as it affects political parties and other stakeholders. This paper examines the challenges and gaps facing selected African EMBs in terms of research and knowledge management, focusing on the effects of such gaps on governance processes in the EMBs and in their countries. It is argued that EMBs are globally important vehicles through which democratic governance and electoral democracy could be shared with the electorate; and that such bodies must utilise research findings and reliable knowledge management (KM) practices if they are to promote sound governance practices in their countries. Through a review of the literature, official reports, relevant African Union charters and a questionnaire, which was completed by election officials from selected African countries, it contends that African EMBs do not prioritise research and knowledge management in their operations. It makes recommendations on possible solutions to challenges analysed based on the discussions that the author had with the officials concerned. The author posits that, where knowledge management and research are prioritised in an EMB, the financial and other resources they enjoy are inadequate to cover a whole spectrum of activities which would significantly boost internal governance mechanisms and in turn strengthen governance processes countrywide. It will conclude that these gaps weaken governance in the EMBs election management and undermine democratic governance in their countries.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 75 –88 (2013)More Less
Various legislation, policies, and strategies have been formulated since the advent of the democratic dispensation as an attempt to address the problem of unethical behaviour in the South African public sector. The discourse on ethics in the South African public service recognises undoubtedly that South Africa has a sound legislative and policy framework for promoting professional and ethical conduct. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), as the supreme law of the country, lays the foundation for the promotion of professional and ethical behaviour. To this end, it stipulates in section 195 (a) that "public administration must be accountable and a high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained". In spite of all these, the ethical conduct of most public servants remains questionable. Constitutional bodies charged with the responsibility to promote good governance such as the Public Protector, Auditor General and Public Service Commission continue to raise concerns about the unethical conduct in the South African public sector. This is evident as media reports are ever abuzz with the concerns of unethical behaviour of public officials. It is for this reason that the objective of this paper is to analyse the existing literature on ethics in the South African public service in order to highlight the significance of ethical training as a cornerstone for an effective anti-corruption system. The paper suggest that a thorough and more rigorous ethical training is crucial if the current attempts aimed at promoting ethical behaviour are to be successful.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 89 –104 (2013)More Less
This paper discusses issues concerning child sex trafficking from the perspective of current UK policy and practice. It examines different academic ideological perspectives on child sex trafficking issues and highlights how these can be detrimental when applied to government policy and decision-making. Specific reference is made to the issue of internal child sex trafficking (ICST) in the UK, a previously under-researched area of child sexual exploitation. Recent high profile cases, such as the Rochdale Child Abuse enquiry have highlighted the historic and contemporary failures of agencies and institutions to deal with the specific issues at play. The role of the media and other agencies in perpetuating/dismantling victim stereotypes has been evaluated, and their role in raising awareness and combating the problem of child sexual exploitation and trafficking in the UK, examined. This paper poses the questions: Are ideological debates about child sex trafficking useful in informing policy and practice? Should ICST be analysed as a separate phenomenon to cross-border child sex trafficking? Finally, in terms of governance, does policy need to be better informed by victim-centred perspectives if practice is to be improved?
The implementation of gender equality policies in achieving Millennium Development goal three in the Sedibeng District MunicipalitySource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 105 –117 (2013)More Less
Globally, the achievement of Millennium Development goal 3 is slow, as is evidenced by surveys conducted by some of the reputable international organisations, such as the Global Employment Trends, (2009) and the Global Employment Trends for Women, (2009) (both conducted by the International Labour Organisation), the Mastercard Worldwide Index on Women's Advancement, (2009), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2011). The surveys explore the reality that gender equality in the labour market is still low and remain unchanged due to the fact that women are not receiving the required employment opportunities, are under-represented in the working place and are not considered for strategic portfolios. The outcomes of these surveys are supported by academic such scholars, as Meintjies (2005); Parker (2009); Tsuari (2010); Penceliah (2011); Zukang (2012); and KiMoon (2012) whose studies emphasise the discrimination of women in the labour market. The paper aims to focus on the Millennium Development Goal 3 due to the fact that gender equality and the empowerment of women is at the heart of this initiative, as stated in the Millennium Development Goals Report of 2010, in which it is reported that this objective is not yet fully realised. There is a need to investigate the essence of gender equality (in favour of the female aspect of gender) demanding appropriate recognition and opportunities for empowerment in a country-specific milieu. The previous researches conducted by Mathye (2002); Tsuari (2010); Penceliah (2011); Sithole et al. (2012) explore the findings emphasising that the municipal employment practices are not done in favour of women in the society as there are still some municipalities that do not invest in offering training programmes for gender balancing their working environment; while and the professional and managerial roles are not extended to women. The paper examines the role South Africa is playing in achieving the Millennium Declaration, by focusing on Goal 3 that encourages gender equality and women empowerment. The paper assesses the level of beneficiation at the Sedibeng District Municipality as its focus area.
The praxis of governance in surmounting new frontiers : implications for the South African Public Service as a member of the BRICS statesAuthor S. BalkaranSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 118 –137 (2013)More Less
Within the international community, democracy and governance are widely advocated as intrinsically desirable goals. Governance capacity also plays a vital role in advancing human security, enabling states to respond effectively to citizen's demands. Governance allows citizens to express their demands, hold public officials to account and rid themselves of ineffective leaders. Nevertheless, alternative schools of thought dispute their consequences and as the most effective strategy for achieving critical developmental objectives. Research has shown that countries that demonstrate adherence to high governance standards tend to outperform those which do not. The success of BRICS nations as the fastest growing emerging markets comes from a trend toward good governance, a concept virtually unheard of in these nations just a decade ago. Against this landscape, South Africa is perceived to have failed to unlock its potential because of the intrusive role of a controlling government, which has impacted the Public Service. It is perceived that the "new South African Public Service" is bereft of good governance and is in a survival crisis because of the political modalities of 1994. This paper contrasts the Public Service governance practices between South Africa and its bullish BRIC counterparts and examines whether the South African public service can demonstrate its capacity to rise above its current governance malaise and emulate, if not outperform the successes of its BRIC counterparts.
The etymological context of governance in South African Public Administration : a missing link in reconceptualising the concept for contemporary realityAuthor N.W. NkunaSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 138 –151 (2013)More Less
The concept of governance has been introduced in the discourse of Public Administration by when the focus of public administration practice was to ensure developmentally-oriented objectives for governments. Society as the custodian of government of the day needs to take charge of how the societal affairs are run to the benefit of its welfare. Interactions that take place within the realm of public administration had to be informed by the polity within a given state through the will of the people in the form of a society. South Africa has managed to form that foundation through the adoption of the 1996 Constitution of the Republic. The democratic foundation of the dispensation after the adoption of the 1996 Constitution is premised on the suffrage of South African people. The people continually contribute in the processes of how the government of the day go about pursuing policies that will realise their developmental oriented objectives through various formations and structures that are within the constitutional ambit the society has adopted as a supreme law. Through those processes and interactions, governance finds its expression beyond a single context. Yet in contemporary reality the concept of governance is loosely applied without drawing its contextual space that befits realities of the day-to-day activities within the society. This article puts forward an argument that the loose application of the concept of governance, without contextualising it to befit the realities of everyday activities within a society, is tantamount to a missing link in reconceptualising it to suite the contemporary reality. The argument is premised on the theoretical framework of complexity in context that contends that interactions remain a factor at a given moment and provide context for a situation that rational theoretical explanations cannot address. That eventually reduces the etymology of governance to be that of a morphogenetic shift with isomorphic characteristics.
Citizen participation as an aspect of local governance in municipalities : a South African perspectiveAuthor S.F. TauSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 152 –160 (2013)More Less
South African Constitution provide for three spheres of government (National, Provincial and Local Government) that are distinctive, Interdependent and Interrelated. These three spheres of government through policies and legislation are bound to foster a nation that is hands on when it comes to matters affecting their well-being in their respective communities across the Republic. It is through these policies and legislations that provisions are made that citizens will be able to voice their concerns when their government embarks on any development projects in their locality. It must be noted that citizen participation will in particular takes place at the local sphere of government, which are municipalities. Across all the municipalities in South Africa, governance is ensured through participation of stakeholders, Community-based organisations, Non-governmental organisations and Civil society organisations are parties to govern to ensure that everyone represented is involved in the affairs of government. Citizen participation is the involvement of communities and community organisations in the affairs of government to ensure that their voices are heard. Citizen participation is a community-based process, where citizens organise themselves and their goals at the grassroots level and work together through non-governmental community organisations to influence the decision-making process. The involvement of communities in the affairs of local government will be discussed by using seven core values for the practice public participation, several typologies for public of participation. In this document, literature review methodology will be used to gather information on the topic. Different pieces of legislations and policies will also be review to give a legislative balance and legitimacy on the topic.
Using project management to measure the provision of low-cost housing in the Metsimaholo Local MunicipalitySource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 161 –174 (2013)More Less
This paper concentrates on the use of project management to measure the provision of low-cost housing (LCH) in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality (MLM). The provision of LCH forms part of government urban regeneration programmes for achieving social sustainability. The LCH projects serve as an instrument for the development of sustainable human settlements and contribute to urban regeneration. The housing vision is underpinned by principles of sustainability, integration, equality and good governance. The South African government has since 1994 been acknowledged for its policy framework and mandate towards human settlement developments in order to give effect to the new housing approach. The government adopted a housing policy aimed at building one million houses by the year 1994. An effective measurement system integrates initiatives, aligns organisational units and resources, and improves performance. A great amount of houses were delivered to their new households. Despite the successes achieved, there are growing concerns regarding the social and environmental sustainability of these housing programmes. There are insufficient resources which lead to substantial shortage of housing and related infrastructure in the country. These issues gave rise to community dissatisfaction leading to service delivery protests in the MLM. Numerical estimates also indicate that there are difficulties to obtain reliable up-to-date statistical information on the completed housing projects.
Housing provision has the potential to function as an economic engine, however the abovementioned factors impede the realisation of the economic potential of a viable and vibrant housing delivery system. An effective measurement system integrates initiatives, aligns organisational units and resources, and improves performance. The study provides analysis of the current state of the government's approach to the distribution of housing within the MLM. The use of project management on housing projects is also analysed. The paper also examines the extent to which social sustainability is incorporated within urban regeneration projects in the MLM. The objectives of this study are realised in the application of theoretical and empirical surveys. The paper also offers a series of recommendations to enhance the LCH provision in the MLM.
Author K.I. TheletsaneSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 175 –187 (2013)More Less
Despite claims that the practice of public administration is, or can become, a professional activity, this paper argues that the South African public administration (SAPA) lacks the hallmarks of a true profession, and faces immense challenges if it wants to become one. The public service in South Africa, however, as in many countries, has become professionalised, not because of its contributions to the field of public administration, but rather because the contributions of scientific and other professions have come to dominate in the upper level echelons. The author suggests that this dominance and lack of professional stature of public administration have important implications for schools of public administration and management. In the light of current scholarly views on the nature of professionalism, the practice of public administration can hardly be ranked among the professions. It exhibits few, if any, of the attributes commonly associated with professional status. First of all, its stock of systematic, coherent knowledge is slim indeed. Despite attempts at the establishment of public administration as a discipline, public administration as a field of intellectual inquiry has yet to develop a body of systematic scientific theory or knowledge.
The Tripartite Alliance as a sine qua non in promoting public interest and accountability in the post-Apartheid South African governanceAuthor S.D. NdouSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 188 –194 (2013)More Less
Civil society, a term employed to name the space of those persuaded to join associations, in voluntary membership to collectively establish unions, churches, political parties, cooperation, neighbourhoods, schools of thoughts, societies to promote or prevent actions in government, influence policy, enhancing accountability and safeguard the interest of the public from exploitation by holding public officials accountable for their action in government. Civil society in developing democracies, remain the space where societies can be channelled to express their interest, and thereby be an agent to convey such information to the authorities. In South Africa, one of the largest players in that space of human association is the Tripartite Alliance, a collective of the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist Party (SACP), with thousands affiliates where COSATU is constituted of the labour unions and ANC being the government of the day. While currently ANC is a ruling party, the two subordinates play a significant role in influencing resolutions of the ANC policy and in some cases their leaders are deployed in the government institutions as political office bearers. This paper seeks to presents the contextual interface between government and civil society, the role of civil society in promoting public interest and accountability in government action, it further examine the ability of the Tripartite Alliance in promoting accountability in the South African government activity.
Revisiting of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises' support through governmental agencies : a case study of the Gauteng Enterprise PropellerSource: Journal of Public Administration 48, pp 195 –204 (2013)More Less
South Africa is not immune from the socio-economic challenges facing most developing countries the world over. There is consensus amongst academics, practitioners, and political office-bearers that South Africa is faced with the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The discourse pertaining to these have become dominant in the public domain. Studies indicate that these challenges, as in the Census 2011 results conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), remains endemic. In the face of an emerging debate on who is responsible for the widening gap between the rich and poor, its reality cannot be ignored. The existence of these challenges has been shed to light by recent volatilities in which the country witnessed individual groups resorting to wildcats strikes which were outside the formal bargaining processes. Consequentially, this has led to the government reprioritising and intensifying the struggle against these challenges. A focus on labour absorbing sectors has been emphasised wherein Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) sector features as one with the potential employment generators. The SMMEs sector currently creates more than half of all employment in developing countries. However, the same cannot be said in the South Africa. Thus, this article proposes how the government needs to work towards the repositioning of SMMEs support in response to these triple challenges. In the process, a case study of SMMEs support in the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) is provided.