Public Administration and Governance
Orientation to Governance (OGS150S)
NQF LEVEL: 5
KABELO MAKHOBENG: 218118554
APHENDULE KHUPHISO: 218045042
3. Government ………………………………………………………..……4-5
5. Roles of national government…………………………………………6-7
6. Role of Provincial government………………………………………..7-8
7. Roles of Local Government……………………………………………8-9
9. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………10
Critically analyse and discuss the role of politics, government and governance in the public service delivery framework in South Africa. Substantiate your argument by way of giving practical examples
The beginning of our democracy ushered the redressing of the pasted injustices to bridge the gap between white and black, the then privileged and the poor. Years of Africans being subjected to live under poor conditions and denied a shared access to improve their lives prompted the government to restructure itself and its departments and lives of those that live in South Africa by providing public services to the poor black South Africans.
For service delivery to achieve its set goals of improving the lives or to better the lives of South Africans, the government needed to come up with a set of guidelines that will address the problems and provide services that are satisfactory. So they did. The Batho Pele principles are the guidelines which were introduced in 1996 (Education and Training Unit n.d).
These principles were to be the guidelines that drive public service delivery. Be this as it may, they are still other factors that influence public service delivery. For this assignment, the main focus will be on the three elements that influence public service delivery. These three element are Politics, Government and Governance. The next section will discuss in detail these three Elements.
Before diving right into discussing these three elements, firstly understanding what they are is important. Politics, which will be the first to be discussed is defined by Bluntschli, J (1830) as “Politics is the science of watching the affairs of state, to fight for and understanding of the state and circumstances, the properties essentially, in various forms or manifestations of development”. In a looser term, Politics, defined by Dlamini, N (2017) “are the actions or activities concerned with achieving and using power in a country or society”. Because politics “watches the affairs of the state” and strives to achieve that which will benefit the public or its own course, service delivery being one of these affairs, should result in politics influencing it. How politics influence service delivery is by virtue of being the pioneers of disagreements and inciting protests and raising debates from communities to parliament with regards to service delivery. One of the most needed public service delivery that was noticed by not just the students but by the country was free higher education with the slogan, #feesmustfall. ENCA reports that the Fees Must Fall protest of 2015, ”has become the biggest student protest movement in democratic South Africa” and that ” the protest has drawn comparisons with the 1976 youth uprisings in Soweto against the apartheid education system” (ENCA, 2015). One of the political party was said to have hijacked this protest. This political party is the economic freedom fighter. During a house sitting of parliament, a protest that the parliament had not prepared for was happening outside the parliament. According to Essop, R (2015), a reporter of eye witness news, the EFF chanted: “Recognize us first!” and “Fees must fall!” and in this way EFF this showing how the EFF has taken it upon themselves to spearhead this campaign and still have continues debates about this campaign. RPD housing has found its fair share of corruption due to politics. Moatshe, R (2017) mentioned that the backlog could partly be attributed to corrupt activities which saw houses being given to undeserving people by ANC officials. The next factor which will be discussed is government.
According to Dibie, C (2008) “Government as an institution of the state can be defined as a “machinery” set up by the state, to keep the state organised, run its affairs and administer its various functions and duties”. Dibie, C (2008) further goes on to explain that government made up of three organs. These being: 1. The Executive–This organ formulate and implement policies2. The Legislature– This organ make laws3- The Judiciary– The Judiciary is the organ that interpret the law.
Government influences public service delivery in many ways. Of the ways is in funding. The government, each year in the national assembly, a budget speech is given. In this budget speech, the minister of finance will speak on where funding will be allocated to satisfy the need of the people. Nsfas is known to be one of the ways the country funds students who cannot afford tertiary fees. This is services delivery in terms of satisfying the needs of students who wish to continue the education. Because of the fees must fall campaign, an amount if R57billion was allocated to NSFAS to cater for free education which will be for only first years Lameez Omarjee reports (Omarjee, L. 2018). The other that the government has done that makes it an influence to service delivery is social grants. During this year’s budget speech, the former minister of finance had announced that they will be an increase in social grants. Business Report (2018) mentions that “An additional R2.6 billion has been added since the medium-term budget policy statement to social grants to enable these changes”. This then meant that “pensioners will see their grants increase from R1,600 to R1,690 by April 1 and by another R10 by October 1.The child support grant will increase by R20 from R380 to R400, and by another R10 come October 1” business Report (2018). SASSA has also introduced a new form of payment to better the ways of receiving the grants, by receiving it through a bank account. Although government is the body, the administrative part of it needs to be discuss. This part is called governance which follows below.
Identifying governance would require us to understand that the concept is of a broader notion than government. Governance, according to Sharma, P. (2004) “involves interaction between the formal institutions and those in civil society. Governance refers to a process whereby elements in society wield power, authority and influence and enact policies and decisions concerning public life and social upliftment.” There are concepts that make up governance. Some of those being administration, Decision Making and Policies just to name a few. Looking at the mentioned concepts, public service delivery seems to be linked in with them simply because for there to be any public service delivery, a decision making is incorporated and a policy is needed to guide the process of the public service delivery. How governance influences public service delivery is governance acts as the administrative aspect for service delivery. It looks at how the funds are being used and the allocation of those funds. It ensures that policies written for the service delivery are followed as well as, to some extent, interact within the actual process of providing these service deliveries. Question is does the administrative part of supplying these service deliveries happen in a fair way? Moatshe, R (2017) reports that they has been officials and politicians in Pretoria that have been corrupt by selling RDP houses. “He said that those who had illegally bought houses should demand their money from the crooked sellers back because there wouldn’t be any houses allocated to them” Moatshe, R. 2017. In Mandela’s times as president, the government adopted the reconstruction and development programme. Its mission was to rebuild the nation by first providing housing and shelter to black people who were discriminated on pre-Apartheid. But the principles have been distorted. The next section will be the roles national, provincial and local government play in influencing service delivery.
Three types of government:
The Role of National Government
The national government is considered to be the supreme government which is made up of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. Its role is to pass laws and approve policies which are brought to the national Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. It is also the national governments duty to provide services to the people of the country. This happens through debates where the members of parliament bring in specific agendas such as health services, the parliament would debate its bad services provision and find ways to implement measures to ensure that services are provided. Finance to satisfy these services is given out by the national government of which the Minister of Finance is tasked to announce where these finances will be allocated to. Government has adopted a comprehensive plan for sustainable human
Settlements – building on the established housing subsidy programme,
Extending further support for social housing initiatives and
Accelerating the upgrading of informal settlements. Over the next
Three years R23 billion will be spent on the integrated housing
Settlement grant, contributing to over 500 000 new or improved
Housing units. Investment in municipal roads and transport facilities,
Electrification, water services and sanitation will also receive
Additional funds. In keeping with the objectives of the expanded
Public works programme, labour-intensive approaches will be adopted
In many of these activities.
In recognition of the rapid pace of urbanisation, particularly in faster growing
Coastal cities, special attention has been given to the
Enhancement of institutional capacity at local government level.
Deficiencies in municipal planning and project management are
Acknowledged constraints. More rapid progress will depend in part on
Improved professional and technical capacity, sound financing
Arrangements and stronger management systems. Infrastructure development underpins improved residential living
Conditions, expanded industrial investment and job creation. The next government discussed is provincial Government.
The role of Provincial Government
With regards to provincial government, public services their provincial government are in the areas of health, education, and social services. One of the things provincial government ventures on “coordinate investment”
A paper written on integrating service delivery for maximum impact suggests that it is the “middle” sphere of government that connects national and local government. It is said to also be responsible for a “significant amount of government expenditure”. Also this is so, they are some difficulties with regards to Departments deliver services within municipal and ward boundaries, but they often do so without taking into account the service delivery activities of other departments. Local government will be looked at next.
The role of Local Government
When it comes to Local government municipality Education Training unit, makes mention on how it “is the sphere of government closest to the people, they are elected by citizens to represent them and are responsible to ensure that services are delivered to the community”. Meaning that it looks at the provision of public service delivery. It is clear that one of the sole purposes of local government if to provide public services. These findings are that from Education Training Unit which states that “the local sphere of government is said to be responsible for the delivery of basic services. These service range from water and sanitation services and electricity”. This is at least according to Education Training unit. Although the Local government receives funding from the national government, sometimes government does not give them enough revenue to provide services for the people. According to Corruption Watch (2014) reporters revealed that “some of this much-needed money is diverted into the pockets of unscrupulous officials, instead of being used to help the community, so that service delivery is compromised”. Because of this local government has found ways to provide the services that are needed by making they own resources, finance, equipment and employees. They are able. Some of the times, local government is not able to deliver services for the people who reside and is part of that community. Education Training Unit Identifies that the reason why such would happen could be because of “lack of finances or lack of capacity to provide a good service at an affordable price”. Regardless of that, the public still needs services delivery. There for local government will have to still find way to bridge that gap. Alternatively they government, to combat poverty, they have strategies to ensure people get their basic services delivery. President Mbeki, (2001) said: “The provision of free basic amounts of electricity and water to our people will alleviate the plight of the poorest among us while plans for the stimulation of the local economy should lead to the creation of new jobs and the reduction of poverty. From this statement it is clear that water and electricity has been prioritised as a free basic service for the poor.” The next section will be looking at the municipalities and how they are linked together.
Metropolitan municipalities exist in the six biggest cities in South Africa
Different kinds of Municipalities:
Echoing the above statement, Metropolitan municipalities exist in the six biggest cities in South Africa. They have more than half a million voters and the metropolitan municipality co-ordinates the delivery of services to the whole area. According to Brand South Africa, (2016) “Metropolitan municipalities are situated in these particular cities, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and East Rand. “These municipalities are divided into wards.
Half the councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where the voters vote for a party. The other half are elected as ward councillors by the people of that particular area in each ward.
Areas that are not outside the six metropolitan municipal areas are divided into local municipalities. The total number of local municipalities in South Africa is 231 and each municipality is broken into wards. Residents of a particular ward are represented by a councillor and each ward has its councillor.
Only people who live in low population areas, like game parks, do not fall under local municipalities. The areas are called district management areas (DMA) and fall directly under the district municipality.
According to Corruption Watch (2016) “In local municipalities, half the councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where voters vote for a party. The other half are elected as ward councillors by the residents in each ward”.
District municipalities are made up of a number of local municipalities that fall in one district. Research states that there are between 3 – 6 local municipalities that come together in a district council and there are 47 district municipalities in South Africa. Some district municipalities also include nature reserves and the areas where few people live – district management areas.
These fall directly under the district council and have no local council. The district municipality has to co-ordinate development and delivery in the whole district. It plays a stronger role in areas where local municipalities lack capacity to deliver. It has its own administration (staff).
South Africa still has a long way to go in terms of satisfactory service delivery. Poor service delivery has been seen time and time again in South Africa due to lack of funds simply because of corrupt officials and mismanagement of funds. The people who are affected by the poor service delivery are the poor who live in townships and squatter camps. The government still has a long way to redress the injustice of Apartheid and create a fair and just South Africa.
Education and Training Unit. N.d. Batho Pele: Improving government service.
http://www.etu.org.za/toolbox/docs/govern/bathopele.html. Last accessed 11 August 2018
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