The research proposes that the adoption of a hybrid leadership and governance framework by the South African public service is crucial for improving service delivery in South Africa. The leadership and governance framework of the South African public service has had a negative impact on its effectiveness and efficiency. The study analysed service delivery performance in four South African public service departments against the backdrop of their leadership and governance frameworks, namely: Departments of Health, Housing, Justice and Constitutional Development and Safety and Security. The study found that the frameworks currently in use are not very effective in redressing service delivery imbalances and inequities in South Africa, especially in previously disadvantaged communities. The needs and demands of the South African public are not being adequately met. The study found that there are a number of interrelated variables, which were hampering the effectiveness of the public service. The most important of these variables were identified as human resource and financial constraints, the lack of technical skills, the lack of co-ordination, ineffective intergovernmental relations (IGR) between the three spheres of government, ineffective policy implementation, conflict between the classical public administration model and the new public management (NPM) paradigm, and the lack of effective monitoring and evaluation systems. In view of the challenges facing the South African public service, this thesis presents an alternative, hybrid leadership and governance model. This model has been designed in response to the unique circumstances faced by the public service in the post-apartheid era (post-1994) public service. It requires a conception of public service leadership and governance that draws on various relevant approaches while adapting these to the prevailing local narratives already existing in the country. It incorporates traditional African ethics and values, transformational leadership and team leadership, and encompasses effective governance approaches, such as civic governance. It also includes accountability, transparency and public participation. It is evident from the four cases presented herein, that such transformation is crucial for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the South African public service. The leadership and governance framework developed in this study is flexible, as it can be applied to diverse settings and circumstances. This study thus advances a pragmatic transformational African model for the improvement of service delivery in South Africa.
Thesis (PhD (Public Affairs))--University of Pretoria, 2006.