Integrated public governance is one of the challenges of Government. The importance
of governmental departments, NGOs and stakeholders working together in a
coordinated and well-managed manner in times of natural and man-initiated
disasters, cannot be emphasised enough. To determine the nature and extent of this,
the management of the most severe veld fires during 2008 in the Waterberg District of
the Limpopo Province was researched with reference to the nature and extent of the
integrated public governance achieved. The agricultural extension officers’ ability to
establish interest groups in the respective communities and to build linkages between
themselves and other organisations and government institutions has proved
invaluable in the quest of the Limpopo Province Department of Agriculture (LDA) to
bring about more effective public service delivery in the Province.
In the article, notice has been taken of the most prominent legislation in the field
of agricultural public service rendering, and the way in which public management per
se and governmental relations as ‘vehicles’ determined the level of effectiveness,
efficiency and economy of the management of three major veld fires in the Alma, Rust
de Winter and Dwaalboom areas. The response time by departmental officials of the
various spheres of government and the ultimate time when governmental assistance
was received, were compared.
The vital roles of the Agricultural Extension Officer and the supporting offices of
LDA in the management of agricultural related crises, are also highlighted. Lastly
some logical conclusions are drawn and recommendations made to improve the
agricultural service rendering in the Province.