This article examines performance management in the South African Department of
Labour looking at the roles of the national office, provincial offices and labour centres.
The research objective was to identify the problems and obstacles in implementing
both the organisational and individual performance management system. A single
case-study method was followed and use was made of a semi-structured questionnaire.
The findings were that, although there are well developed performance
management frameworks, they have not really been successfully implemented. There
are four categories of impediments affecting the implementation of performance
management. The first category is that of problems of measurement and design. The
second category is that of the gaming of the system and a lack of compliance in the
signing and evaluation of individual performance agreements by senior officials. The
third category is lack of capacity which includes inadequate information technology
systems and poor quality of staff. The fourth category is that of accountability. There
needs to be strong accountability of bureaucracies if performance is to be taken
seriously and public bureaucracies are to work effectively.