Political Science & Public Administration

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    Performance management and the utilisation of municipal resources: The case of eThekwini Municipality
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Ndlovu, Irnerius Bonga; Mthethwa, R.M. Mvuyana, B.Y.C.
    Ever since the commencement of South Africa's democracy in 1994, local government has persistently grappled with challenges that impede the effective provision of basic services to its citizens. Consequently, there are frequent occurrences of violent disruptions known as 'service-delivery' protests, which signify community dissatisfaction with the performance of municipalities. As a measure to contribute to effective service delivery, the aim of this study was to investigate the implementation of performance management (PM) and the utilisation of municipal resources. The Trading Services Cluster of eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province was used as a case study to investigate the intangible factors associated with the issue of service delivery. The study adopted a qualitative research approach through which face-to-face focus group interviews were conducted to collect data from a sample of municipal employees. According to the study's findings, it is necessary to take significant steps to ensure the effectiveness of the ongoing PM process, as omitting certain steps can lead to process failure. There was an emphasis that employee participation in supporting the organization's objectives is essential for the delivery of quality services. Management can change organizational effectiveness and efficiency in eThekwini Municipality if they execute PM correctly.
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    The cost of elections and election administration: a comparison of Nigeria and South Africa
    (University of Zululand, 2024) Ojedokun, Babatunde Abayomi; Jili, N. N. and Akinola,A. O.
    The study comparatively examined the influence of electoral costs on election administration in Nigeria and South Africa. The crucial question, therefore, was that whether higher costs expended on election administration translate to better performance in election administration by the election management bodies (EMBs) to produce credible elections in Nigeria and South Africa? The study therefore, examined the level of the costs of election administration in Nigeria and South Africa; assessed how efficient election administration is in Nigeria and South Africa; appraised the factors impacting on the rising costs of election administration in Nigeria and South Africa; examined the influence of electoral costs on the performance of EMBs in election administration in Nigeria and South Africa; and identified other factors influencing election administration in Nigeria and South Africa. This study became important as there remains a general lack of consensus in existing literature on whether the costs expended on election administration translate into better performance of the EMBs in election administration and delivery of credible elections. This study sought to comparatively establish the case for Nigeria and South Africa. The study utilized primary and secondary data sourced from Nigeria and South Africa. It adopted the exploratory research design, the qualitative method of data collection and analysis, and the interpretivist/constructivist research paradigm. Primary data was sourced using semi-structured interviews. A total of twenty-one (21) key informant interviewees (KIIs) were purposively selected from relevant electoral stakeholders in the countries of study, based on their experiences, expertise and practical involvement in electoral costs/budgeting, and election administration in the countries. Data collected was analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. On the other hand, secondary data was sourced from relevant extant literature on the subject matter. Hence, secondary data was sourced from textbooks, journal and magazine articles, newspaper reports, official documents and gazettes, and the Internet. The secondary data complemented the primary data for this study. Theoretically, the study adopted the resource-based view (RBV) theory of management to further the understanding of the relationship between electoral costs and election administration. The RBV theory was used to further buttress how resources available to the electoral commission influences election administration in South Africa, while the submission of the framework was refuted for the case of Nigeria, wherein it is not always the case that better level of efficiency in election administration was achieved when more resources were deployed in election administration. While the assumption of the framework was therefore, valid for South Africa, it was not the case for Nigeria. Findings show that the costs of election administration in Nigeria and South Africa have been rising astronomically since 1999 and 1994 respectively. On the efficiency in election administration in the countries, the study found that while there have been improvements in election administration in Nigeria, there are still serious perennial challenges besetting the process, which continue to undermine high level of efficiency in election administration. Whereas, for South Africa, the level of efficiency attained in election administration over the years, is relatively high, albeit, with embedded challenges too. The study also revealed that both common and specific factors continue to influence the rising costs of election administration in Nigeria and South Africa. Among the common factors are inflation, rising voting population and number of political parties, foreign exchange volatility, the quest by the electoral commissions to improve the electoral process, and the increasing use of technologies for election administration, etc. Specifically for Nigeria, the large size of the country and huge population, high spate of electoral insecurity, and staggered elections were identified; while for South Africa, monies allotted to political parties, overseas voting, special vote system, and increased electoral litigations, etc. were identified. Findings also revealed that while electoral costs are generally germane for successful election administration, the costs expended on election administration in Nigeria has not culminated in better performance of the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in election administration and delivery of credible elections. Whereas, for South Africa, the costs expended on election administration has glaringly impacted on the performance of the South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) over the years. Furthermore, the study showed that a host of other common and specific factors, other than costs influence election administration in Nigeria and South Africa. Among the common factors are logistics challenges, legal requirements, and restrictions, and partial and partisan ad-hoc electoral officers, etc. Specifically for Nigeria, factors such as pressure and political interference from diverse political actors in the country, lack of critical electoral reforms and proper training of INEC personnel, political will, and the appointment procedures of principal officers of INEC, etc. continue to influence election administration. For South Africa, economic realities (scarce resources), violence, gerrymandering, poor voter education, and the lingering impact of apartheid, etc. are some of the other factors influencing election administration in the country. The study concluded that whereas electoral costs are important for successful election administration, nevertheless, it is not always the case that higher electoral costs will guarantee better performance of EMBs in the election administration and delivery of credible elections, just as the cases of Nigeria and South Africa have shown. Among others, the study made some recommendations that there is the urgent need for the South African parliament to increase the budget and funding of the IEC, to improve their performance in election administration; and that both the Nigerian INEC and the South African IEC need to adopt a recycling (re-use) of ad-hoc electoral personnel for different elections, in order to save the costs expended on training fresh hands during each election year and ensure that people become experts and professionals of election administration over time. Furthermore, both Nigerian and South African Parliaments and executive arms of government must be more deliberate and show more political will to ensure accountability within the electoral commissions in the countries.
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    An examination of election administration and voter turnout in Nigeria (2011- 2019)
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Olukunmi, Akanmu Temitope; Jili, N.N. and Akinola, A. O.
    The participation of the citizens in decisions on how a country is being governed is a crucial enterprise in a democratic entity. In Nigeria and every other developing democracy in the world, the credible and most available platform for citizens to participate in politics is election. However, this platform is witnessing a decline in the rate of voter turnout, which is a global challenge facing election throughout the world. The reality of Nigeria indicates that since 2011 to 2019, general elections in Nigeria have been characterized by declining voter turnout in all elections between the periods studied, from 52.6 % in 1999 to 35.6 % in 2019. A lot of reasons have been adjudged to be the cause of this declining voter turnout by extant literatures ranging from electoral violence, election fraud and apathy on the part of the voters. This research delved into the problem of decreasing voter turnout by investigating and identifying the ways in which the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) can influence the low voter turnout in Nigeria through their administration of election processes and procedures. The study looked at the root causes of low voter turnout and explores how Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) procedures contribute to low voter turnout. Using Political Participation Theory to look at increment in turnout as nothing but reasonable participatory form of democracy and decline in turnout as dissatisfaction with both the political class and the political system. While National Determinant Theory of the Determinant Theory of Voter Turnout to explain how those administrative processes and procedures of INEC in the conduct of elections serve as impediments to voters from accessing the ballot. The theory explains that voter behaviour is determined greatly by processes and procedures of INEC that prevent various categories of voters from carrying out their civic responsibility of voting, these election administrative processes and procedures have a national outlook and affect voting behaviour nationwide. This theory was also employed to analyze the universality of responses among election officials, security agents engaged in election security, and other groups of voters excluded from voting due to election administrative processes and procedures, as interviewed during the course of the research. The research also utilised theory of Election Administrative inclusiveness in the electoral process to explain causes of voter turnout that is based on the exclusion of the People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in the administration of election process and procedures in Nigeria. Furthermore, the theory was utilized to scrutinize diverse responses from participants interviewed, revealing that certain election administrative procedures in Nigeria appear stringent, cumbersome, and not voter friendly. Consequently, these procedures have violated the principle of election inclusiveness. It also identifies the impacts of low voter turnout on the outcome of elections in Nigeria and at the same time recommended futuristic innovations in election administration that can enhance voter turnout in Nigeria. The study adopted qualitative methodological approach as data for this study were sourced from both primary and secondary data sources. The primary data were sourced using semi-structured interview method to gather data from 30 respondents who were purposively selected based on their knowledge and experience on the electoral process in Nigeria especially during the period under review. While the data gathered was analysed using Qualitative Content Analysis. On the other hand, secondary data were sourced from relevant extant literatures on the subject matter. Hence, secondary data was sourced from textbooks, journal and magazine articles, newspaper reports, official documents and gazettes, and the Internet. The secondary data complemented the primary data for this study. The findings in this study indicated that election administrative processes and procedures of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was a major cause of low voter turnout in elections in Nigeria between 2011 and 2019, and that the ineptitude of these election administrative processes and procedures of INEC such as failure of INEC to allow election officials, security agents, domestic election observers and essential workers who are registered voters to vote, failure of INEC to provide polling units in new settlements and failure of polling unit set up by INEC to take care of the people with disabilities (PWDs) contributed immensely to the persistent low voter turnout being experienced in the electoral process in Nigeria in the period under review. Moreover, the study revealed that low voter turnout caused by ineptitude election administrative process and procedures of INEC posed immense danger to the electoral process and the country at large. Such danger as inequality of the electoral process was regarded as an affront to the principle of democracy that centres on the rule of the majority. It also perceived low voter turnout as an undermining factor to the legitimacy of the party declared winner and the possibility of the emergence of unpopular candidate which is the foundation to legitimacy crisis of any government that emanated from an election with low voter turnout. The study concludes by making several recommendations aimed at improving the electoral process in Nigeria. These recommendations include encouraging early voting by election officials, security agents, domestic election observers, and essential workers. The other recommendations also include the continuous establishment of additional polling units, particularly in newly developed areas, to ensure that residents in these areas have convenient access to polling stations without the need for extensive travel or facing logistical challenges and enhancing the setup of polling units by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make it more accessible for people with disabilities (PWDs) to cast their votes easily, thereby ensuring that their voting rights are upheld. These proposed measures are considered forward-looking administrative innovations that INEC could adopt to reduce the disenfranchisement of voters and increase voter turnout in future Nigerian elections, ultimately serving as a progressive step towards enhancing voter participation in the country.
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    Analysis of personnel management practices and performance of government communication and information system in Free State Province, South Africa
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Sonkwane, Fezile James; Jili, N.N. Ndebele, N.C.
    This study focused on personnel management practices and the performance of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in the Free State Province. The concern in the provincial office was weak communication service delivery to other sectors of government and citizens across the Free State Province. As cited in the literature review chapter, personnel management is a fundamental part of any organisation or entity and its prominence lies in the systematic management of human resources; which ought to guarantee inclusive and effective management of human capital in the organisation. This was a qualitative study whose design facilitated interactive encounters with participants, which resulted in in-depth and meaningful feedback linked to the objectives of the study. The study followed a case study design, in which data was collected through in-depth interviews with participants. The interview schedule included semi-structured questions because the researcher wanted to collect qualitative, open-ended data and explore participants‟ thoughts. The participants for this study included the provincial director, deputy director, assistant director and all regional coordinators of the GCIS in the Free State Province. A total six (6) participants out of a total population of eight (8) were included in the study. The number of participants supported context specific generalisation. Data for this study was analysed utilising a qualitative thematic analysis and interpretation. Trustworthiness of the data was achieved through member checks and triangulation. The key findings revealed that the GCIS Free State office needed a calibre of personnel with academic qualifications in order to carry out its mandate. Qualified personnel referred to personnel who meet the minimum standards of the posts and possess the competency to master the duties associated with the posts. Another finding was that constraints brought forth by the limited budget affect the implementation of certain tasks such as procurement of tools of trade and payment of overtime. The termination of cash bonuses and the slow salary increment were some factors that have affected morale amongst staff. Part of the key findings was that most participants associated performance assessments with the payment of performance bonuses. Without this financial incentive in place, the participants were not keen to undergo performance assessments. Hence the participants felt that their performance was not valued and rewarded. Lastly, the findings revealed that absenteeism in the GCIS Free State provincial office is minimised through proper management of individual leave plans. All of these context specific observations illustrated that both systemic and human related factors influence the communication service delivery in the Free State Province. OKUHUNYUSHWE NGOLIMI LWESIZULU ISIFINGQO Lolu cwaningo lugxile ekuphathweni kwabasebenzi kanye nokusebenza kohlelo lukahulumeni lwezokuxhumana nolwazi (GCIS), lwesifundazwe sase Freyistata. Okukhathazayo ehhovisi lesifundazwe kwaba ukuntenga kokulethwa kwezinsiza kweminye imikhakha kahulumeni nezakhamizi zizonke esifundazweni sase Freyistata. Njengoba kushiwo esahlukweni sokubuyekezwa kwezincwadi, ukuphathwa kwezisebenzi kuyingxenye ebalulekile yanoma iyiphi inhlangano noma ibhizinisi futhi ukuvelela kwaloko kulele ekuphathweni okuhlelekile kwezinsizakusebenza zabasebenzi, okufanele kuqinisekise ukuphathwa okubandakanyayo nokuphumelelayo ekuphathweni kwabantu enhlanganweni. Lolu bekuwucwaningo lwekhwalithethuvu, okuklama kwalo kwasiza ukuhlangana kwababambiqhaza, okuholele empendulweni ejulile nenengqondo exhumene nezinjongo zocwaningo, lapho idatha (ulwazi) yaqoqwa ngezingxoxo ezijulile nabahlanganyeli. Isheduli yenhlolokhono ibihlanganise imibuzo enesakhiwo esincane ngoba umcwaningi ubefuna ukuqoqa idatha (ulwazi) esezingeni eliphezulu, evulekile futhi ahlole imicabango yababambiqhaza. Ababambiqhaza balolu cwaningo bahlanganise umqondisi wesifundazwe, isekela lomqondisi, umsizi womqondisi, kanye nabobonke abaxhumanisi beGCIS esifundazweni saseFreyistata. Isamba sababambiqhaza abayi – 6 phakathi kwenani labantu abayi – 8 bafakiwe ocwaningweni. Ababambiqhaza basekele umongo oqondile ngokujwayelekile. Idatha yalolu cwaningo ihlaziywe kusetshenziswa ukuhlaziya kwe thematic esezingeni eliphezulu kanye nokutolika. Ukwethembeka kwedatha kufinyelelwe kuko ngokuhlolwa kwamalungu kanye nokuhlanganisa unxantathu. Okutholakele nokubalulekile kwembule ukuthi iGCIS yehhovisi laseFreyistata lidinga izinga labasebenzi abaneziqu zemfundo ephezulu ukuze imfundo yenze umsebenzi v wayo. Ngamanye amazwi: Laba bantu uma behlolwa abatholakale bewufanele umsebenzi abahlolelwa wona. Okunye ukungabikho kwemali kunqinda ukukwenzeka kwezinye zezinto ezithile njengokuthenga amathuluzi okuhweba kanye nokukhokhelwa kwesikhathi sokusebenza esingeziwe. Ukuqedwa kwezimali zomhlomulo nokugqoza kokukhushulwa kwamaholo kungezinye zezinto ezehlise isimilo kubasebenzi. Okunye okutholwe yilolu cwaningo ukuthi ababambiqhaza abaningi bahlobanise, bancikise ukuhlolwa kokusebenza nokukhokhwa kwamabhonasi. Ngaphandle kwale mihlomulo, ababambiqhaza abazimisele neze ukuba bahlolelwe ukusebenza ngoba babona sengathi ukusebenza kwabo akunakwa futhi akuklonyeliswa. Ekugcineni lolu cwaningo luthole ukuthi ukulova emsebenzini kuleli hhovisi lesifundazwe saseFreyistata kuyoncipha ngokuba kube nendlela ehlelekile yabasebenzi yokuya ekhefini. Konke loku okuphawuliwe nokuqondile kuveze ukuthi loku kokubili (izinto ezihlelekile nezihlobene) zinethonya ekulethweni izinsizakuxhumana ezifundazweni saseFreyistata.
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    An investigation into citizen aggression on municipality employee’s prosocial and proactive work behaviour: a case study of a KwaZulu-Natal Municipality
    (University of Zululand, 2024) Mdletshe, Bonga Blessing
    ENGLISH VERSION Local government officials are responsible for making municipalities the most visible levels of government. However, if planned services are not delivered, municipal employees can become targets of citizen aggression due to their proximity to the angry public and their association with public service challenges. Given this close relationship between local government employees and the community, it became necessary to examine the connections between external workplace aggression initiated by the public and employee behaviour. Despite the existing literature, there is a gap in understanding how community aggression originating from public anger with municipalities affected municipal officials. This research focused on the extent to which external workplace aggression influences prosocial and proactive behaviour of Mtubatuba Municipality employees. The study used social exchange theory as its theoretical framework to investigate this because provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the reciprocal relationships between individuals and their environment, particularly in the context of workplace interactions. The study adopted a convergent parallel mixed method design, which involves independently collecting and evaluating both quantitative and qualitative data and subsequently comparing and integrating the findings. Given this research approach, pragmatism was deemed suitable philosophical orientation for the study. The study engaged 132 participants through questionnaires and conducted in-depth interviews with five key informants. Quantitative data analysis employed the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), while a content analysis approach was applied to the qualitative data. Rigorous data quality control was upheld to ensure the reliability and validity of the quantitative data collection instrument and the trustworthiness of the qualitative research instrument. Structural equation model (SEM) was used to test research hypotheses regarding the influences of external workplace aggression on prosocial and proactive work behaviour of municipal employees. The research findings reveal that external workplace aggression is a prevalent experience among the participants, encompassing both psychological and physical forms of aggression. Some employees had experienced mild forms of aggression, such as being rudely treated or yelled at. Others reported experiencing more severe forms of aggression, such as being threatened with a weapon or physically assaulted. Notably, external workplace aggression exhibits a negative correlation (-0.342**) with prosocial workplace behaviour, implying that higher levels of external workplace aggression are associated with reduced levels of prosocial work behaviour. Additionally, there is a moderately negative relationship (-0.345**) between proactive work behaviour and external workplace aggression, suggesting that increased levels of external workplace aggression correspond to decreased proactive workplace behaviour. The findings also highlight the absence of mechanisms to support employees when facing external workplace aggression, thus explaining the reason behind the absence of reported external workplace aggression. The study underscores the need for the municipality to take proactive measures to mitigate external workplace aggression. This includes implementing security measures and training employees on effectively handling confrontations with aggressive customers or clients. The study also recommends continued security protection for senior officials who are more likely to encounter external workplace aggression compared to other municipal staff members. It is crucial for the municipality to acknowledge the detrimental impact of external workplace aggression on prosocial and proactive behaviour and establish a reporting mechanism for employees to address encounters with external workplace aggression effectively.
University of Zululand