Human resource development strategy in the provincial government of the Western Cape

Du Toit Goussard, Carien (2008-12)

Thesis (PhD (School of Public Management and Planning ))—Stellenbosch University, 2008.


This study focuses on the determinants for the development of a human resource strategy in the Provincial Government Western Cape (PGWC).The context is that a new regulatory framework for human resource development in South Africa, namely the National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) was developed by the National Ministries of Education and Labour in 2001. The purpose of the NHRDS was to provide a plan to ensure that people in South Africa are equipped to fully participate in society, to be able to find or create work, and to benefit fairly from it. At the heart of the NHRDS is the belief that enhancing the general and specific abilities of all citizens is a necessary response to the current situation in South Africa. The hypothetical point of departure of this study is formulated in such a way that acceptance of it constitutes support for the findings obtained from the literature and observations on HRD strategies as well as the implementation of the NHRDS in the PGWC. The problem for the purpose of this dissertation focuses on the research question: What is the role and context of HRD in the South African public service and does the implementation of the NHRDS justify the need and development of a HRD strategy in the PGWC? The qualitative research method that was chosen for this dissertation is the triangulation of grounded theory and a specific case study (mixed method). In this case, data used to provisionally assess the extent of implementation of the NHRDS in the PGWC, are specific key documents. To facilitate the research, to identify the core theoretical concepts and to investigate the problems identified in this study, the focus was subdivided into five research objectives which are analysed in chapters two to six of the dissertation. These are: · To provide an analysis of the nature, development, scope and concepts of Human Resource Management, Human Resource Development (HRD), training, and education, in order to examine the influence of these important external variables on the process of HRD in a public sector organisational setting and to provide context to the need for a NHRDS in South Africa. · To provide an overview of the relevant trends of transformation in South Africa with a focus on the origin, nature and implications of the transformation of South Africa after 1994 as well as the impact of the public service transformation HRD interventions in general. · To provide a systemic exploration of the scope and legislative and policy framework for HRD in the public sector in South Africa in general through an overview of the NHRDS and other HRD education and training strategies in order to provide an exposition of the rationale of the NHRDS and to get clarity on the conceptualisation of HRD in terms of skills for service delivery in the public sector. · To provide an exploration of conceptual knowledge of the variables influencing HRD through the application of a literature and documentary study of the present strategies (both internal and external) of the PGWC to develop its human resources, in order to describe and analyse the outcomes of the NHRDS process in the PGWC as well as the strategies and procedures employed to implement the NHRDS in the PGWC. · To develop a set of indicators against which the interaction of the variables influencing a successful strategy for HRD can be measured through the implementation of the NHRDS in the PGWC. The last chapter presents a synthesis of the study, taking into account the key findings. This dissertation is an attempt to make a contribution, in general, to the understanding of the role of the development of human resources through the NHRDS and is completed in the trust that the findings recorded here and the proposals made will be useful for future research. The potential benefits that can arise from the implementation of the NHRDS in the PGWC are significant. It could create a virtuous circle of increased economic growth and employment, an improved standard of living, and a more educated and trained citizenry. In conclusion, it can be stated that the hypothetical point of departure that were formulated for this study, was proven to be correct in theory and practice.

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