Alternative service delivery models for the South African public service for the year 2020

Zubane, P. (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this research report is to identify the alternative service delivery models that could deliver effective and efficient services to the South African public in future. The current economic realities, the effects of globalisation, the potential for technological innovation and the public‟s demand for better services have led the South African government to reconsider the manner in which services are being rendered. A futures methodology tool that was employed in understanding the environment in which services are delivered in South Africa is the environmental scanning. Environmental scanning which took the form of literature review, analysis of statistics already produced by other researchers, official publications and correspondence, newspaper surveys, pamphlets and newsletters, dissertations and theses as well as information from the internet will be employed in this study. Constructive environmental scanning which encompasses both material monism (also known as pop-ism) and the transcendental monism (Naude.2008; 53) was employed to develop a sound understanding of the environment (factors and forces) which have a bearing on the futures of the public service delivery. This exercise revealed that in South Africa services delivery is influenced by the following driving forces (environments): cultural and social, political and legislative, technological and economic. The environmental scanning also revealed that due to the importance attached to service delivery; government had to move away from the conventional approaches to public service delivery where government was the sole provider of services to the public and sought alternative ways of delivering services to the public. The following alternative service delivery models were adopted by government: contracting out, concession, leasing, privatization, management contract, and Electronic government as alternative models of service delivery. Notwithstanding the success of most of the models, some of these proved to be a breeding ground for nepotism, corruption, fraud and a paradise for white collar criminals. Political interference, that masquerades as political oversight is the order of the day. All of these are taking place at the expense of services delivery and are costing the government dearly. Government viewed this as an unhealthy state of affairs and also realised that this situation cannot be left to perpetuate into the future. Most importantly, government has awoken to the reality that the future can no longer be left to chance. Scenario planning was adopted as the research methodology employed in anticipating and preparing for the future. In the quest for v seeking alternative service delivery models for the future, the research report adopted the six stages of scenario planning. The chief value of scenario planning is that it allows policy-makers to make and learn from mistakes without risking career-limiting failures in real life. Further, policymakers can make these mistakes in a safe, unthreatening, game-like environment, while responding to a wide variety of concretely-presented situations based on facts. Scenario planning has an added benefit of allowing participants the latitude to think freely, allows creativity and encourages innovation.

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