A literature review of the water services education and training needs of councillors in local authorities within the context of developmental local government agenda with special reference to Northern Cape Province

Tsibani, Fumene George (2004-04)

Thesis (MPhil) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study describes and analyses the water services education and training needs of councillors in local authorities in the Northern Cape to enable them to implement their legislative framework in the new dispensation in South Africa. It is the proposition of this study that during the transitional period from 1994 to 2003 and thereafter, there is a likelihood of lack of capacity in most local authorities in the Northern Cape to execute their legislative requirements. This invariably imposes leadership responsibilities upon a range of stakeholders and councillors in Local Authorities (LAs), and creates the need for a redefined model of representation on the part of councillors "from resemblance to responsibility and responsiveness" (Sartori 1968: 465). Using literature review to analyse leadership responsibilities of councillors, four priority education and training (E&T) needs of councillors have been identified: • the need to understand water services policy and business cycle within the context of decentralisation and devolution of powers and functions • to local government; • the need for water services business programme management and planning skills; • the need to understand community participation in water services development plans and development processes; and • the need for conflict-resolution skills. Based upon inferences drawn from literature evidence, it is concluded that Local Government (LG) patterns of responses involving the application of managerial and analytical principles grounded firmly in the twentieth century Organisational Development (00) and public service management experience and thoughts, can neither explain nor remedy the complex variables of Local Government Developmental Agenda (LGDA) and/or the complex array of water crises that are unfolding in Northern Cape. Thus, for water services to remain a viable "instrument of humanity" especially at a municipal level, it is concluded that more effective E&T strategies are required to equip current and future councillors with intellectual water business tools to address the complex challenges that lie before them. Furthermore, an Outcomes Based Education (OBE) action-based strategy is offered as an alternative to the current traditional training approaches in Northern Cape. It is also clear from the researcher's interpretations and analysis of LGDA variables that the water services E&T needs and the relevant "gaps" identified are not simply questions of "how to do things". Rather an OBE action-based strategy under LGDA processes involves a fundamental reorientation of all participants in E&T programme for councillors that should be relevant to the special demands of the Northern Cape LAs and councillors. The researcher makes recommendations for enriching the sociology of LG studies, to match the skills requirements, given the complexity of LGDA and numerous challenges for competent and innovative councillors in LAs. Finally, this study is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to complement a number of education and training initiatives commissioned or under preparation by water sector stakeholders in line with Skill Development Act of 1998 and SAQA of 1995 (South African Qualifications Act) processes. KEYWORDS: Best Value Regime, Local Government Developmental Agenda, Spheres of government; local government; socio-economic & political dynamics in transition; decentralisation; constitutional powers and functions of local government; education and training (E&T) needs of councillors in water services; Northern Cape Province.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie beskryf en ontleed die behoefte aan onderwys en opleiding (E&T) by raadslede in plaaslike owerhede in die Noordkaap, om hul moeilike taak te kan verrig in In veranderende beleidsomgewing in Suid Afrika. Die studie besin daaroor dat daar waarskynlik gedurende die oorgangstydperk vanaf 1994 tot 2003 en ook daarna, In tekort aan bevoedgheid om hul funksies te vervul, by heelwat plaaslike owerhede in die Noordkaap bestaan. Dit is deels In gevolg daarvan dat nuwe verantwoordelikhede op die skouers van die rolspelers en raadslede in plaaslike owerhede geplaas word. Die nuwe rol van raadslede word herdefinieer vanaf verteenwoordiging na verantwoording en optrede; "from resemblance to responsibility and responsiveness" (Sartori 1968: 465). Vier belangrike areas waar onderwys- en opleidingsbehoeftes ten opsigte van die leierskapsprofiel van Raadslede bestaan, is op grond van In literatuuroorsig ge'identifiseer: • die belangrikheid daarvan om beleid- en besigheidsaspekte van die lewering van waterdienste te verstaan teen die agtergrond van desentralisering en stelselmatige afwenteling van magte en funksies na die plaaslike owerheidsvlak; • die behoefte wat bestaan aan bestuurs- en beplanningsvaardighede met betrekking tot waterdienste en water-ekonomiese aspekte; • In begrip van die rol van die plaaslike gemeenskap in beplanning en uitvoer van ontwikkelingsprojekte vir die lewering van waterdienste; • konflikhanteringsvaardighede. Na aanleiding van die getuienis uit hierdie literatuurstudie word dit duidelik dat die heersende reaksie- en besluitnemingstyle van Plaaslike Owerheid (LG) wat spruit uit beginsels van organisasie ontwerp (00) wat dateer uit die vorige eeu en die staatsdienservaring en -denke van daardie era, nie die komplekse veranderlikes van die nuwe Plaaslike Owerheid Ontwikkelingsagenda (LGDA) kan verduidelik of aanspreek nie, en dus nie geskik is om In dreigende krisis in die Noordkaap te af te weer nie. am waterdienste in die toekoms as 'n voertuig vir die opheffing van agtergeblewe gemeenskappe te kan gebruik, veral op plaaslike owerheidsvlak, is dit belangrik dat huidige en toekomstige raadslede deur middel van effektiewe onderwys - en opleidingstrategiee toegerus word met water-ekonomie kennis en vaardighede. Sodoende sal hulle die komplekse uitdagings wat aan hulle gestel word, die hoof kan bied. 'n Aksie-gerigte strategie gefundeer op 'n uitkomsgebaseerde (aBE) kurrikulum, word voorgestel as plaasvervanger vir die huidige tradisionele onderwysbenadering in die Noordkaap. Dit is duidelik uit die outeur se interpretasie en ontleding van LGDA veranderlikes, dat die ge"identifiseerde onderwys- en opleidings behoeftes en gapings 'n heeltemal nuwe benadering vereis. Die benadering behels 'n deurdagte herorienterinq tot opleidingsprogramme vir raadslede in plaaslike owerhede (LG) in die Noordkaap. Die studie dra by tot die sosiologie van plaaslike owerheidstudie, en wys op die vaardighede, vermoens en innovasie-eienskappe van raadslede wat benodig word om die kompleksiteit van LGDA en die uitdagings in plaaslike owerhede aan te spreek. Ten slotte is die studie nie bedoel om volledig te wees nie maar om wei 'n bydrae te lewer tot die onderwys- en opleidingsinisiatiewe wat voortspruit uit die aksies van belanghebbendes in die water sektor in ooreenstemming met die Wet op Vaardigheidsontwikkeling (1998) en SAKWA (1995).

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