The human resources capacity of Endumeni Municipality as a developmental local government institution

Cele, Cyprian Godfrey Nhlanhla (2003-04)

Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The post-apartheid era in South Africa has been marked by a whole range of important changes. At local government, these changes have been manifested by, among other things, the change in strategy from regulatory to developmental local government. Interms of the open systems approach to organisational change, changes in one part of an organisation need to be complemented by matching changes in other parts of the organisation. This is the premise that forms the basis of this study. It is argued particularly that the success of developmental local government hinges, to a large extent, on complementary changes being made in other departments of a municipality. The study focuses on one of these departments, namely the human resources (HR.) department of a municipality. It investigates Endumeni Municipality, and researches whether it has the necessary HR capacity to cope with the new strategy of developmental local government. This is subsequently followed by recommendations derived from the findings. HR capacity is defined as the combination of the following key variables: strategic partnership between the HR function and other functions of a municipality; integration of HR policies, systems and competencies with the developmental mission of a municipality; coherence among the different components of the HR strategy; flexibility of the HR strategy; and Alignment of the culture of a municipality with its developmental mission. The study is descriptive in character. It makes use of a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of investigation. The qualitative method comprises interviews with key informants and an analysis of official documents. The quantitative method, on the other hand, consists of a questionnaire that is administered to the Councillors of the municipality. The study came to a conclusion that Endumeni Municipality lacks the HR capacity to carry out its developmental functions. To remedy this situation, the following recommendations have been suggested: (i) The current role of the HR section has to be reviewed with the view to elevate it to the level of a strategic partner. (ii) The HR competencies, policies and practices of the municipality are still embedded in the outdated system of regulatory local government. These must also come up for review so that they can be re-aligned with developmental local government. (iii) There is generally lack of co-ordination among the various components of HR strategy. These must be re-aligned so that they can complement each other. (iv) The municipality is currently finding it difficult to discard the old HR strategies, a point which suggests rigidity on the part of these strategies. Inorder to cope with the changing environmental conditions, the municipality needs to have some flexibility in its HR strategies. (v) Finally, the prevailing culture still shows elements, which support the old system. This has to be addressed in order to create a new culture that is consistent with developmental local government.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die post-apartheid era in Suid-Afrika word gekenmerk deur 'n reeks baie belangrike veranderinge. Op plaaslike regeringsvlak word hierdie veranderinge, onder andere gekenmerk deur die verandering in strategie van regulerende na ontwikkelende plaaslike regering. Volgens die oopstelselbehadering tot organisatoriese verandering moet veranderinge in een afdeling van 'n organisasie aangevul te word deur soortgelyke veranderinge in ander afdelings van die organisasie. Hierdie stelling vorm die basis van hierdie studie. Daar word geargumenteer dat die sukses van ontwikkelende plaaslike regering in "n groot mate rus op aanvullende veranderinge wat gemaak word in ander afdelings van die munisipaliteit. Hierdie studie fokus op een van hierdie afdelings, naamlik Menslike Hulpbronne (MH). "n Studie word gedoen om te bepaal of Endumeni Munisipaliteit oor die nodige MR beskik om die nuwe strategie van ontwikkelende plaaslike regering te ondersteun. Dit word gevolg deur aanbevelings wat spruit uit die bevindings. MH - kapasiteit word gedefinieer as "n kombinasie van die volgende sleutelveranderlikes: n strategiese venootskap tussen die MR-funksie en ander funksies van "n munisipaliteit; inskakeling van MH-beleide, stelsel en - vaardighede met die ontwikkelingsmissie van' n munisipaliteit; samehorigheid tussen die verskillende komponente van die MR - strategie; aanpasbaarheid van die MR - strategie; en gerigtheid van die kultuur van' n munisipaliteit op sy ontwikkelingsmissie. Die studie is beskrywend van aard. Dit maak gebruik: van "n kombinasie van kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe metodes van ondersoek. Die kwalitatiewe metode behels onderhoude met belangrike informante en ontleding van amptelike dokumente. Die kwantitatiewe metode, aan die ander kant, behels "n vraelys wat versprei word onder ampsdraers van die munisipaliteit. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat Endumeni Munisipaliteit nie oordie MHkapasiteit beskik om sy ontwikkelingsfunksie uit te voer nie. Die volgende aanbevelings word gedoen, om hierdie probleem op te los: (i) Die huidige rol van die MH - seksie moet hersien word om dit uit te lig na die vlak van "n strategiese vennoot. (ii) Die MR - vaardighede, beleide en praktyke van die munisipaliteit verteenwoordig steeds "n uitgediende stelsel van regulerende plaaslike bestuur. Dit moet hiersien word en in lyn gebring word met die ontwikkelende plaaslike regering. (iii) In die algemeen is daar min samewerking tussen die verskeie komponente van die MR - strategie. Hulle moet in lyn gebring word sodat hulle mekaar kan komplimenteer. (iv) Die munisipaliteit vind dit moeilik om ontslae te raak van die ou MH - strategie, "n punt wat die onbuigsaamheid van hierdie strategieë bewys. Om by te bly met die veranderende omgewingstoestande, moet die munisipaliteit buigsaamheid in sy MR - strategie hê. (v)- Ten slote, die huidige kultuur toon steeds elemente wat die ou stelsel steun. Dit moet aangespreek word om "n nuwe kultuur te ontwikkel wat in ooreenstemming . is met ontwikkelende plaaslike regering.

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