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Implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa

ANDREW WILLIE BARTLETT
21936048

Mini-dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master’s degree in Development and Management at the Potchefstroom campus of the NorthWest University

SUPERVISOR: MS LUNI VERMEULEN
2011

i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to hereby express my sincere gratitude and appreciation towards the following persons for their support and assistance throughout this study:


My Heavenly Father who blessed me with the opportunity, ability and strength to try to make a difference through this study.



My wife, Elaine, without whose support, encouragement and assistance this study would not have been possible.



My children, Elandre and Jade, for their support and understanding; may this achievement motivate you in your studies and development.



My personal mentor and supervisor, Ms Luni Vermeulen, for her highly professional guidance, motivation, continuous support and patience.



To all the respondents at the various institutions for their participation and valuable contributions. Thank you very much for your selfless assistance.

ii

ABSTRACT

In 2001 the first Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA) was implemented. The lack of institutional arrangements, structures, procedures, processes and capacity and the location of the HRDSA, 2001, at both the then Departments of
Education and Labour, severely hampered the implementation and effective functioning of the Strategy. This study aims to find solutions to the main implementation difficulties experienced with the HRDSA, 2001, in order to ensure increased performance regarding the strategic priorities of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

An empirical study was conducted to determine potential challenges pertaining to the implementation of the revised HRDSA. Interviews were conducted with senior officials and experts at relevant national departments and with the Gauteng Provincial
Government and social partners and relevant stakeholders, including organised labour and organised

business.

Questionnaires

distributed

among

human

resource

development (HRD) practitioners addressed matters pertaining to possible solutions with regard to the appropriate location of the HRDSA, challenges in implementing the
HRDSA, capacity needs, appropriate governance structures, political support and budgetary constraints.

Best practice for the implementation of a national HRD strategy in a number of countries is outlined and discussed with a view to benchmarking the HRDSA and learning from the mistakes made by them in the implementation of their national HRD strategies.
Based on these lessons learnt by those countries, and valuable information gathered through the results obtained from the questionnaires and interviews, recommendations are made to support the successful implementation of the revised HRDSA. The recommendations are focused on the effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the revised HRDSA commitments, strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects to improve social and economic growth, as well as
HRD, human development (HD) and accelerated quality service delivery in South Africa. iii Keywords:

National Human

Resource

Development

Strategy,

challenges, social, economic and human development, service delivery.

iv

implementation

OPSOMMING

Die eerste nasionale Menslike Hulpbronne Ontwikkelingstrategie (bekend as HRDSA) is in 2001 geïmplementeer. Die gebrek aan interne instellings, strukture, prosedures, prosesse en kapasiteit en die ligging van die HRDSA in die Nasionale Departement van
Onderwys en die Departement van Arbeid het die implementering en die effektiewe funksionering van die HRDSA, 2001, gekniehalter. Hierdie studie poog om oplossings te vind vir die hoof implementeringsprobleme wat ondervind is tydens die implementering van die HRDSA, 2001, ten einde prestasies rakende die strategiese prioriteite van die
HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, te verseker. ʼn Empiriese studie is onderneem om potensïele uitdagings en probleme vas te stel rakende die implementering van die HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. Onderhoude is gevoer met senior beamptes en deskundiges van die relevante nasionale departemente, die
Presidensie, die Gauteng Provinsiale Administrasie en sosiale vennote soos die georganiseerde arbeid en georganiseerde besigheid. Vraelyste is geadministreer met praktisyns op die gebied van menslike hulpbronne-ontwikkeling, met betrekking tot moontlike oplossings ten opsigte van die toepaslike ligging van die HRDSA, implementeringsuitdagings, kapasiteitbehoeftes, toepaslike beheer en bestuurstrukture, politieke ondersteuning en begrotingstekorte en -beperkings.
Die beste praktyk ten opsigte van die implementering van ʼn HRD-strategie in ʼn paar lande word uiteengesit en bespreek, waaruit die HRDSA kan leer van die implementeringsfoute wat begaan is aldaar. Gebaseer op die lesse waaruit geleer kan word asook die waardevolle inligting wat ingesamel is deur middel van die onderhoude en vraelyste, is aanbevelings gemaak om die implementering van die hersiene HRDSA te ondersteun. Die aanbevelings is gefokus op die effektiewe, ekonomiese en volhoubare implementering van die hersiene HRDSA se strategiese prioriteite, strategiese objektiewe, programme, projekte om sosiale en ekonomiese groei asook

v

menslike hulpbronne-ontwikkeling, menslike ontwikkeling en kwaliteit dienslewering in
Suid-Afrika te versnel.

Sleutelwoorde:

Nasionale

Menslike

Hulpbronne

Strategie,

implementerings-

uitdagings, sosiale, ekonomiese en menslike ontwikkeling, dienslewering.

vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ii

ABSTRACT

iii

OPSOMMING

v

TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES

xi

LIST OF DIAGRAMES

xi

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1

BACKGROUND AND ORIENTATION

1

1.2

PROBLEM STATEMENT

6

1.3

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

7

1.4

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

8

1.5

CENTRAL THEORETICAL STATEMENTS

9

1.6

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

10

1.6.1 Literature review

10

1.6.2 Design

10

1.6.3 Empirical investigation

11

1.6.3.1 Interviews

11

1.6.3.2 Questionnaires

13

1.6.4 Sampling

13

1.6.5 Processing and verification of data

14

1.6.6 Procedure

14

1.7

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

15

1.8

CHAPTER OUTLINE

15

CHAPTER 2: NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
STRATEGIES: BEST PRACTICE
2.1

INTRODUCTION

17

2.2

CRITICAL LEVERS FOR QUALITY AND ACCELERATED

18

SERVICE DELIVERY vii 2.2.1 Accelerated quality service delivery

18

2.2.2 Human Resource Development

20

2.2.3 Good Governance

22

2.2.4 Outcomes-based Governance

23

2.3

ALTERNATE MECHANISMS TO IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY

25

2.4

BEST PRACTICE: IMPLEMENTATION OF HUMAN RESOURCE

28

DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
2.4.1 The case of Brazil

29

2.4.1.1 Human Resource Development Good Practice
2.4.2 The case of Malaysia

33

2.4.2.1 Human Resource Development Good Practice
2.4.3 The case of Finland

35
37

2.4.3.1 Human Resource Development Good Practice
2.4.4 The case of Ireland

39
43

2.4.4.1 Human Resource Development Good Practice
2.5

30

CONCLUSION

44
44

CHAPTER 3: THE STATUTORY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
FOR THE REVISED HUMAN RESOURCE
DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OF SOUTH AFRICA
(HRDSA)
3.1

INTRODUCTION

46

3.2

THE STATUTORY FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN

47

RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
3.2.1 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108

47

of 1996
3.2.2 White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery

48

(Batho Pele) 1997
3.2.3 White Paper on Public Service Training and Education, 1997

49

3.2.4 Skills Development Act 37 of 2008

49

3.2.5 Green Paper on National Strategic Planning, 2009

50

viii

3.2.6 Green Paper: Improving Government Performance:

50

Our Approach, 2009
3.3

THE INITIAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

51

FOR SOUTH AFRICA (HRDSA, 2001)
3.3.1 Challenges experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA,

53

2001: The Gap Analysis
3.3.2 Challenges experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA,

55

2001: The interviews
3.4

RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO ADDRESS AND ARREST

57

CHALLENGES IN THE REVISED HRDSA, 2010 - 2030
3.5

CONCLUSION

63

CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.1

INTRODUCTION

63

4.2

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

63

4.3

RESEARCH FINDINGS AND SUMMARY

66

4.3.1 Biographical findings of the respondents (Section A of the

67

Interview questionnaire)
4.3.2 The HRDSA: Challenges, recommendations and main

68

Ingredients Section B of the interview questionnaires)
4.3.3 Question 1: What do you perceive as the challenges in the

69

Implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030?
4.3.4 Question 2: How do you recommend that the Human

80

Resource Development Council address and arrest these implementation challenges?
4.3.5 Question 3: What do you think are the necessary ingredients

85

for the effective implementation of the HRDSA?
4.3.6 The analysis of questions on the improvement and acceleration

87

of quality services (Section C of the interview questionnaire)
4.3.6.1Question 1: What is your general view on service delivery in the public service in South Africa? ix 88

4.3.6.2 Question 2: In your view, what are the key challenges with

89

service delivery in South Africa?
4.3.6.3 Question 3: How best can government in collaboration with the

92

public servants address and arrest these service delivery challenges in your view?
4.3.7 Views of respondents on key ingredients for the effective and

95

efficient implementation of the HRDSA
4.4

CONCLUSION

97

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1

INTRODUCTION

99

5.2

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS OF CHAPTERS

99

5.3

RECOMMENDATIONS

103

5.4

FURTHER RESEARCH

108

5.5

CONCLUSION

108

REFERENCES

121

ANNEXURE A:

CONSENT FORM

109

ANNEXURE B:

STRUCTURED QUESTIONNAIRE

112

ANNEXURE C:

SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

118

x

LIST OF TABLES
Page
Table 1: National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and Skill band

30

Table 2: Ingredients for the effective, efficient and sustainable

95

implementation of the HRDSA

LIST OF DIAGRAMS

Diagram 1: Gender representivity of respondents

67

Diagram 2: Respondents views on Service Delivery in the Public Service 88

xi

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1

BACKGROUND AND ORIENTATION

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, hereafter referred to as the
Constitution, was adopted as the supreme law of the country and states in its preamble that it aims to improve the “quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person” (RSA, 1996:1). The Constitution legitimises the need for quality education and training, human resources development (HRD) and human development (HD) for all
South Africa’s citizens (RSA, 1996:14). As a result, HRD and HD are critically important items on South Africa’s developmental agenda to improve the quality of life for all its citizens. Torrington, Hall and Taylor (2005:356–357) define HRD as a healthy, progressive and necessary function for all organisations and individuals in increasing their productivity, competencies and employability. Such improvement increases the performance of the organisation and for that matter that of a country.

Human resource development

focuses mainly on the identification and development of scarce, critical and priority skills acquisition (RSA, 2009c:11). Human development on the other hand integrates HRD into comprehensive supportive measures in vital and related areas such as health, nutrition, water, sanitation, science and technology, respect for human rights, social cohesion, social justice and equity, which are essential for enhancing human capacities to meet the challenge of development (RSA, 2009c:11).

Both the public and private sectors in South Africa face challenges with regard to the availability of skilled human resources (PSC, 2005:49; RSA, 2008b:4). While the government has made advances in many areas since the advent of democracy after the first national democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, much is still to be attained in terms of social and economic growth. One of the hindrances to shared growth is a skills shortage, notably amongst marginalised people (RSA, 2009c:5).

1

In 2001, Cabinet approved the first National Human Resource Development Strategy
(HRDSA) as a national strategic response to HRD challenges, led by both the National
Department of Education and the Department of Labour (RSA, 2001:13). The Strategy stems from the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), which declared as one of the key principles that: “Our people, with their inspirations and collective determination, are our most important resources” (RSA, 2005b:3). The RDP is focused on citizens’ most immediate needs, and it relies in turn, on their energies to drive the process of meeting these needs (RSA, 2005b:3). Development is not about the delivery of goods to a passive citizenry. It is about the active involvement and growing empowerment of all the people of South Africa (RSA, 2001:4). The overarching goals of the initial national HRDSA, 2001, as well as the HRDSA, 2010 – 2030, include the improvement in the Human Development Index (HDI) for South Africa, a reduction in inequality and a higher position in international competitiveness ranking (RSA, 2001:4).

The HRDSA, 2001, to a great extent assisted in placing the HRD, HD and the skills shortage debate on the national agenda. It however fell short of realising its objectives as a result of a lack of integration, coordination, planning, management and reporting, as well as ineffective and under-resourced institutional arrangements relating to the coordination of the strategy, the absence of a monitoring and evaluation strategy, and alignment with other national strategies, for example the Human Resource
Development Strategy for the public service (HRDS)1 and the National Skills
Development Strategy (NSDS), amongst others (RSA, 2005a:1).
1

The Human Resource Development Strategy for the Public Service (HRDS) is steered by the

Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) with the objective of developing the capacity of all public servants in enhancing service delivery (DPSA, 2008:5). The Human Resource Development
Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA) provides an over-arching framework to improve and reinforce alignment, coordination, planning, management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of all HRD imperatives in collaboration with all social partners, professional bodies and research communities
(Revised HRDSA, 2009:30). This study focuses on the overarching Human Resource Development
Strategy for South Africa (HRDSA).

2

The revision of the HRDSA, 2001, resulted in a Gap Analysis document that highlighted the following challenges (RSA, 2005a:15):


a lack of coordination;



a lack of integration and alignment of the various sub-systems or departments;



a lack of key stakeholders in local economic development, including the provincial growth and development strategies;



a predominant focus on public-sector HRD priorities;



unquantifiable indicators;



aspirational targets; and



an absence of alignment with other national strategies, for example the NSDS.

These challenges hampered the successful implementation and functioning of the
HRDSA, 2001. For the revised HRDSA to accomplish its strategic priorities it is necessary to ensure that these challenges are prevented from recurring.

While the HRDSA was being revised from 2005, government established the high-level
Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA), led by the then Deputy President, as an interim response to identifying solutions to skills shortages in critical areas. The
Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition ran over a three-year period in collaboration with business and organised labour from March 2006. The short-term objectives of
JIPSA included the acquisition of intermediate artisan and technical skills for the transport, communications and energy industries; the development of information and communication technology (ICT) skills; and the recruitment; retraining and employment of unemployed graduates. Furthermore, the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) identified six factors that constrain growth in South Africa.
One of these is the shortage of skills. The objective of ASGISA is to promote economic growth and halve unemployment and poverty by 2014. (JIPSA, 2006:1.)

The Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition gained significant achievements regarding, for example, the development of artisans (RSA, 2008b:15). While its work is
3

being concluded and integrated into the national HRDSA from the end of 2009, it can be assumed that the lessons learnt and initiatives started, but not completed, will be incorporated into the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

The revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, was approved by government in September 2010 and is being implemented as from 1 April 2011. The revised HRDSA outlines a twentyyear vision, a five-year medium-term commitment and a one-year operational plan.
Good practice gained from the implementation of the first HRDSA of 2001 and JIPSA was incorporated into the revised HRDSA2. The strategy identifies key structural, coordination, monitoring and evaluation activities essential for effective implementation.
The HRDSA is designed to provide a national “road map” and thus does not replace the ongoing work of relevant government departments, organised business, organised labour or organised communities (RSA, 2009c:30).

The Deputy President, in collaboration with the HRD Council, is tasked to provide strategic leadership in ensuring the success of the implementation of the HRDSA, whilst the Minister of Higher Education and Training will manage the expanded Secretariat and provide the requisite research base in supporting the implementation of the revised strategy. The revised HRDSA will thus ensure proper coordination, integration, planning, management, execution, and monitoring and evaluation of the strategy, with the aim of ensuring increased employment and economic growth, reduction of poverty and improved social cohesion. The HRDSA will operate in concert with the Medium
Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) of Government (RSA, 2010b:3–4).

The HRDSA is a coordinated framework intended to combine key levers of the constituent parts of the HRD System into a coherent strategy (RSA, 2009c:31–32).
2

When reference is made to the first Human Resource Development Strategy HRDSA (of 2001), it will be referred to as the HRDSA, 2001.The revised Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDSA), 2010 2030, will be referred to as the HRDSA.

4

Therefore, much of the implementation of the HRDSA’s strategic priorities will be resourced and implemented by the constituent parts and national strategies such as the
Occupational Learning System, which includes Sector Education and Training
Authorities (SETAs), the Further Education and Training (FET) Sector the HRDS
(steered by the DPSA), and the Technology and Innovation System of the public service
(steered by the Department of Science and Technology) (RSA, 2009c:31–32). Even though the sub-systems will be expected to submit detailed project plans that will be monitored quarterly and annually by means of progress reports (RSA, 2009c:31–32), the implementation of the HRDSA’s strategic priorities by these sub-systems will pose significant implementation challenges, as they are located in other government departments and entities outside the Presidency. The HRD Council is located in the
Presidency which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the HRDSA and the identification and resolving of systemic blockages with the relevant stakeholders and social partners in supporting the implementation of the revised strategy. The DHET is mainly responsible for managing the HRD Secretariat and for providing the requisite research base in supporting the implementation of the revised HRDSA.

The HRDSA emphasises that HRD demands an urgent response in addressing the significant developmental backlogs due to the legacy of apartheid and deep-rooted poverty (RSA, 2009c:7). It demands a wide-ranging and determined response from government (RSA, 2009c:7). However, it is important to stress that the scope of the
HRDSA extends beyond government:


it demands collective will and purposeful action from all stakeholders in society;



it demands the determination, commitment and accountability of individuals to invest time and effort in their own development;



it demands the commitment of all enterprises and organisations to invest time and resources in HRD towards the public good;



it is only through concerted efforts in HRD throughout the country as a whole that suitable foundations for institutional and corporate missions can be created; and

5



the urgency of the challenges and priorities and the importance of the outcomes which, for example, the government, all social partners and the people of South
Africa seek to achieve, oblige South Africans to forge a social compact that will promote demand-driven HRD in the country (RSA, 2009c:7).

Although the implementation of the HRDSA is government’s responsibility, it is evident that the accomplishment of the strategic priorities set out in the HRDSA relies not only on government’s efforts, but also on the cooperation and support of all stakeholders, for example all social partners such as organised business and labour, civil society, academia, and national, provincial and local government. Further, the successful implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, necessitates that the challenges experienced during the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, must be prevented.

1.2

PROBLEM STATEMENT

The lack of institutional arrangements, structures, procedures, processes and capacity of the HRDSA, 2001, including the lack of a monitoring and evaluation strategy, hampered the implementation and functioning of the HRDSA, 2001 (RSA, 2005a:1).
According to the HRDSA, 2001, Gap Analysis, political accountability for the strategy was vested in the then Ministers of Education and Labour (RSA, 2005a:20). In theory this made sense, given the education and training components of the strategy; however, in practice this joint responsibility was not effective (RSA, 2005a:20).

Effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA is necessary to improve social and economic growth in the country, as well as HRD, HD and accelerated quality service delivery. The HRDSA, 2001, fell short of realising its strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects due to the particular implementation challenges experienced and the ineffective and inefficient manner in which these challenges were addressed (RSA, 2005a:20). Therefore, the research problem that this study addresses is: The HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, will not achieve its
6

strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects if the same implementation challenges are experienced and are dealt with in the same manner as was the case with the HRDSA, 2001. This study seeks to determine which implementation challenges were experienced and how they must be dealt with or prevented to ensure the successful implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, and increased performance

regarding

its

strategic

priorities,

strategic

objectives,

programmes and projects.

1.3

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

In addressing the research problem, particular objectives were set. The primary objective of this study is to:


Determine the most effective and efficient manner in which the HRDSA, 2010 2030, can be effectively, efficiently, economically and sustainably implemented in order to achieve its strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects to improve social and economic growth of the country, to enhance HRD and HD and accelerate quality service delivery.

The secondary objectives of the study are to:


conduct a literature survey on the critical levers for accelerated and quality service delivery; 

determine best practice pertaining to an HRD Strategy, by exploring the implementation of HRD strategies in selected countries; determine the statutory and regulatory framework for the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030;



determine the challenges experienced during the implementation of the HRDSA,
2001, and how they were dealt with;

7



determine how these challenges must be prevented and/or dealt with during the implementation of

the

HRDSA,

2010 -

2030,

to

ensure

its

successful

implementation; and


make recommendations on how to improve and accelerate the effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, to achieve its strategic priorities to improve accelerated and quality service delivery.

1.4

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Based on the research objectives, the following research questions can be asked:

The primary question of the study is:


What is the most effective and efficient manner in which the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, can be effectively, efficiently, economically and sustainably implemented in order to achieve its strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects to improve social and economic growth of the country, to enhance HRD and HD and accelerate quality service delivery?

The secondary questions of the study are:


What are the critical levers for accelerated and quality service delivery?



What is best practice pertaining to an HRD Strategy, to be established by exploring the implementation of HRD strategies in selected countries, to determine the statutory and regulatory framework for the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030?



What are the challenges experienced during the implementation of the HRDSA,
2001, and how were they dealt with?



How to prevent the challenges or how to deal with the challenges during the implementation of

the

HRDSA,

2010 -

implementation?
8

2030,

to

ensure

its

successful



What are the recommendations to be made on how to improve and accelerate effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 2030, to achieve its strategic priorities in improving accelerated and quality service delivery? 1.5

CENTRAL THEORETICAL STATEMENTS

For inter alia the following reasons the HRDSA, 2001, failed to achieve its implementation objectives and strategic priorities in terms of HRD, HD and accelerated and quality service delivery (RSA, 2005a:20):


A lack of integration, coordination, planning, management and reporting;



A lack of effective institutional arrangements and joint responsibility relating to the coordination of the strategy (RSA, 2005a:20);



The absence of a monitoring and evaluation strategy; and



The alignment with other national strategies such as the HRDS and the NSDS.

For the successful implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, it is critical that the same challenges do not recur (RSA, 2005a:15). However, it can be argued that the primary challenge confronting the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, is the effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the strategy in order to achieve the set
HRD objectives in the quest for a capacitated, developed and empowered public service and citizenry in improving and accelerating service delivery.

The HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, inter alia aims to achieve the following national goals:


To urgently and substantively reduce the scourges of poverty and unemployment.



to promote justice and social cohesion through improved equity in the provision and outcomes of education and skills development programmes; and



to substantively improve national economic growth and development through improved competitiveness of the South African economy.
9

In the majority of countries acknowledgement is given to the need for an approach of systematic attention to the role of HRD in supporting national socio-economic growth and development programmes (Bertrand, 2004:65; RSA, 2009c:9). It is therefore evident that the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, must be effectively and efficiently implemented to ensure the achievement of its national goals and strategic priorities.

1.6

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In seeking to fulfil the research objectives stated above, information was acquired from both secondary and primary sources. This was effected through a literature review and an empirical study. Both interviews and a questionnaire were employed in conducting the empirical study.

1.6.1 Literature review

A literature review of both national and international sources was conducted regarding
HRD strategies, related challenges regarding implementation in the public sector, as well as the history of and best practice of HRD strategies. The literature review involved tracing, identifying and analysing secondary sources such as books, journals, scholarly articles, conference papers, policies, legislation, government documents and reports containing information relating to the research topic.

1.6.2 Design

The research was conducted within a qualitative design, based on empirical evidence through a case study of the HRDSA, 2001. According to Henning (2004:32), a case study is an in-depth investigation of a phenomenon, for example a group of people, individual or event in a particular location. In this study the phenomenon investigated was the implementation challenges experienced with the HRDSA, 2001, with a view to

10

making recommendations on preventing the recurrence of the same challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

1.6.3 Empirical investigation

An empirical study, by a process of interviews and a questionnaire, was also conducted.

1.6.3.1

Interviews

According to Struwig and Stead (2001:13), the qualitative research method reflects certain approaches to knowledge production and includes any research that makes use of qualitative data. This is pertinent to this study, which is concerned with information that may resolve the challenges regarding the implementation of the HRDSA.

One means of collecting qualitative information is through interviews.

According to

Hesse-Biber and Leavy (2006:125), semi-structured interviews assist in guiding the conversation so that set questions can be posed, while allowing respondents some latitude to discuss what is of interest or of importance to them. As a result, semistructured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with senior officials and experts in the relevant national departments and the Gauteng Provincial Government. Interviews were also held with other stakeholders and social partners in seeking joint solutions for challenges regarding implementation of the HRDSA, for example organised labour, organised business and relevant experts. Respondents for the semi-structured interviews included persons from the following organisations, social partners, spheres of government and relevant stakeholders:

1.

National government: deputy directors-general or chief directors of the various government departments, namely:


Presidency;



Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET);
11




Department of Science and Technology (DST);



Department of Labour (DoL); and



2.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);

Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).

Provincial government:


3.

Organised business:


4.

Head of Gauteng Provincial Growth and Development Strategy

Chief Executive Officer or Chairperson of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)

Organised labour:


General Secretary or Deputy General Secretary of the Congress of South
African Trade Unions (COSATU)

5.

Experts in their respective disciplines:


Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Centre for Poverty, Employment and Growth ;



HRD expert at the Public Administration Leadership and Management
Academy (PALAMA);



Labour market scholar affiliated to the University of the Western Cape;



Economist, researcher and academic; and



Scholar in Political Science/Economics at a South African university.

Questions pertaining to challenges regarding the implementation of the HRDSA were posed to respondents.

12

1.6.3.2

Questionnaire

The structured questionnaire for this study was informed by the literature review and formulated to find answers to the most important variables outlined in the matters pertaining to possible solutions, with regard to the appropriate location of the HRDSA, challenges in implementing the HRDSA, capacity needs, appropriate governance structures and political support (Struwig, 2001:521).

Respondents of the self-administered questionnaire included HRD practitioners at deputy director, director and, where possible, subject to availability, chief director level in the following departments:


Department of Basic Education;



Department of Higher Education and Training;



Department of Trade and Industry;



Department of Science and Technology;



Department of Labour;



Department of Public Service and Administration; and



Provincial Government: Officials at Gauteng Provincial Growth and
Development Strategy.

1.6.4 Sampling

Non-probability judgement sampling was employed for both semi-structured interviews and a structured questionnaire. According to Hesse-Biber and Leavy (2006:76), nonprobability sampling is normally based on the particular research problem at hand, the expert judgement of the researcher in the selection of the sample, and consideration of the resources available to the researcher. The total population for the semi-structured interviews was fourteen, thus a 100 per cent sample of the total population was required. The total population for the structured questionnaire was twenty-two and a
100 per cent sample was achieved.
13

1.6.5 Processing and verification of data

All data obtained from the semi-structured, face-to-face interviews and structured questionnaires were processed and a technical conclusion was drawn, based on the findings. Triangulation was used to verify the information regarding reliability and validity. Triangulation refers to the utilisation of various methods to analyse information such as interviews, observations and documents in ensuring reliability and validity
(Struwig & Stead, 2001:145). According to Henning et al. (2004:147), reliability refers to the credibility, confirmability and consistency of the findings, whilst validity refers to the trustworthiness of the methods utilised in the investigation. Furthermore, triangulation promotes the quality of qualitative research by extending the methodological approach through utilising more than one method (Flick, 2007:43).

1.6.6 Procedure

The following procedure was followed:


a national and international literature review was conducted on the implementation challenges and gaps of various HRD approaches and HRD strategies;



semi-structured, face-to-face individual interviews were held with identified respondents in national government, provincial government, organised business, organised labour and civil society, as well as identified experts in their respective disciplines; 

a structured self-administered questionnaire was distributed to HRD practitioners, as indicated in Section 6.3.2;



based on the research objectives detailed in Section 3, all relevant information was analysed and evaluated; and



triangulation was utilised to verify the information obtained from semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires for reliability and validity.

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1.7

Ethical considerations

According to Struwig and Stead (2001:66), a consent form should be used to adhere to the code of moral guidelines on the manner in which to conduct research in a morally acceptable way, in order to maintain high ethical standards in conducting research.
Therefore, in this study a consent form was used to obtain permission from respondents to use the information obtained from interviews and the questionnaire for the purposes of this study. Respondents were informed that participation in the study was voluntary and anonymous, and that confidentiality would be maintained.

1.8

CHAPTER OUTLINE

The mini-dissertation is presented in five chapters:

Chapter 1 indicates the scope of the study and the research methods used. It introduces the research problem and rationale of the study through the background and problem statement. It outlines the research objectives and research questions arising from the problem statement. Thereafter, it posits the central theoretical statements.
Next, it describes the research methodology followed in seeking to fulfil the research objectives; Chapter 2 presents the results of the literature review conducted. This chapter explores the literature at a national and international level on the prevailing theories, principles and best practice pertaining to national HRD strategies in improving both the implementation of the HRDSA and quality service delivery;

Chapter 3 explores relevant legislation and policies and assesses the implementation of the HRDSA. Problems and challenges pertaining to the implementation of the
HRDSA are outlined and discussed;

15

Chapter 4 discusses the empirical investigation. This chapter also discusses the critical assessment of the HRDSA; and reflects on results obtained from the interviews and questionnaires. This chapter delineates the analysis, interpretations and findings of the study and extracts the main conclusions based on the findings; and

Chapter 5 summarises the main findings of the study based on the results presented in
Chapter 4. It also makes recommendations regarding the manner in which the HRDSA can be effectively, efficiently, economically and sustainably implemented by the
Department of Higher Education and Training, in collaboration with the Presidency, based on the findings of the qualitative study in order to achieve its strategic priorities in improving and accelerating quality service delivery.

The next chapter provides an overview of international best practice, theories for example the contextualisation of HRD, good governance and principles pertaining to human resource development (HRD) and/or skills development strategies.

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CHAPTER 2: NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES:
BEST PRACTICE

2.1

INTRODUCTION

As alluded to in Chapter One, the Constitution legitimises the need for quality and training, HRD and HD for all South Africa’s citizens (RSA, 1996:14). To give effect to these Constitutional principles the public service must be staffed with highly competent and dedicated professionals. In order to obtain this quality of staff, a shift in the way that human resources are managed and developed is necessary (PSC, 2010:32; Prowse &
Prowse, 2009:146). Thus, HRM and HRD must become more strategic in their bias, ensuring that the necessary capacity and alignment are built within state departments, utilising the tools provided and following proper processes and procedures (PSC,
2010:32). Human resource management and HRD are key functions in ensuring that departments have the necessary capacities to deliver on their mandates and improve and sustain quality service delivery (PSC, 2010:32; Adhkari, 2009:310). In this respect the HRDSA plays a proactive role in collaboration with the DPSA and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the public service has the capacities to deliver on its mandate. This chapter discusses HRD within the context of the study, including critical levers to enhance the implementation of the Strategy, such as accelerated service delivery, human resource development, good governance, outcomes-based governance and alternative mechanisms to improve service delivery. International best practice pertaining to national HRD strategies and skills development is also discussed in this chapter. The aim of the international best practice overview is to solicit international practice with regard to the general and specific implementation challenges of such countries’ HRD Strategies with a view to improving the implementation of the HRDSA and in ensuring the improvement of quality service delivery. Lessons learned from other countries for the effective implementation of the HRDSA will be outlined, which could
17

assist in improving the implementation of the HRDSA. However, before the implementation of national HRD Strategies in the selected countries is discussed, the next section focuses on critical levers for accelerated quality service delivery as one of the strategic priorities of the HRDSA.

2.2

CRITICAL LEVERS FOR ACCELERATED QUALITY SERVICE DELIVERY

This section outlines the role and importance of accelerated quality service delivery,
HRD, good governance, and outcomes-based governance in relation to the HRDSA.
The New Public Administration (NPA) paradigm, as an alternative mechanism to improve service delivery, also receives attention.

2.2.1 Accelerated quality service delivery

The provision of accelerated quality service delivery is one of the strategic priorities of the HRDSA (RSA, 2009c:74). Service delivery involves the production or provision of goods and services by government to the inhabitants of a country (Van der Waldt,
2004:95; Keyter, 2006:120). The South African government is committed to accelerated service delivery, implying that the speed and quality of service delivery must be enhanced (Cf. Carrim, 2010). Government’s responsibility for providing quality services to the people of South Africa is also enshrined in the Constitution, section 195(1), which states that services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias (RSA,
1996:111). Annual national departmental budgets are allocated towards providing quality service delivery to citizens, based on each department’s mandate (RSA,
1999:37-38). However, according to Amin et al. (2008:xi), increased expenditure on public services alone is not sufficient to raise standards of living and improving access to education, health and other public services. Leaders that inspire trust, the development of good relationships at the workplace and the strengthening of trust with the public as top priority are also required for good public service practice (CAPAM,
2009:26). Amin et al. (2008: xi) also emphasise the importance of strengthening
18

accountability and supporting governance reforms for quality services. Therefore, quality public servants and inspirational public leaders, with knowledge, skills, ethics, attitudes, values such as integrity, good professional conduct, commitment and networks can make or break public trust in the government’s quest to provide sustained quality services (United Nations, 2010:xii).

Setsetse and Mkansi (2007:20) argue for the adoption of a transformational leadership model as a tool to ensure that managers recognise the realities and demands of communities for better service delivery (Cf. Adei, Badu & Egan, 2006:5; cf. CAPAM,
2009:23). As a result effective, ethical and courageous leadership at all three spheres of government are needed to accelerate quality service delivery (Sama & Shoaf, 2008:43).
Moreover the CAPAM report emphasised the importance of merit-based recruitment, appointments, development and retention of qualified, experienced, technical and managerial professionals to deliver quality service that meets the desires and expectations of the public (CAPAM, 2009:23). Further, the Green Paper: National
Strategic Planning (RSA, 2009b:8) underscores the importance for the State of providing services in an effective, efficient and cost effective manner, whilst accentuating the critical importance to all social partners of fully appreciating their role and contribution, on the other hand, to collectively lifting growth and development to a higher trajectory.

The World Public Sector Report, annually published by the United Nations, emphasises the provision of efficient, effective, sustainable and affordable public services for all, including vulnerable groups and minorities as one of the core functions of the state and a key factor in reducing poverty (United Nations, 2010:66). To improve service delivery with regard to quality and social impact requires enhanced courageous leadership capacity and policies for HRD (United Nations, 2010:66; cf. Mahlangu, 2010).

Two salient weaknesses in government, according to the Green Paper: National
Strategic Planning (RSA, 2009b:4), are the lack of a coherent plan and poor
19

coordination. Thus in a quest to improve service delivery, a brief outline of the definition and critical importance of human resources development in increasing the productivity and competencies of organisations and individuals is discussed in the next section.

2.2.2 Human Resource Development

As the primary focus of the HRDSA, human resource development can be defined as a healthy, progressive and necessary function for organisations and individuals in increasing their productivity, competencies and employability which thereby increases the performance of the organisation (Torrington, 2005:356-357).

Smith (2008:24)

believes that HRD is concerned with the development of the work-related capacity of people as individuals, in teams, and at whole-of-organisation level. Smith (2008: 24) further views HRD as an important part of providing people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and training that enable them to perform effectively. Hasler,
Thompson and Schuler (2006:108) describe HRD as a systemic development of human skills, capabilities and knowledge through multilevel learning processes directed by organisations, communities and national HRD strategies for the growth of organisations, communities, individuals and the nations of which they are an integral part (Cf. Serrat,
2010:3; cf. Stokker & Hallam, 2009:565). From the abovementioned definitions it can be deduced that HRD, resulting in an increase in the skills and productivity of communities, organisations and individuals, will therefore also increase the performance of a country as a whole.

According to Dussault (1999:35) and Bhatnagar et al. (2010:493-494), human resource development is the process of optimising the production and management of the workforce and is concerned with the different functions involved in planning, managing and supporting the general and strategic development of the citizens of a country.
Kraak (2010:69) defines HRD as the acquisition of education and training through qualifications, the optimal deployment and utilisation of skills and the sharing of accurate and credible information flows across supply and demand in ensuring credible
20

skills planning. Thus Kraak’s definition is three-fold: The first component of HRD speaks to the acquisition of education and training through qualifications; the second component speaks to the development of productive and organisational capabilities in specific institutional contexts, for example in an organisation or cluster of organisations, in a state department, a school, civic organisation or a business association; and the third component speaks to enabling new HRD practices and new economic activities through strategic information exchange between government and private institutions on the demand and supply sides. The three-fold definition of Kraak is most applicable for the purposes of this study, as this study relates to all three of the components of the definition. Kraak’s definition is applicable to this study since it can be argued that the focus with the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, should not only be on the acquisition of education and training through qualifications, but equally be on how to efficiently and effectively deploy and utilise the skills in the specific workplace or context, for example within an organisation. It can further be argued that it must include the need to substantially improve and strengthen credible information flows amongst key role-players across the demand and supply divide to ensure credible skills planning and forecasting.

The Green Paper: National Strategic Planning (RSA, 2009b:4) underlines the importance of the country’s long-term HRD plan to narrow down high level aspirations into a focused HRD Strategy. Moreover, the Green Paper (RSA, 2009b:8) acknowledges that countries that have developed rapidly had three critical characteristics which any development plan would have to deal with: rapid economic growth, high quality education and HRD, and high quality and strong and credible public and private institutions. According to (RSA, 2009c:11), the primary goal of the HRDSA is to contribute to human development. Furthermore, the strategic priorities and interventions outlined in the Strategy are explicitly designed to respond to economic, social and wider development imperatives (RSA, 2009c:11). As section 1.3 indicates, one of the objectives of this study is to make recommendations on how to improve and accelerate effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA
21

to achieve its economic, social and wider development imperatives. It thus correlates with the strategic priorities of the Revised HRDSA. One can argue that effective governance requires the complete dedication, commitment and accountability of all roleplayers involved in the management of each public sector department and the importance of vigorous control mechanisms to ensure effective service delivery, based on the departmental vision and mission. The need for and role of good governance in the HRDSA is accordingly discussed in the next section.

2.2.3 Good Governance

It can be argued that the practice of good governance is required for the successful implementation of the HRDSA. Shipley and Kovacs (2007:215) refer to governance as a dynamic interaction involving structures, functions, processes and organisational traditions that an organisation or department uses to accomplish its vision and mission.
According to Van der Waldt (2004:5), good governance is the effective, efficient and economic application of scarce and limited resources predicated on political authority that is accountable, responsible and answerable in leading society and convincing its various interest groups to embrace common goals and strategies. Fourie (2009:1114) supports Van der Waldt’s view that the common thread in a multitude of definitions is that good governance in essence addresses the allocation and management of resources to respond to collective challenges such as fraud and corruption. Good governance also requires capacity, knowledge, skills and the resources to fight fraud and corruption; for example one of the key requirements to do so is the establishment and administering of sound institutional mechanisms (Fourie, 2009: 1114; cf. United
Nations, 2007:2). The 2010 World Public Sector Report (2010:ix) is in line with Fourie’s view and underline the importance of establishing appropriate institutions, systems and mechanisms to engage citizens in identifying their needs and priorities.

Fourie (2009:1116) also argues that governance is fundamentally a political or leadership imperative and cannot be reduced to a purely public administrative function
22

due to the conflation of the political-administrative roles that need to be fulfilled (Cf. Kate and Nnabuife, 2010:40). Fourie (2009:1118) further underlines the importance that effective governance requires the complete dedication, commitment and accountability of all role-players involved in the management of each public sector department and the importance of vigorous control mechanisms, especially at management level, to ensure effective service delivery based on the departmental vision and mission.

The Mo Ibrahim Index (2010:27), which consists of 88 criteria on the performance and progress of African Governance, ranked South Africa as the fifth best country, with
Mauritius as the best and Somalia (ranked 53rd) as the worst country with regard to good governance. On the other hand, Fourie (2009:1119) identifies organisational centralisation and top-down governance as a major problem in South Africa, since excessive control normally leads to a lack of innovation, entrenches unproductive and unresponsive service delivery processes and limits the potential for change (Cf.
Andrews & Shah, 2003:4). Such centralised structures emphasise control in the governance process, and require role-players to adhere to process above all else, including service delivery (Andrews & Shah, 2003:4). This process orientation makes administrative entities unresponsive, with top down structures seen as devices used for insulating bureaucratic heads from political masters and constituencies. One can argue that good governance will not only improve the implementation of the HRDSA but also accelerated quality service delivery in the public service as a whole.

2.2.4 Outcomes-based Governance

The strategic priorities of the HRDSA need to materialise in particular outcomes pertaining to HRD and HD (RSA, 2009c:13), calling thus for outcomes-based governance. Further, the principle of outcomes-based governance supports quality and accelerated service delivery (Mmoiemang, 2010:2). According to Mmoiemang (2010:2), outcomes-based governance will enable the government to measure delivery and better
23

manage performance over the long term. The outcomes-based approach is an approach where governments focus on the steering and not the rowing of strategies or policies to actively shape their communities, states and nations and make more constructive policy decisions, rather than focusing on the operational level (Therkildsen,
2008:5).
According to Van der Waldt (2004:18), in governments’ quest to be in charge of almost everything, such as regulating processes, controlling and shaping inputs, budgets, human resources, amongst many activities, they tend to disregard and/or overlook the outcomes or impact of their policies on the wellbeing of citizens’ lives. Van der Waldt
(2004:19) further underscores the worldwide trend towards a government outcomesbased approach in the quest for improved service delivery. Outcomes-based governance provides a more strategic focus for government to ensure that its policies and programmes are directly connected to things that matter to citizens: it shifts the focus of government away from inputs and outputs, towards benefits and results (Van der Waldt, 2004:19; cf. Kettani et al. 2009:33). Further, it is more likely to ensure that funds are allocated where they are most likely to maximise the achievement of outcomes (Van der Waldt, 2004:19; cf. Rice, 2007:624). Outcomes-based governance also provides a potential framework for ‘joined-up’ government, where more than one department or entity is expected to make a contribution to a government outcome (Cf.
State Government of Victoria, 2010). The outcomes-based approach is an approach where governments focus on the steering and not the rowing of strategies or policies to actively shape their communities, states and nations and make more constructive policy decisions, rather than focusing on the operational level (Van der Waldt, 2004:104; cf.
Axworthy & Burch, 2010:39).
The South African government made a strong and positive statement in its intention to improve government’s performance with regard to service delivery, by introducing the
Green Paper: Improving Government Performance, Our Approach on improving government’s performance (RSA, 2009a:4).

The Green Paper (RSA, 2009a:9-11)

indicates that the government’s approach is to start the delivery chain with the
24

outcomes they want to achieve. The Green Paper also defines output measures that must be utilised to confirm whether the government is on track with regard to quality and sustainable service delivery (RSA, 2009a:7). It seems as if government’s new outcomes-based performance management approach may contribute positively towards the implementation of the HRDSA, as the approach focuses on the end goal or the outcomes that they want to achieve. To support the notion of outcomes-based governance, it is necessary for government to consider alternative mechanisms to improve service delivery, as discussed in the following section.

2.3

ALTERNATIVE MECHANISMS TO IMPROVE SERVICE DELIVERY

The traditional bureaucratic public administration models of Max Weber and Woodrow
Wilson were challenged in Anglophone countries such as England, Australia and New
Zealand during the 1980s (Siddiquee, 2010:39). A new model of public sector management emerged in these countries which is called New Public Management
(NPM). The NPM paradigm is inspired by the values and concepts of the private sector
(Cf. Therkildsen, 2008:7). The NPM paradigm is seen as a way of cutting through the red tape and inflexibility associated with old-style public administration and as a means of improving efficiency and quality service delivery (Siddiquee, 2010:39). The NPM alternatives include for example public-private partnerships, performance management, improvement of service delivery, decentralisation of authority and responsibilities to managers, outsourcing and privatisation (Cameron, 2009:915.). It seems that despite the apparent benefits of the NPM reforms the Department of Public Service and
Administration (DPSA) took a strong anti-NPM position (Cameron, 2009:915.) Instead, the DPSA moved away from a minimalistic view of the state towards a developmental state that is premised on a strongly interventionist activist state (Cameron, 2009:915.)

One can argue that it is neither the NPM alternative mechanism nor a developmental state premised on a strongly interventionist activist state that will necessarily improve service delivery. Instead it can be argued that an approach be followed where firstly
25

both models are integrated in such a way that government focuses mainly on the needs of the people in making constructive policy decisions. Secondly, it is by government
‘steering and not rowing’ policies and strategies, in other words by focusing more on a strategic level rather than on operational level that delivery will be improved. It can therefore be argued that by placing the focus on a strategic level rather than an operational level, the risk of ineffective, corrupt and self-serving governments can be reduced. According to Van der Waldt (2004:83), one of the most important principles in the quest for new alternatives, improvement, governance and specifically service delivery, is the notion of developing public service that is progressively more equitable and clientcentred in its performance, culture and attitudes. Andrews and Shah (2003:18) support
Van der Waldt’s view of a citizen-centred reform intent on creating the right institutional environment for results-oriented reform. This entails focusing on developing participatory, localised structures through which citizens are empowered to demand better results from government (Andrews & Shah, 2003:18). This approach underlines the importance of the delegation of authority and responsibility to managers, increased agility and persuasion to encourage initiative and recognition of performance, mainly where there will be a direct spinoff in terms of improved and sustained quality service delivery (Van der Waldt, 2004:83; cf. Barrette et al. 2007:338). The Department of
Public Service and Administration (DPSA) also supports this view by further underlining the importance for executive authorities to allocate the relevant delegations and authorities to managers to improve service delivery (RSA, 2008a:16). The introduction of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) White Paper in 1994 and the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service in 1995 brought about a new policy framework defining the role of a public service which is more responsive to the needs of citizens (SA, 1995:3).

A transformed public service that is more efficient and effective in the utilisation of public resources and more representative of the diversity and needs of all citizens is required,
26

especially for the most disadvantaged and marginalised poor sectors of society (Van der Waldt, 2004:93; cf. Edigheji, 2010:30). To this end performance management improvement and monitoring and evaluation in the public service must be strengthened
(Van der Waldt, 2004:94). The importance of involving employees at all phases of the programme should not be neglected, when facilitating a performance management programme (Van der Waldt, 2004:94).

Van der Waldt (2004:104) provides five reasons why government should consider new alternative service delivery mechanisms and they are:


Fiscal pressure for cost saving especially in the country’s current economic recession. 

The belief that competition increases efficiency, and that the separation of service delivery from policy advice allows government to focus on steering and leave the rowing to others as mentioned in the previous paragraph.



A need to focus on outputs and performance standards. For the purpose of this study outcomes can be added to provide a wider variety of choice to all citizens.



The challenges of implementing transformation are magnified by enormous backlogs, lack of capacity, limited resources, lack of social cohesion, lack of coordination, collaboration, communication, integration, planning, management, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.

One can argue that alternative service delivery strategies and mechanisms such as public-private partnerships, performance management, improvement of service delivery, decentralisation of authority and responsibilities to managers, outsourcing and privatisation, need to be considered by government to improve service delivery.

In order to accelerate quality service delivery and enhance the implementation of the
HRDSA, it is necessary to learn from and benchmark on the basis of best practice from other countries. The next section will therefore provide an overview of international best

27

practice with regard to the context and good practice to identify and apply possible best practice in order to enhance the implementation of the HRDSA.

2.4

BEST PRACTICE: IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE
DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

Human resource development best practice is now described as applied by the following countries, based on their relative success regarding the implementation of their human development strategies, as well as similar objectives and strategic priorities to those of the HRDSA: Brazil, Malaysia, Ireland and Finland. Brazil is a developing country as is South Africa and is also a country of acute contrasts both politically and socially (Sally, 2008:56). The inequalities in Brazil are similar to those in South Africa, for example the high inequality in income distribution (JBIC, 2005:45). As a result Brazil is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Due to the similarities between the two countries socially, economically and politically, it is expected that possible lessons could be learnt with regard to their approach and implementation of their HRD strategies.

Malaysia is historically an ethnically diverse country where economic and political power once was possessed strictly on the basis of ethnicity (UNDP, 2006:21). The Chinese and Indians, though the minority grouping, dominated both politically and economically and represented the country’s economically elite (UNDP, 2006:21). As a result of the commonalities between Malaysia and South Africa, for example the redistribution of wealth and the eradication of poverty, the implementation of Malaysia’s national human development and skills strategy and their successes in this regard are expected to be of value to South Africa. Likewise, lessons can be learnt from the mistakes made with the implementation of their national human development and skills strategy.

Finland, as a developed country, not only transformed itself in a relatively short period into a knowledge economy but also made significant investments in human development and educational provision (Dahlman et al., 2006:2-3). Finland prioritised
28

high levels of formal education and high levels of workplace training as well as adult and continuous education (Dahlman et al., 2006:2-3.) One can argue that in South Africa gigantic strides still have to be made to increase high levels of formal education and training and especially to create high levels of workplace learning to address unemployment and poverty.

Ireland’s emphasis was on whole-government, meaning the ability and willingness of a country to coordinate and integrate its growth and development policies and strategies.
For example in Ireland the implementation of the HRD, science, innovation, research and development strategies took place jointly and the strategies were not implemented as stand-alone policies. The whole-government approach stands out as one of the key ingredients that could assist with the implementation of the HRDSA in South Africa
(Hardiman, 2006:346). Therefore, the basis for choosing to examine the implementation of national HRD strategies by these specific countries is to provide a diverse international range of practice to assist in improving the implementation of the HRDSA.
In the following sections the contexts and good practice of Brazil, Malaysia, Finland and
Ireland are described.

2.4.1

The case of Brazil

Brazil is the largest country, measured by land and population, in Latin America and has a population of 175 million citizens (Briggs, 2004:313). Brazil is also the largest economy in South America and the thirteenth largest economy in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) (Cf. Souza, 2005:45). Significant segments of its population live in devastating poverty, with poor health and illiteracy (Hasler et al.,
2006:101-103). The country is marked not only by major inequalities in wealth but also by gaps in life expectancy and education and training (Cf. Boniface, 2002:9). Several ethnic groups are represented including Portuguese, Italian, German, Japanese, African and indigenous people (US Department o State, 2011; Telles, 2008:186).

29

Since achieving independence from Portugal in 1822, Brazil has experienced a number of military coups and regime changes towards their evolution of the representative democracy that exists today (US Department of State, 2011).

Thus, the political

instability of Brazil can be compared with the situation in South Africa, as political stability in South Africa was only achieved after the elections in 1994 (Nupen,
2007:133). Politics in Brazil is often driven by race and colour as defined by the participants in a given political group, and this extends to education and educational funding for the nation, as is also the case in South Africa based on redress and equity
(Hasler et al., 2006: 101-103). As in South Africa, Brazil also faces a battle with HIV and
AIDS (Avert, 2011). This HIV and AIDS crisis not only has a socio-economic impact, but also has implications for the size of its workforce as employees are being permanently lost to these diseases (Hasler et al, 2006:101-103).

2.4.1.1

Human Resource Development Best Practice

According to Hasler et al. (2006:105), education and training resources in developing nations are in most cases focused on high level skilled occupations such as scientists, engineers and doctors. Kraak (2008:vi) categorised the three skills bands, namely high, intermediate and entry-level skills in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as indicated in Table 1 below:
Table 1: National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and Skill Band
NQF Level

Skill band

8

High Skill:

(Higher education degrees and post-

7

graduate qualifications

6
5

Intermediate Skill: Post-matriculation, pre-degree

4

certificates and diplomas

3

Entry-Level Skills: Pre-matriculation levels

2
1
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To this end HRD strategies and education planners frequently overlook the critical support roles played by entry-level skills and intermediate skills such as those of laboratory technicians, artisans or skilled trades, nurses and teachers, whilst these technician roles are often identified as critical resources for large multinational corporations seeking to locate operations in developing countries (Hasler et al.,
2006:105-107; Kraak (2008: vi). Not only does Souza (2005:20) support Hasler’s view but also emphasises the importance of maintaining good standards and close ties with the labour market with regard to responsiveness. One can argue that the technical skills mentioned, if responsive to the labour market and prioritised based on scarcity, could serve as an attraction for foreign direct investment and job creation for developing countries including South Africa.

Brazil took a strategic and deliberate decision, as early as in the 1940s, to focus on vocational education and training to develop their population. Moreover, the Education
Ministry of Brazil created the Professional Expansion Programme (PROEP) in 1997 to address critical technical and vocational skills (JBIC, 2005: 20). The key goal of the said organisation was to reform technical education throughout the nation with an emphasis on meeting industry-specific skills initially in the telecommunications and the petroleum industries (Sturgeon et al, 2008:303). The need for effective and lifelong adult education to develop those in the workforce is also emphasised (Hasler et al, 2006:107-108.)

Brazil’s national leadership realised the need for a national HRD strategy, hence the huge investments in education and training and technology, including the urgency in addressing economic issues (Hasler et al, 2006:111). By collaborating with universities, organisations wanting to develop their human resources may (Maria et al, 2008:1):


reduce uncertainty inherent in the innovation process;



expand their markets;



gain access to new or complementary resources and skills;



keep up with the evolution of scientific knowledge; and
31



create new technological learning on future technologies.

Further, according to Maria et al. (2008:12), large multinational organisations in Brazil consider the excellent university-industry interaction and collaboration as the main reason for their willingness to increase their investment in research and development in
Brazil. Gamerdinger (2004:5) underscores the importance of increasing industry collaboration through strategic alliances and the promotion of knowledge exchange through national and regional cooperation, in preparing the national workforce. Much of the success of national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) apex agencies can be attributed to their linkage with industry and employer and worker representatives (Sims & Posthuma, 2009:15). This linkage has led to the identification of national labour market needs, expanded work site training opportunities, and the articulation of skill competencies required for occupations (Jacinto, 2010:122). The acceptance of industry’s involvement as a partner to improve the quality of a nation’s work force is critical and has to be prioritised (Gamerdinger, 2004:10).

Thus the

HRDSA has to encourage and help establish partnerships between industry-educational institutions such as FET Colleges, Universities of Technology and Universities in increasing work opportunities for unemployed graduates, including possible placement.

Countries that outmatched Brazil with regard to socio-economic development in the past thirty years made radical investments in the education and training of their citizens, especially children (Buarque, 2004:13). Instead of investing in education and training,
Brazil rather invested in its economic infrastructure, more specifically in infrastructure for the manufacture of luxury consumer goods (Gamerdinger, 2004:10). However, Amann and Baer (2006:239) emphasise that a high rate of economic growth does not automatically result in an improvement in a country’s income distribution.

One can argue that Brazil’s focus needed to be continuously on the investment and improvement of education and training, instead of embarking on an approach that is mainly dependent on economic growth for the creation of decent jobs and the
32

eradication of poverty. Learning from Brazil’s education and training experience, the
South African government may want to strike a finer balance between economic growth and investment in education and training that is underpinned by innovation, technology and increased targets on research and development.

The HRDSA therefore, in

collaboration with all social partners, must find and grow creative mechanisms to broaden and enrich the human capital base of all South Africans.

Although Brazil did not focus on investing in education and training at school level, their out-of-school skills training system, that began in the 1940s, is now one of the largest of its kind in Latin America and comprises a group of institutes, collectively known as the
S-system (Rodriguez, Dahlman and Salmi, 2008:201). These institutes offer advanced skills training and other services such as career guidance for workers (Rodriguez et al.,
2008:201.) One can argue that in order to provide responsive learning and workplace opportunities to learners that are not in education, that are not employed and not in training (NEET), both the HRDSA and stakeholders involved in the implementation of the HRDSA need to identify, coordinate, monitor, evaluate and report on post-school education in South Africa and training as one of its imperatives.

2.4.2

The case of Malaysia

Malaysia was formed in 1963 as an independent nation-state, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a federal government structure. Malaysia is an ethnically diverse country (similar to South Africa) with a population of 23.27 million. Of its three major ethnic groups, the Malays and other indigenous groups, collectively called
Bumiputera (sons of the soil), currently account for 65.1%, the Chinese for 26.0%, and the Indians for 7.7% of the population. Historically, the Bumiputera were rural-based, although they have become more urban over time. By contrast, the Chinese have always been predominantly urban (Selvarajah and Meyer, 2008:693-700).

33

Since 1970, Malaysia's economic development strategy has been directed by three long-term policies, namely the New Economic Policy (NEP), 1970-1990; the National
Development Policy (NDP), 1990-2000; and the National Vision Policy (NVP), 20012010. While the emphasis in these three long-term development policies has always been on economic growth, development was also intended to benefit all groups or communities in society in an equitable manner. The main objective of the NEP, maintained in the NDP and the NVP, was to support national unity through the eradication of poverty among the entire population and the restructuring of the
Malaysian society, and to reduce the identification of race with economic function and geographical location. The redistributive objective was to be attained through a wide range of direct redistribution policies to assist the Bumiputera to obtain equality with the non-Bumiputera with regard to income and wealth. (UNDP, 2006:21.)

The objectives of Malaysia’s economic development strategy, outlined in the previous paragraph, reveal a number of similarities with South Africa’s post-1994 democratic dispensation: The development of all communities, the eradication of poverty, the restructuring of society and the redistribution of wealth to equally provide services and opportunities to all communities in the country. These objectives are also promulgated in the Constitution (RSA, 1996:1:14:84:111), the RDP (RSA, 2005b:3), ASGISA (HSRC,
2008:8) and JIPSA (2006:1). Due to these similarities it is evident that South Africa can learn from Malaysia’s successes and failures in terms of the implementation of their development strategies in order to prevent such failures with the implementation of the
HRDSA, and also to determine what can be learned from their successes to enhance the implementation of the HRDSA.

Further, as a result of the economic activity influenced by industrialisation, the
Malaysian government realised that human resources in the industrial sector are the major driving factor for the country’s social and economic growth. Therefore, the
Government began planning a strategy to develop human resources to support the country’s socio-economic activities. The above-mentioned long-term plan’s main goals
34

are to achieve rapid socio-economic growth, especially in alleviating poverty, society restructuring and to become a united and fully developed nation in the year 2020 under the country’s Vision 2020. The objective of Vision 2020 is to reach the standard of living of industrialised countries by the year 2020. The specific objective of the plan is to accelerate industrial

restructuring,

technological

upgrading,

human

resource

development and industrial linking (Abdullah et al., 2007:213).

The objective of Malaysia’s Vision 2020 can be directly related to the HRDSA’s objectives and strategic priorities to: urgently and substantively reduce the scourges of poverty and unemployment in South Africa, promote justice and social cohesion through improved equity in the provision and outcomes of education and skills development programmes; and substantively improve national economic growth and development through the improved competitiveness of the South African economy (RSA, 2009c:23), thus again emphasising the relevance of benchmarking with Malaysia in terms of the implementation of their national HRD strategy.

2.4.2.1

Human Resource Development Best Practice

The Malaysian government places significant emphasis on increasing productivity and efficiency through HRD, encouraging research and development activities as well as utilising the latest technologies, particularly the use of information communication technologies (ICT) (Khin, Ahman & Ramayah, 2010: 400-403). Advisory Councils under the Ministry of Human Resources are responsible for a range of activities related to human resource development: The Human Resources Development Council of
Malaysia is involved in the skills development of workers in the manufacturing and services sector; and the National Vocational Training Council is involved with the development, training and education of human resources in specialised technical skills
(Abdullah et al., 2007:216).

35

The Malaysian Government’s plans for developing the economy, based on a knowledgeable workforce3, are apparent under the National Vision Policy (NVP)
(Bhatiasev, 2010:115). Out of the seven critical thrusts in the NVP, two thrusts specifically relate to HRD namely:


developing a knowledge-based economy4 as a strategic move to raise the valueadded of all economic sectors and optimising the brain power of the nation; and



strengthening human resource development to produce a competent, productive and knowledgeable workforce (Abdullah et al., 2007: 214-216; Bhatiasev,
2010:115).

According to Mustapha and Abdullah (2004:56), the approach to HRD must be balanced and holistic, and a legitimate and strong partnership must exist among government ministries, especially the Human Resource and Education Ministries, and between the private and public sectors, to strategise and implement a human resource development policy that is directed towards fulfilling the objectives of a knowledge economy (Mustapha & Abdullah, 2004:56). It is thus evident that the South African government’s relationship with the relevant stakeholders in the HRDSA, namely industry, organised labour, state-owned enterprises, educational institutions both public and private, civil society, academia and relevant research agencies will be a significant ingredient in the successful implementation of the HRDSA.

Malaysia’s main responsibility, in its endeavour towards shifting to a knowledge-based economy, lies with the development of human resources to produce an adequate supply of, and support and sustain a flexible, responsive and mobile workforce with relevant knowledge, experience and skills (Jarmin & Chopra, 2007: 194-195). As a result significantly more effort should be geared towards promoting a learning culture, that is,

3

According to Lee & Nathan (2010:54-57), a knowledgeable workforce refers to a highly skilled and innovative workforce, especially in research-based and “knowledge-intensive” activities and organisations. 4 Knowledge-based economies are characterised by knowledge production, a greater dependence on intellectual capabilities or competencies than on physical contributions or natural resources including the growing importance of science and technology-related activities (Pagano & Rossi, 2009:670).

36

learning to learn and lifelong learning to develop the ability to independently learn and use new knowledge and skills to meet changing needs. Thus there is a need to look at alternative pathways in acquiring the relevant skills and knowledge, such as distance learning, adult learning, outreach education programmes and visual learning to take advantage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) (Awang, 2004:246). This will also be the case with the HRDSA as the lifelong acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies for socio-economic growth is promoted (RSA, 2009c:10).

The fact that the HRD policies of the Malaysian Department of Human Resources are neither stand-alone policies, nor delinked from other government programmes, can be seen as best practice, due to the integrated nature of the approach (Fleming & Soborg,
2002: 145-6). The HRDSA is also not a stand-alone strategy but was drafted as a strategy that is informed by the country’s New Growth Path (NGP) and is aligned with other key development strategies such as the Science and Technology Strategy and the
Innovation, Research and Development Strategy. The HRDSA will also be linked to the provincial governments’ Growth and Development strategies during 2011.

From the preceding paragraphs it is evident that the Malaysians took a conscious decision in developing a knowledge-based economy as a strategic move to raise the value-add of all economic sectors and optimising the brain power of the nation and strengthen HRD to produce a competent, productive and knowledgeable workforce.
South Africa as a country can also benefit from developing a knowledge-based economy due to its focus on HRD. In this regard, the objectives and strategic priorities of the HRDSA are already making provision for the development of a knowledge-based economy under commitment six of the HRDSA (RSA, 2009c:67).

2.4.3

The case of Finland

In a relatively short period of two decades, Finland, with a population of 5.2 million people (OECD, 2003:19-20), has transformed itself into a knowledge economy, coming
37

at the top in most global competitiveness and innovation rankings (Dahlman et al.,
2006:2-3). Yet in 1990 Finland suffered a devastating recession which saw unemployment rocket from 5 to 17%, while inflation soared, and government debt surged to over 60% of GDP (Dahlman et al., 2006:2-3).

A key factor in the dramatic turnaround and rise in the fortunes of the Finnish economy has been its investments in human development (Poutvaara, 2005:3). Educational provisioning has always been high, but since the economic crisis of 1990 Finland has been united in a determined focus on the attainment of a highly competitive and knowledge-intensive economy (Markkula, 2006:15). The high level of investment by the
Finnish in education is confirmed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD, 2010:1). Finland is the fourth highest spender among OECD countries in terms of the amount of GDP expenditure on education (OECD, 2010:1).
One can argue that Finland knew all along that quality high-end education and training, innovation and technology are the main ingredients needed to grow a country’s economy (Jessop et al, 2008:3). This objective has required a range of measures in support of the development of the Finnish National System of Innovation (Hyytinen et al., 2009:14). Finland required high levels of formal education for the entire population, and high levels of workplace training and adult and continuing education (Virtanen &
Tynjala, 2008:210-211). It has also required a massive injection of funds into research and development, currently at 3.5% of GDP with a target of 4.1% by 2011 (HervasOliver, Rojas, Martins & Cervello-Royo, 2011:123). What has been critical for Finland’s success was a steadfast commitment to innovation and knowledge-intensity in the economy as the primary driver of social and educational advance in Finnish society
(Dahlman et al., 2006:101).

The most important symbol of Finland’s transformation has been the development of its
ICT sector, and the role played by Nokia in building the sector (Lind, 2008: 42-44;
Lesser, 2008:7). Other facilitating elements in the rise of ICT included: the development of a strong and competitive telephone industry in Finland; the liberalisation of the early
38

telecommunication services such as telex, facsimile and analogue mobile services; the early development and adoption of the global system for mobile communication (GSM) standard in 1990, which was later universally adopted in digital mobile telephony across the globe (Boschma & Sotarauta, 2007: 165-167). Finland has also had one of the lowest cost structures in mobile technology leading to one of the highest subscription rates in the world (Dahlman et al, 2006:71-74). As a result of all of these dynamics of change, Finland is regularly rated first in many of the world’s ranking surveys, in terms of competitiveness, in the technology achievement index, and in a number of education and research measures (Kiander, 2004:1).

2.4.3.1 Human Resource Development Best Practice

The continuous linkage of education and science to the needs of industry is the central feature of Finland’s recent economic evolution (Benner, 2003:136). In particular, it was the very quick response of higher education to expand and produce workers needed by the increasingly knowledge-intensive economy that has been crucial to the success of the past two decades (Dahlman et al., 2006:106; Dreyer and Kouzmin, 2009:7).

Another feature of Finland’s education system is the equality of access and outcomes for all citizens from primary schooling through to tertiary education. Education is free across all of these levels and the quality of education is also excellent (Dahlman et al,
2006: 61). A measure of this aspect of the Finnish system is evident in the results of the
OECD-funded Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) studies
(Gísladóttir & Jóhannsdóttir, 2010:14-15). In the 2000 survey of educational achievements of 15-year-olds in the subjects of Mathematics and Science, the Finnish students scored the highest in literacy skills, and scored among the top five countries in
Mathematics and Science for high schools (Darling-Hammond & Wentworth, 2010:2-6).
The latter was once again confirmed in the 2006 Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA) where students in Finland scored 563 points on average, compared with the OECD’s mean of 500. This score was an estimated 21 points above that of any
39

other country, making Finland the highest scoring country in Mathematics and Science results for high school learners (OECD, 2006:23). More importantly, variation in the scores due to social class differences was the smallest among Finnish students
(Dahlman et al, 2006:61; Itkonen & Jahnukainen, 2007:19-21).

A distinctive feature of Finnish vocational schooling is the significant access to work experience provided to vocational learners (Dahlman et al., 2006:62). All vocational qualifications include at least 20 weeks of on-the-job learning (Virtanen & Tynjala,
2008:210-211). On-the-job learning means supervised, curricular training at a workplace, during which the students learn practical skills included in their qualification
(Virtanen & Tynjala, 2008:210-211). The education provider and the employer’s representative agree with the student on the objectives of on-the-job learning and its supervision (Dahlman et al., 2006:62). The vocational qualification usually takes three years (Collin, 2008:31-32). At present there are a total of 53 study programmes leading to 118 different initial vocational qualifications (Collin, 2008:31-32). The qualifications are developed in co-operation with representatives of industry (Dahlman et al., 2006:
62; Collin, 2008:31-32).

According to Balgarelli (2008:23), Finland provides special

programmes to assist with the transition from school to work by providing work-based training for at least one sixth of the course. The HRDSA, in collaboration with all stakeholders, will improve the coverage and efficacy of vocational guidance and training as well as on-the-job training for sustainable employment opportunities (RSA,
2009c:25). Research and Development funding in Finland is only granted to those research proposals that emphasise joint ventures and collaboration with other organisations, research institutes and universities (MoE, 2008:37-39). One can argue that continuous strengthening and encouragement for cultivated closer ties with regard to University-Industry linkages as practised by Finland, constitute one of the best practices that the HRD Council and the HRDSA need to pursue and strengthen.

Very important aspects of Finnish political life are good systemic and integrative governance, low levels of bureaucracy and corruption, and high levels of collegiality,
40

trust and social capital (Dahlman et al., 2006:33-35; Salminen & Ikola-Norrbacka,
2010:649-651). Sahlberg (2009:27) confirms that, because of the high levels of trust amongst local authorities and central bureaucrats, difficult financial decisions affecting children and schools, were made based on a culture of mutual trust in an environment that is built upon good governance and close-to-zero corruption. Many of the abovementioned characteristics have emerged from Finland’s long social democratic past and its emphasis on consensus-based policy making (Esty, 2007: 515-517). One can deduce that South Africa will learn from the best practice of Finland to also place an emphasis on

consensus-based

policy

making

but

also

consensus-based

implementation of the country’s strategies, especially the HRDSA.
Since 1993, Strategic Centres of Excellence have been established and are one of the thriving features of Finnish science and technology policy (Saloa et al., 2009:996).
These centres are aimed at improving the productivity and quality of Finnish research and forty-three of them have already been established (Mahroum, 2007:493-494). The intention is, firstly, to support the training of new researchers and to develop a new elite research cadre and, secondly, to support and strengthen research areas of importance to industry and society (Benner, 2003:136). Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has the strongest innovation environment for biotechnology, based on its academic quality, vision of leadership, exciting training environment, strength in classical biotechnology and access to adequate human resources (Katri & Karjalainen, 2002:7-10). Finland, for instance, intends to produce 1,600 doctorates a year to improve economic growth
(Eggins, 2008:3). It is worth pointing out that South Africa’s objective is to increase spending on research and development from 0.7% to 1% of GDP, since there is a need to increase spending on doctoral education by three or four times (Eggins, 2008:3). The majority of the doctors work for the public sector and in particular, universities which employ 60% of them in research positions. Universities have also been encouraged to cultivate closer ties with industry. Research and development funding is now only granted to those research proposals that emphasise joint ventures and collaboration with other companies, research institutes and universities. As opposed to South Africa where there are very few University-Industry linkages for work on joint ventures and in
41

collaboration with companies (Kohtamaki, 2010:50-53), Finland now achieves the highest level of research partnerships between cooperating firms and universities in the
OECD. One can argue that the primary focus of Finland’s policies on innovation, industry, science and technology has been the formation of advanced levels of HRD.
Hence, there has been no need for stand-alone HRD policies (Science and Technology
Policy Council of Finland, 2006: 26; Virolainen, 2007:291-294).

It is evident that a critical factor in the dramatic turnaround and rise in the fortunes of the
Finnish economy has been its investments in human development, coupled to a determined focus on the attainment of a highly competitive and knowledge-intensive economy (Dreyer & Kouzmin, 2009:7). This required high levels of formal education for the entire population, and high levels of workplace training and adult and continuing education (OECD, 2007:28 & 33). What has been critical to Finland’s investments in human development is a steadfast commitment to innovation and knowledge-intensity in the economy as the primary driver of social and educational advance in Finnish society
(Dreyer & Kouzmin, 2009:7). The continuous linkage of education and science to the needs of industry is the central feature of Finland’s recent economic evolution. In particular, it was the very quick response of higher education to expand and produce workers needed by the increasingly knowledge-intensive economy that has been crucial to the success of the past two decades (He & Wong, 2009:276-277).
One of the distinctive features of the Finnish vocational schooling system is the significant access to work experience provided to vocational learners (Virtanen &
Tynjala, 2008:210-211). All vocational qualifications include at least 20 weeks of on-thejob learning (Collin, 2008:31-32).

A significant feature of the Finnish system of

governance is its emphasis on systemic and integrative governance (Sahlberg,
2009:27). This approach necessitates a high degree of coordination across different parts of government, and between the government and society. Another feature of
Finnish political life is that of good governance, low levels of bureaucracy and corruption, and high levels of collegiality, trust and social capital (Salminen & IkolaNorrbacka, 2010:649-651). One can argue that the South African government, as
42

indicated in 2.2.3, will not only improve the implementation of the HRDSA but also accelerate quality service delivery in the public service as a whole, if the country can improve its track record on good governance, corruption, accountability and bureaucracy, including high levels of trust, collegiality and social capital.

2.4.4

The case of Ireland

In the mid-1980s, as well as in 2008, Ireland suffered an acute economic crisis brought on by greatly increased government spending just as the economy entered a recessionary phase (O’Connell, 1999:10; Dolls et al, 2010:10). The Irish economy by the mid-1980s was in a vicious cycle of decline and there appeared to be no solution
(House & McGrath, 2004:43). After emerging as the Irish Free State in 1922, following a long history of conflict with Great Britain, it promptly plunged into a civil war that lasted until 1923 (Battel, 2003:95). At that time, the population included fewer than three million people and was declining (Burnham, 2003:538).

The country moved gradually out of a recession; first, the state, as part of the national agreements of 1987 between the state, organised business and labour, cut back on state expenditure, resulting in “expansionary fiscal contraction” because these cutbacks led not to recession but to a return to modest growth (Kirby, 2008:18). Another element of the agreement was to retain Ireland’s relatively low-wage structure, which some commentators have

viewed

as

the

single

most

important

determinant of change (Cassidy, Barry & Van Egeraat, 2009:14). As a result more than
1500 foreign firms have relocated to Ireland, concentrating on sectors such as electronics, computer technologies, pharmaceuticals, health and medical products, and chemicals (Dorgan, 2006:2). A pro-active industrial policy implemented by the Industrial
Development Agency (IDA) was successful in identifying emerging sectors in the global economy and attracting foreign firms into those sectors in Ireland (Fitzpatrick &
Huggins, 2001:137; Smith, 2006:531-533).
43

2.4.4.1

Human Resource Development Best Practice

An outstanding factor in the success of Ireland post-1987 has been the effectiveness of the state and its implementation of multipartite national agreement policies (Ratnam &
Tomoda, 2005:17). Key components of the state began to operate in different ways, under the so called “flexible network governance” in which issues can be moved onto or off the agenda, moved up or down in priority, moved into the legislative agenda, or identified as a concern within a longer-term framework of policy development
(Dellepiane & Hardiman, 2011:18). Another feature of the state has been its emphasis on “whole-government or ‘joined-up” policy implementation or the application of “wholeof-government” emphases to multi-agency problems that built consensual solutions with regard to complex problems (Hardiman, 2006: 346; Pontikakis, Mcdonnell &
Geoghegan, 2006:41).

It can be argued that the effectiveness of joined-up government approaches may be improved by the creation of an overall framework for managing whole-of-government engagement, in ensuring coordination, integration and collaboration. The success of such a framework requires political commitment at the highest levels (OECD, 2006:9).
Ideally, the process should be driven and coordinated at the level of a prime minister or president, where all relevant ministers engage for a whole-of government-approach, for example with regard to the HRDSA (OECD, 2006:9).
2.5

CONCLUSION

This chapter has given an overview of the critical levers to accelerate quality and sustainable service delivery with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA and government policies.

One can argue that the implementation of the HRDSA can

produce better results by employing good governance and, for example, outcomesbased governance principles such as focusing on strategic issues, benefits and results rather than operations.
44

The HRDSA will have to be efficiently and effectively implemented by all social partners and relevant stakeholders in South Africa. Therefore this chapter identified best practice pertaining to national HRD strategies in Brazil, Malaysia, Finland and Ireland. The practice gained could eventually be customised within the South African context, as it is expected that the expertise and knowledge gained will eventually enhance the implementation of the HRDSA. One can argue that the successful implementation of the
HRDSA depends on a number of factors as listed above, including a favourable political environment and political buy-in, credible, reliable and valid information, necessary capacity and resources, accountability, credible policy development, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation and reporting, amongst others.

In sum one of the most important conditions for improving the implementation of the
HRDSA is that South Africa’s policies and strategies in regard to industry, science and technology, research and development and innovation have to be an integral part of the
HRDSA, not as stand-alone policies, but as part of the government’s developmental agenda. In Malaysia, Finland and Ireland HRD forms an integral part of the medium to long-term development plans for the knowledge economy.

In Chapter Three a brief overview will be given of the relevant legislation that plays a key role in HRD and/or skills development processes and implementation. Secondly,
Chapter Three provides an analytical overview of the implications for the HRDSA, 2001, based on a Gap Analysis, with a view to preventing the possible challenges in the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

45

CHAPTER 3: THE STATUTORY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK OF THE
REVISED HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OF
SOUTH AFRICA (HRDSA)

3.1

INTRODUCTION

The previous chapter outlined best practice pertaining to national human resource development strategies, as applied in selected countries. The importance and role of the HRDSA with regard to accelerated and quality service delivery were also discussed.

In addition to learning from best practice on how the HRDSA can best be implemented, policies and legislation also guide the implementation process. This chapter therefore provides an overview of the relevant policies and legislation that play a key role in HRD and skills development processes and implementation in South Africa. More policies and legislation than outlined in this chapter will have an influence on the HRDSA to some extent, but only specific pieces of legislation and policies pertaining to transformation, acceleration, coordination, planning and improvement of service delivery, relevant to this study, are outlined in this chapter.

As the HRDSA itself is also regarded as one of government’s policies, the chapter also provides an overview of the HRDSA, 2001. The primary objectives of the HRDSA, 2001, are outlined, as well as the findings of a Gap Analysis that was conducted in 2005, after the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001. The Gap Analysis document revealed particular challenges experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, resulting in the HRDSA, 2001, not having met all its strategic priorities and objectives.
The Gap Analysis further also makes recommendations in this regard. These recommendations are important to prevent falling into the same pitfalls with the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

46

3.2

THE

STATUTORY

AND

REGULATORY

FRAMEWORK

FOR

HUMAN

RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Policies and legislation pertaining to transformation, acceleration, coordination, planning and improvement of service delivery, all relating to the implementation of the HRDSA, are outlined. Further, the statutory and regulatory framework for HRD and skills development in the Public Service, in respect of all three spheres of government, are discussed. Six statutory frameworks, relating to the importance and enhancement of
HRD to ensure improved planning and return on investment, are outlined: the
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, the White Paper on
Transforming Public Service Delivery (Batho Pele), 1997, the White Paper on Public
Service Training and Education, 1998, the Skills Development Amended Act 37 of 2008, the Green Paper on national strategic planning, 2009, and the Green Paper on improving government performance, 2009. These statutory frameworks also outline the requirements for the improvement of service delivery in the Public Service and are discussed in the following sections.

3.2.1 The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996

The Constitution states in its preamble that it aims to improve the quality of life of all citizens and to free the potential of each citizen (RSA, 1996:3). As mentioned in section
1.1, the Constitution legitimises the need for quality education and training, HRD and
HD for all South Africa’s citizens (RSA, 1996:14). As a result, HRD and HD are critically important in South Africa’s development agenda to improve the quality of life for all its citizens. Section 195 (1) of the Constitution (RSA, 1996:111) requires the following basic values and principles to strengthen service delivery in the public service: democratic values and principles, a high standard of professional ethics, efficient, economic and effective use of resources, and services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without
47

bias based on the citizens’ needs and priorities. The Constitution thus emphasises the need for quality public service delivery and section 195(1)(h) requires the public administration to cultivate competent capable public officials with good human resource management and development practices and career development practices to maximise human potential.

Cameron (2009:933-934) raised concerns about the subject of poor, mediocre and inadequate professionalism in the Public Sector, although the state has devoted much attention and many resources to HRD and skills development. The HRDSA of South
Africa and the Public Service HRDSA were set up by government to speed up HRD and skills development in an attempt to improve effective, efficient, sustainable and quality service delivery and to accelerate socio-economic growth (RSA, 2009c:10; DPSA,
2008:5).

3.2.2 The White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery (Batho Pele),
1997

The primary purpose of the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery, 1997, is to provide a policy framework and a practical implementation strategy for the transformation of the public service and for improved and efficient public service delivery to all its citizens (RSA, 1997:1). The White Paper requests all government departments at national and provincial level to follow the implementation strategy to develop service delivery improvement programmes (RSA, 1997:5). With regard to the development of service delivery improvement plans, under commitment seven of the
HRDSA, the DPSA are requested to report on the progress made by government departments (RSA, 2009c:40).

According to Van der Waldt (2004:87), the most important challenge in South Africa with regard to the Public Service is the quest for improved service delivery. One can add that this statement is especially true in the local government sphere; the so called coal face
48

of service delivery, where the skills shortage is more prominent than in national and provincial departments. It can further be argued that the Provincial Growth and
Development Strategies (PGDS) will in conjunction with the HRDSA play a significant role in addressing and arresting the skills shortage problem in the local government sphere. 3.2.3 White Paper on Public Service Training and Education, 1997

The aim of the White Paper on Public Service Training and Education, 1998, is to establish a clear vision and policy framework to guide the introduction and implementation of new policies, procedures and legislation aimed at transforming public service training and education into a dynamic, needs-based and pro-active instrument
(RSA, 1998:2).

As such, it must be capable of playing an integral and strategic part in the processes of building a new public service for a new and democratic society in South Africa
(RSA, 1998:14). The anticipated outcome will be a new system of public service training and education that will be strategically linked to broader processes of transformation, institution building and HRD within the public service. This outcome corresponds to the aim of the national HRDSA, which also aims, in collaboration with all stakeholders and social partners, to provide demand-led HRD programmes and projects for socioeconomic development.

3.2.4 Skills Development Amendment Act 37 of 2008

The amended Skills Development Act’s main aim is to broaden the purpose of the Act, for example to increase the quality and quantity of artisans, to provide for the Quality
Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), to provide for National Skills Institutes, workplace productivity and competitiveness, amongst other ideals (RSA, 2008c:2).

49

The amended Skills Development Act aims to improve the quality of the sector skills plans to ensure better investment of HRD and skills development initiatives to ensure an enhanced return on investment (RSA, 2008c:11). The HRDSA will utilise the improved sector skills plans to develop a national master scarce skills list, to further direct HRD in improving return on investments with regard to HRD programmes and projects.

3.2.5 Green Paper: National Strategic Planning, 2009

The Green Paper: National Strategic Planning (RSA, 2009b:4) underlines the importance of the country’s long-term HRD plan by narrowing down the country’s high level aspirations into a focused HRD Strategy for South Africa. Moreover, the Green
Paper acknowledges that countries that have developed rapidly had three critical characteristics which any development plan would have to deal with: rapid economic growth, education and HRD or skills development of high quality, and strong and credible public and private institutions (RSA, 2009b:8). The New Growth Path (NGP) focuses on rapid economic growth (RSA, 2010a:9), whilst the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, in collaboration with both public and private education and training institutions, relevant stakeholders and social partners will focus on education, skills and HRD development
(RSA, 2009c:6).
3.2.6 Green Paper: Improving Government Performance: Our Approach, 2009

The Green Paper: Improving Government Performance: Our Approach (RSA, 2009a:911) indicates that the government’s approach is to start the delivery chain with the outcomes it wants to achieve. The Green Paper also defines output measures that must be utilised to confirm whether the government is on track with regard to quality and sustainable service delivery (RSA, 2009:7). It seems as if government’s new outcomes performance management

approach

may

contribute

positively

towards

the

implementation of the HRDSA, since all relevant ministers had to sign performance agreements with the president of South Africa based on specific timelines.
50

The policies outlined above provide an overview of the relevant policies relevant to the
HRDSA, as well as a policy framework in which the implementation of the HRDSA can be harnessed and enhanced. In addition to these policies, the HRDSA, 2001 (as indicated in Chapter One), is also still regarded as government policy pertaining to HRD and is therefore relevant to the legislative framework of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. The
HRDSA, 2001, is an important building and guiding policy to the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, and is thus discussed in the next section.

3.3

THE INITIAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SOUTH
AFRICA (HRDSA, 2001)

The South African government approved the first National HRDSA in 2001 as a national strategic response to HRD challenges, led by both the then National Department of
Education and the Department of Labour (RSA, 2001:13). The HRDSA, 2001, stems from the RDP, of which one of the key principles is: “Our people, with their inspirations and collective determination, are our most important resources” (RSA, 2005b:3). The
RDP is focused on citizens’ most immediate needs, and it relies, in turn, on their energies to drive the process of meeting these needs (RSA, 2005b:3). Development is not about the delivery of goods to a passive citizenry, but about active involvement and growing empowerment (RSA, 2001:4).
The overarching goals of the HRDSA, 2001, include the improvement in the HDI for
South Africa, a reduction in inequality and a higher position on the international competitiveness ranking (RSA, 2001:4). The Gap Analysis of the HRDSA, 2001, questions the appropriateness of the goals of the strategy, e.g. to improve the country’s
HDI and reduce the country’s Gini coefficient rating (RSA, 2005:8). The Gap Analysis5 also found the goals of the HRDSA, 2001, to be overly ambitious and aspirational (RSA,
2005a:8).
5

A Gap Analysis is a management technique that determines or measures why the expected goals of a

strategy were not attained (Vitex, 2006:1).

51

The HRDSA, 2001, consisted of five relevant strategic objectives and 22 unquantifiable indicators where the relevant government departments or sub-systems were responsible for the implementation of programmes and projects (RSA, 2001:21-46). A few examples of the unquantifiable 22 indicators are:


Participation in Early Childhood Development;



Examination Pass Rates;



Mathematics and Science Results;



Improving HET Participation Rates;



Changing Labour Market Structure;



Unemployment Levels;



Youth Unemployment Levels; and



Public Sector Skills for Service Delivery.

The five strategic objectives of the HRDSA, 2001, were:


Improving the foundations for life and work,



Improving the supply of high-quality skills, particularly scarce skills such as engineering, which are more responsive to societal and economic needs,



Increasing employer participation in lifelong learning,



Supporting employment growth



Research and development, and



Linking parts of the HRD System (RSA, 2001:15-18).

As mentioned in section 1.1, the HRDSA, 2001, assisted to a great extent in raising the
HRD, HD and the skills shortage debate on the national agenda. However, certain challenges were experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, which are outlined in the following section.

52

3.3.1 Challenges experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001: The
Gap Analysis

The HRDSA, 2001, fell short of realising its objectives as a result of a lack of integration, coordination, planning, management, monitoring and reporting. The ineffective and under-resourced institutional arrangements relating to the coordination and integration of the HRDSA, further contributed to the downfall of the implementation of the strategy
(RSA, 2005a:1). Also mentioned in section 1.1 are the absence of a monitoring and evaluation system and the non-alignment of the HRDSA, 2001, with other national strategies such as the Public Service HRD Strategy and the NSDS, which severely hampered the effective and efficient implementation and functioning of the HRDSA
(RSA, 2005a:1). According to the Gap Analysis of the HRDSA (RSA, 2005a:20) political accountability for the strategy was vested in the then Ministers of Education and Labour.
In theory this made sense, given the education and training components of the HRDSA; however, it was evident that the joint responsibility for leading the HRDSA, 2001, was not effective (RSA, 2005a: 20).

The Gap Analysis of the HRDSA, 2001, conducted in 2005, makes a strong case for the planning and coordination of the HRDSA to be outside line departments and located in a higher level institution, such as the Presidency, where the President or Deputy
President can lead, coordinate and implement the HRDSA (RSA, 2005a:19). The presidency will have the authority over ministers outside the line departments of government e.g. Department of Higher Education and Training and Department of
Science and Technology. One can argue that it would be a viable and correct option to locate the HRDSA within the Presidency for overall coordination or as a stand-alone entity accountable to the HRD Council and the Minister of Higher Education and
Training. The Gap Analysis study further recommended that a support agency, like the
HSRC, be established for the collection of data, and the monitoring and evaluation of the HRDSA on an ongoing basis both at national and provincial level (RSA, 2005a:20-

53

21). The Gap Analysis of the HRDSA, 2001 (RSA, 2005a:23) identified three major gaps with regard to the implementation of the strategy:


A clear definition of the role and contribution of the private sector has to be brought on board into the governance structures that are agreed upon for more effective planning, coordination and monitoring of the Strategy;



the HRDSA needs to place greater emphasis on demand-side issues and should define a clear role for the economic ministries, especially with regard to coordination, both horizontally and vertically to ensure effective implementation of the HRDSA; and



too much focus was placed on supply-side issues, namely the output of education and training systems to develop and implement an effective HRDSA monitoring and evaluation strategy, which was arguably the biggest deficiency in the implementation process.

With the drafting of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, care was taken not to repeat these mistakes as indicated in the Gap Analysis. As a result, a concept paper was drafted towards the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. Thereafter a study was commissioned by the then national Department of Education to ascertain how best to coordinate, integrate, plan, manage, monitor, evaluate and report on the HRDSA. As part of the methodology of the First Study face-to-face semi-structured interviews were administered with all the key sub-systems and senior managers, for example directorsgeneral where possible and deputy directors-general, in relevant line departments such as the Presidency, the then Department of Education, the then Department of Labour,
Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Public Service and Administration, Department of Health and Department of Home
Affairs. These mentioned stakeholders were either directly or indirectly involved in the implementation of goals of the HRDSA (RSA, 2001:13).

54

In addition to the challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, as identified in the Gap Analysis, these interviews also revealed particular challenges experienced during the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001. The next section discusses the challenges identified in the interviews.

3.3.2 Challenges experienced with the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001: The interviews During 2008, interviews were held by the then Department of Education with senior managers in the stakeholder line departments such as the Presidency, the then
Department of Education, the then Department of Labour, Department of Science and
Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Public Service and
Administration, Department of Health and Department of Home Affairs. The following results were obtained from these interviews (RSA, 2008d:12).


A perceived absence of political commitment and support to drive the process was underlined, as was the case in the Gap Analysis;



while the strategic objectives and delivery requirements have been set, sufficient resources have not been made available to drive the HRD agenda through effective support,

properly

planned

monitoring

and

evaluation

and

implementation of the HRDSA, 2001;


interviewees expressed concern that when sub-systems of the HRDSA, 2001, such as ECD and ABET did not achieved their targets the underperformance was not effectively dealt with within the HRDSA;



the number of departments responsible for the different components of the
HRDSA, coupled with the absence of clear roles and responsibilities of subsystems and relevant departments, resulted in a lack of accountability in the implementation of the HRDSA;
55



the critical weakness identified was a lack of coordination and integration across the three spheres of government and particularly with regard to linkages with
HRD in the provincial and local spheres of government;



HRD was not given priority in the strategic conversations of the relevant departments which are generally under-staffed and that operations and financing are still generally fragmented;



governance has not been sufficiently articulated inter-organisationally and therefore responsibilities were not properly differentiated and undertaken at all three levels of government (and as a result responsibilities have not filtered through the respective national bodies and organisations to the respective points of action provincially, institutionally and locally);



there was a view amongst most of the relevant stakeholders that the HRDSA was not taken into account during the planning process of the sub-systems, nor was it used as a basis for implementation or reporting on agreed-upon strategic objectives; 

it was also indicated that planning was fragmented in a sub-system such as
ECD, where other departments are involved in the planning process and that planning processes were uneven and did not rely on any consistent approach;



it was stated that there was a perception of an uneven understanding of subsystems in the establishment of demand;



the above-mentioned uneven understanding of sub-systems in establishing demand created a “tug of war”, relating to higher education and further education and training institutions and about what the central steering mechanism should be; 

there was the perception amongst the relevant stakeholders that plans were not properly aligned;
56



the manner in which planning took place was reactionary, that is, if the skills were not currently available, certain functions could not be exercised and/or services could not be delivered, and therefore a system that makes provision for longer term planning and can anticipate HRD needs should be in place; and



the reliance on the market to ensure delivery led to an oversupply of skills in certain areas where it is easy for providers to offer the programmes; on the other hand, in fields which require longer programmes and infrastructure to support the training, a vacuum was found.

The broad questions on problems experienced have invoked responses that deal largely with the planning and coordination of the HRDSA, confirming both the significance and weaknesses of these two aspects of the HRDSA (RSA, 2008d:43-45).
It is evident that unless all relevant stakeholders and social partners address and arrest the above-mentioned challenges, the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 2030, will not succeed in realising its commitments and long-term goals. Therefore, certain recommendations were made by the First Study on the HRDSA on how to address these challenges and shortcomings to prevent stakeholders in the revised
HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, from experiencing the same challenges and shortcomings in the implementation of the Strategy.
3.4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REVISED HRDSA,
2010 - 2030

The rationale for the revision of the HRDSA, 2001, was to utilise both the Gap Analysis that was conducted on the HRDSA, 2001, and the First Study on how best to coordinate, integrate, plan, manage, monitor, evaluate and report on the HRDSA, as a basis of developing a draft revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

57

The First Study which was conducted after the Gap Analysis, as listed in section 3.3.2, made the following recommendations to inform and assist in the drafting of the revised
HRDSA (RSA, 2008d: 77).


Mechanisms and tools to be established for integrated planning

A single process and set of products related to labour market analysis and the modelling of skills supply and demand for all relevant economic sectors, as identified by the country’s industrial policy, was recommended. This was necessary to ensure credible and comprehensive analysis to serve the needs of all major stakeholders and users, especially Higher Education and Training, Vocational Education, Further
Education and Training, Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and
Science and Technology.
It was also recommended that the requisite capacity be developed under the direction of the HRDSA for labour market analysis and modelling of skills supply and demand projections. The technical experts should be recruited from South African citizens, and one or two foreign consultants with proven expertise in the area could be appointed to bring in an international perspective if and when needed. The first task of the HRD
Modelling Technical Working Group will be to formulate the methodologies to be employed in the modelling exercises and a multi-year work schedule. The schedule will include a comprehensive labour market analysis study and skills supply and demand modelling to be conducted every five years with smaller reviews in between and relevant ad hoc studies. The work of this technical committee will be informed by the perspectives of the Departments of Basic Education (DBE), Higher Education and
Training (DHET), Science and

Technology (DST), Trade and Industry (DTI),

Department of Labour (DoL), Public Service and Administration (DPSA), StatsSA, the
Presidency, National Planning Commission (NPC) and Performance Management and
Evaluation (PME).
It was further recommended that an annual HRDSA Policy and Priorities statement, to guide planning and implementation activities with the five-year MTEF, be published by
58

the Minister of Education. It was advised that an HRDSA conference be held every five years, including all social partners and stakeholders to consider the impact of a review report and the draft HRDSA’s five-year Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for the next five years .


Clarification of the roles of the three spheres of government as well as sector sub-systems or departments in the implementation of the HRDSA

The First Study highlighted the fact that it is neither feasible nor desirable to have a revised HRDSA that covers the full mandates of all relevant sub-systems and spheres of government. It was expected that all sub-systems and relevant government line departments as well as PGDSs during the HRDSA, 2001, should align their strategic plans almost exactly to that of the HRDSA, 2001.


Mechanisms

and

tools

for

effective

stewardship,

coordination

and

management of the HRDSA
Stewardship, coordination and management of the HRDSA were based on two principles (RSA, 2008d:76):


the need to be integrated into the institutional mechanisms established, e.g. the HRD Council, to achieve intergovernmental coordination; and



the need to accommodate a tripartite model, e.g. organised business, organised labour and government for coordination, collaboration and communication to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the revised HRDSA.

It was recommended that the high level committee or council to be established needed to operationalise the tripartite model and should comprise senior representatives of
Government, such as the Deputy President of South Africa and key ministries, such as
59

education, science and technology, labour, trade and industry, organised labour and business, with a clear set of terms of reference (RSA, 2008d: 77).


Structures, processes and resources essential for the monitoring and evaluation of the HRDSA in local, provincial and national spheres and by sub-systems With regard to monitoring and evaluation of the HRDSA, it was recommended that the
HRD Council should be the primary institution with competence for this function.
Monitoring and evaluation need to be based on credible and quantifiable indicators and subject to an agreed schedule of reporting and monitoring and evaluation activities.
Quarterly reports will be prepared by each of the four sub-systems and for each of the special programmes that may be included in the HRDSA. The reports will serve primarily as early warning signs and assist to guide implementation and remedial action where required. Annual reports will be prepared by each of the sub-systems and for each of the special programmes. These reports will serve mainly to review performance and to revise targets where necessary. The latter would also serve as a measure for
Cabinet to hold sub-systems accountable for their performance against the target contained in the HRDSA.

A major and comprehensive five-year review, predicated on systematic evaluation studies and impact assessments, should be conducted at five year intervals. This will include reviews by each of the sub-systems but will be substantively reliant on independent assessments, which include assessments using alternative data sources such as Statistics South Africa (StatsSA).

This study on the successful implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, is critical, irrespective of the Gap Analysis that was conducted in 2005 and the First Study that was conducted in 2008. The above-mentioned Gap Analysis and First Study as mentioned above were utilised to form the basis of the development of the revised
HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. It was also crucial to explore the implementation challenges
60

experienced internationally and to make recommendations on how to prevent them from recurring, since important strategies and policies between 2005-2008 were still to be conceptualised or drafted, for example the New Growth Path (NGP), National Industrial
Policy Framework, Human Resource Development Strategy for the Public Service and the emerging Anti-Poverty Strategy.

For the successful implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, it is critical that the same challenges do not recur (RSA, 2005a:15). However, it can be argued that the primary challenge confronting the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, is the effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the strategy in order to achieve the set
HRD objectives in the quest for a capacitated, developed and empowered public service and citizenry in improving and accelerating service delivery. The central national goal of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, is to accelerate development so that there is a continuous endeavour to overcome the supply and demand divide for human resources (RSA,
2009c:10). In addition to the Gap Analysis and the First Study this empirical study was undertaken to determine the critical levers or main ingredients to improve and accelerate the efficient, effective and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 2030.

3.5

CONCLUSION

This chapter has provided a brief overview of the relevant legislation and policies pertaining to HRD and skills development processes and implementation in South
Africa.

Attention was given to policies and legislation relating to transformation,

acceleration, coordination, planning and improvement of service delivery in achieving the broad goals of government and the objectives of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.
The chapter also outlined challenges experienced with the implementation of the
HRDSA, 2001, as outlined in the Gap Analysis that was conducted in 2005.

The

primary challenges indicated by the Gap Analysis were a lack of coordination, integration, planning, management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. Results
61

obtained from interviews held with the relevant stakeholders during a study conducted by the then DoE during 2008 indicated that challenges or weaknesses identified in this study were mainly the lack of integrated planning, horizontal and vertical coordination, lack of political buy-in and support and the importance of monitoring and evaluation in the implementation of the strategy. These challenges and shortcomings experienced, led to recommendations made by the relevant stakeholders on how to address or prevent these challenges in the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.

As indicated in the preceding section, in this study an empirical investigation has been conducted to

determine

the

anticipated

implementation

challenges

for

the

implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. The next chapter discusses these results and makes recommendations on the effective, efficient and sustainable implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, and on improving public service delivery. As indicated in section 3.4, the aim is to ensure that the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, achieves its strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects as well as to ensure that the same implementation challenges that were experienced in the past do not recur and are not dealt with in the same manner as was the case with the
HRDSA, 2001.

CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH FINDINGS

4.1

INTRODUCTION

As discussed in the preceding chapters, a Gap Analysis and a First Study were conducted after the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, with a view to determining the challenges experienced during the implementation of the strategy. Interviews with stakeholders were also conducted. The feedback obtained from the Gap Analysis, First
Study and the interviews conducted by the then Department of Education in 2008, provided recommendations for avoiding the same pitfalls in the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.
62

The present study has conducted an empirical investigation, in addition to the Gap
Analysis and First Study, to determine implementation challenges with regard to the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. In addition to the Gap Analysis and the First Study this empirical study was undertaken to determine the critical levers or main ingredients needed to

improve

and

accelerate

the

efficient,

effective

and

sustainable

implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. The objective of the study was to make recommendations on how these challenges can be prevented and/or addressed. This chapter therefore focuses on the results obtained from the empirical study. As indicated in Chapter 1, questionnaires were distributed and interviews held with various stakeholders. The research approach and methodology adopted in the study are briefly described in the following section, where after the results obtained from the semistructured interviews and structured questionnaire are outlined and interpreted.

4.2

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In pursuance of the study’s objectives as indicated in section 1.3, a qualitative research design was followed in combination with the case study research method to collect, analyse and interpret data. According to Struwig and Stead (2001:12), qualitative researchers are interested in understanding the issues being researched from the perspective of the research respondents, rather than viewing them as mere subjects, which implies that they have a reactive or inferior role in the research process. The qualitative research method was applied in conducting the semi-structured face-to-face interviews in guiding the conversation by means of a questionnaire and in providing latitude to respondents to discuss what was of interest or importance to them.

In this instance the case study was to investigate the implementation challenges experienced with the HRDSA, 2001, with a view to making recommendations on preventing the recurrence of the same challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA,
2010 - 2030. According to Henning (2004:32), a case study is an intensive study where the main assumption concerns a phenomenon being studied in a limited environment. In
63

this study the phenomenon of implementation challenges for the HRDSA was the case under investigation. The researcher followed a systematic process in identifying the implementation challenges experienced by the HRDSA, by collecting data, analysing the data and reporting on the results. By contrast, quantitative research is a form of conclusive and decisive research, involving large representative samples and fairly structured data collection procedures (Struwig & Stead, 2001:4). A questionnaire for the interviews was drafted.

According to Hesse-Biber and Leavy (2006:125), semi-structured interviews assist in guiding the conversation so that set questions can be posed, while allowing respondents some latitude to discuss what is of interest or of importance to them. To this end, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with fourteen senior officials and experts at relevant national departments and with the Gauteng Provincial
Government. Interviews were also held with stakeholders and social partners in seeking joint solutions for challenges regarding the implementation of the HRDSA, for example organised labour, organised business and relevant experts. The information obtained from the semi-structured, face-to-face interviews was processed and a conclusion was drawn, based on the findings in this chapter.

Babbie (2004:477) and Struwig (2001:521) claim that a questionnaire’s main variables should be informed by the literature study. The structured questionnaire for this study was formulated on this basis and addressed matters pertaining to possible solutions with regard to the appropriate location of the HRDSA (e.g. the Presidency or as a standalone entity), challenges in implementing the HRDSA, capacity needs, appropriate governance structures, political support and budgetary constraints. According to HesseBiber and Leavy (2006:76), non-probability sampling is normally based on the research problem at hand, the expert judgement of the researcher in the strategic selection of the sample, and consideration of the resources available to the researcher. Consequently a non-probability judgement sample was employed for the semi-structured interviews. Out

64

of a targeted population of sixteen respondents6 only two interviews could not materialise due to non-availability, thus an 88 per cent sample of the total population was attained.

Triangulation was used in the study to verify the information regarding reliability and validity. Triangulation promotes the quality of qualitative research by extending the methodological approach through utilising more than one method (Flick, 2007:43).
Triangulation further refers to the utilisation of various methods to analyse information such as interviews, observations and documents in ensuring reliability and validity
(Struwig & Stead, 2001:145; Cohen, 2002:112). According to Henning et al. (2004:147), reliability refers to the credibility, confirmability and consistency of the findings, whilst validity refers to the trustworthiness of the methods utilised in the investigation.
Therefore responses were triangulated by utilising various methods of data collection through firstly

face-to-face

semi-structured

interviews,

secondly

structured

questionnaires and lastly documentary analysis of both primary and secondary sources.

To comply with ethical guidelines, the researcher adhered to standard procedure when conducting empirical research for respondents to complete the necessary consent forms in order to follow the code of moral guidelines to conduct research in a morally acceptable way, and to maintain high ethical standards (Bak, 2004:28-29). Therefore, in this study consent forms were utilised to obtain permission from respondents to use and treat the information obtained as anonymous and confidential.

4.3

RESEARCH FINDINGS AND SUMMARY

This section outlines the findings obtained from the semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires (Annexure B and C).

6

The terms respondent(s) and interviewee(s) are used interrelatedly in this chapter to describe the same phenomenon (participants in the study).

65

The semi-structured interviews, which were drafted for this purpose, consisted of three sections. Section A consisted of questions requesting minimal biographical information, namely the name of the organisation that the interviewee represented, the duration that the interviewees had worked at their organisation and their gender orientation. The purpose of these questions was to contextualise and provide a background for the respondents. Section B of the questionnaire consisted of questions requesting respondents to identify anticipated challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA, to make recommendations on how to address and arrest those implementation challenges and to determine what they considered to be the main ingredients for the effective implementation of the HRDSA. Section C of the questionnaire consists of questions about service delivery in the public service as a whole. The respondents were asked to provide their views on the performance of service delivery in South Africa, the key challenges in relation to service delivery, and how best to address service delivery challenges to ensure effective, efficient, sustainable and quality service delivery for all the people of South Africa.

The responses were analysed and a discussion of the results follows in the next sections. The feedback is discussed by means of presenting interviewees’ responses in a numbering format, rather than by names or positions, due to the agreed upon prerequisites of anonymity and confidentiality for participation in the study, as indicated in section 1.7.

4.3.1 Biographical findings of the respondents (Section A of the interview questionnaire) The biographical section, Section A, obtained information related to the respondent’s organisation, the number of years working experience at the particular organisation, as well as the respondent’s gender. Most of the respondents were male (75%) while 25% were female. Respondents from government institutions (both national and provincial) made up 50%, respondents representing research agencies and universities made up
66

35.8%, whilst representation of both organised business and labour was 7.1% (see diagram 1).

Diagram 1: Gender representivity of respondents

More than 83.4% of respondents had more than 12 years’ working experience and were either at the level of deputy directors-general, chief directors, senior researchers, professionals and professors. The average age distribution and organisational levels of the respondents assisted the researcher in identifying implementation challenges and in finding significant solutions to the implementation challenges of the HRDSA, due to their experience and expertise in government. The academics’ opinions were important due to their experience and theoretical knowledge in the human resource development discipline, the economy and service delivery.

67

4.3.2 The HRDSA: Challenges, recommendations and main ingredients (Section
B of the interview questionnaire)

In Section B of the questionnaire questions pertaining to the anticipated challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA were posed to the respondents. Respondents were further requested to make recommendations on how to address and arrest the implementation challenges and to indicate what they considered to be the main ingredients for the effective implementation of the HRDSA. Questions posed in this section relate to the following objective of this study:

To determine the most effective and efficient manner in which the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, can be effectively, efficiently, economically and sustainably implemented in order to achieve its strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects to improve social and economic growth of the country, to enhance HRD and HD and accelerate quality service delivery.

The following sections outline the researcher’s findings and interpretation of the responses to questions posed in this section.

4.3.3

Question 1: What do you perceive to be the challenges in the implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030?

The question probed respondents’ perceptions of the anticipated challenges in the implementation of the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, and a summary of these is followed by the researcher’s summary of their responses.

Respondents identified the following anticipated challenges in the implementation of the
HRDSA:

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Findings

on

challenge

one:

Courageous

leadership,

planning

and

management

Courageous leadership, planning and management, for example with regard to financial management and

strategic

development,

are

essential

to

ensure

effective

implementation of national strategies (Interviewee one). Interviewee ten underscored the importance that the HRDSA be championed by the president or deputy president of the country to ensure that leadership of the HRDSA is evident.

Simultaneously,

interviewee ten emphasised the critical importance for the president or deputy president to sell the HRDSA as a campaign to all the people of South Africa. Interviewee eleven supported the view of interview ten to aggressively advocate and sell the HRDSA of the country including its benefits to the people of South Africa.

According to interviewee fourteen, a clear distinction should be made between the political and administrative mandates and responsibilities of administrative and political leaders to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the HRDSA and to secure service delivery in all spheres of government. Qualified and experienced officials with technical expertise are needed for example in water purification, special development, electricians and engineers (interviewee fourteen). Further according to interviewee fourteen, politicians do not normally have the technical knowledge, skills and experience to necessarily take the most suitable decisions for officials to implement that are practical and achievable. Politicians are normally too idealistic and often take uninformed and impractical decisions that are not possible to implement, based on their lack of technical expertise (interviewee fourteen).

The researcher agrees with the respondents on the importance of courageous leadership, planning and management with regard to financial management and strategic development as key ingredients to ensure effective implementation of the
HRDSA. The importance of planning, management and coordination to ensure effective implementation of the HRDSA is a recurring theme in the literature review. A significant
69

aspect that was identified as a challenge with regard to the effective implementation of the HRDSA is the need for the clarification of roles and responsibilities between the political and administrative heads of government departments. One can argue that added to the challenge is the fact that most directors-general (DGs) are also deployed cadres with similar and/or competing political views and beliefs.

In sum, a solution

could be that the political and administrative heads should decide where political responsibility ends and administrative decision-making begins. One can argue that if the strategic and critical relationship between the political and administrative heads can be restored, meaning that once the roles and responsibilities of two heads in government departments can be clarified, the implementation of programmes and projects such as the HRDSA is likely to improve.


Findings on challenge two: Capacity

According to interviewee one the HRDSA has to be led by the necessary leadership at the right level, knowledge, skills and experience to be able to engage with all social partners, stakeholders and with DGs in all spheres of government. Interviewee seven shares the same view and underscores that in developing countries implementation challenges usually relate to capacity and budgets. In this sense capacity and budgets relate to the right types of skills, knowledge and experience of the secretariat and the necessary budget to implement its programmes and projects. Middle managers need to be technically competent7; unfortunately most middle managers are promoted to assistant and deputy-director levels without occupation-specific competencies. Due to the lack of technical competence of most assistant and deputy directors, the executive management on the levels below them (level thirteen) is not supported technically
(interviewee one). According to interviewee five, the HRD Secretariat, located in the
DHET (see section 1.1), has significant human resource constraints in terms of the

7

Technically competent middle managers refer to incumbents that have the appropriate knowledge, skill, experience and attitude to perform within a specific occupation (Willert, 2011:173).

70

necessary capacity. The relevant structure, implying that the secretariat at least be led by a deputy director-general within a branch, to drive the HRDSA is also absent.

Interviewee one emphasised that the lack of knowledge, skills and experience and the lack of understanding in the local sphere of government led to no or limited service delivery. Hence the countrywide unprecedented public protests against poor service delivery. Interviewee seven supports the view of interviewee one on the issue of

capacity constraints in the local sphere of government, since according to interviewee seven, most of the capacity is located either at national or provincial level.

Most

capacity and capability is at national level and capacity and capability decrease moving down to the local government sphere (interviewee one). Interviewee fourteen also shares the same view of interviewee one, by highlighting a structural problem of implementation between national, provincial and local spheres of government with regard to human resources development. According to interviewee fourteen, only the
“leftovers” with regard to human resources (e.g. “officials and politicians”) are appointed in the local government sphere. Most of these appointees have little or no expertise and/or experience, based on the current system of national elections between the three spheres of government (interviewee fourteen). Moreover, some of the country’s legislative frameworks, such as the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), are too sophisticated and complex for local government, provincial and national government to understand, let alone to implement, hence the lack of efficient and effective implementation. As a result, the local sphere of government finds it difficult to spend the allocated budgets. Therefore little or no implementation of services and local government programmes is taking place in the local sphere of government. According to interviewee fourteen, government policies and strategies are excellent on paper, but remain a daunting task with regard to implementation.

According to interviewee nine, there is a huge lack of capacity of provision and a significant lack of the requisite commitment, accountability and passion towards service delivery and productivity on the part of most employees and employers. Interviewee
71

fourteen stressed that significant implementation challenges pertaining to policy and strategies are experienced. These challenges occur especially at the macro level, for example at an economic level, such as with the implementation of the RDP, GEAR,
ASGISA and the New Growth Path (NGP) that were broadly drafted towards promoting a developmental state (RSA, 2010a:6). Interviewee fourteen believes that capacity remains a key constraint to proper implementation of strategies, programmes and projects. In critical areas such as financial managers, project managers, accountants and engineers there is still a shortage of skills, especially in the local government sphere where the implementation of integrated development plans and local economic development is critical (interviewee fourteen).

On the basis of the literature review and the interviews the researcher agrees that the
HRD Secretariat located in the DHET does not have the necessary competencies for example in policy, planning, research, communication, research and monitoring and evaluation. The secretariat also lacks the necessary seniority, meaning leadership at the right level, knowledge, skills and experience to be able to engage with all social partners, stakeholders and with DGs in all spheres of government, in implementing the
HRDSA. The Gap Analysis of the HRDSA, 2001, confirms this view. The overcomplexity of legislative frameworks such as the PFMA needs to be closely examined by policymakers in order to simplify it and to assist with regard to efficient and effective implementation across the various spheres of government, but especially in the local sphere of government.


Findings on challenge three: Coordination and integration

According to interviewee six, the HRDSA cannot be implemented by a single national department such as the DHET. There is a need for the various stakeholders in state institutions and outside institutions to coordinate, integrate, communicate and collaborate to ensure effective implementation. Interviewee nine agrees with interviewee six that if the responsibility for the implementation of the HRDSA rests on the shoulders
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of only one national department, it will result in a lack of coordination, integration and coherence in the implementation of the HRDSA.

Similarly, various departments’ strategic plans have no joint vision, but rather various visions within a department. An example of these various visions in one department is the Department of Basic Education, with nine provincial departments of education, each with their own vision (interviewee six). According to interviewee six, joint government by which the interviewee refers to the integration and alignment of relevant policies, is the solution. However, no inherent reward or acknowledgement for national priorities exists
(interviewee six). Interviewee ten agrees with interviewees nine and six with regard to the lack of horizontal coordination and cooperation amongst relevant departments and a lack of coordination across all three spheres of government.

Interviewee four

emphasised that in this regard government needs greater alignment between human resource planning and human resource development.

The HRDSA, 2001, as well as the revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, based on its structure, will depend heavily on government line departments, sub-systems and entities for the successful implementation of its eight commitments, strategic priorities and activities.
As

a

result,

joint

government,

horizontal

coordination,

integration,

planning,

management, collaboration, communication and partnerships with for example universities and other institutions will be of paramount importance in the implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. Equally important to further strengthen the implementation will be to secure the necessary alignment with policies and strategies pertaining to the
HRDSA, such as the NGP, the national industrial policy framework, the industrial action plan (IPAP II), the NSDS II and the PSHRDS. The need for effective and efficient coordination and integration is a recurring theme in the literature review (RSA,
2005a:20). An outstanding feature of the Irish state in terms of coordination and integration (discussed in Chapter Two), has been its emphasis on “whole-government or joined-up policy implementation of multi-agency problems that built consensual

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solutions with regard to complex problems” (Hardiman, 2006:346; Pontikakis et al.,
2006:41).


Findings on challenge four: Cadre deployment

Both interviewees one and two are concerned that employment in the public service is not necessarily based on competence, skills, experience and suitability for the position, but rather on cadre deployment, political connections, “who you know, not what you know”, cronyism and nepotism. This explains the lack of proper implementation and poor service delivery in the public service across the three spheres of government.
Interviewee five views cadre deployment as an impediment that impacts negatively on institutional development across all three spheres of government. Interviewee fourteen shares the views of interviewee number five on the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment or political appointees and regards it as a significant problem that hampers, negates and negatively influences implementation of efforts to improve the livelihoods of the poor, the disadvantaged inhabitants of the country and the implementation of the HRDSA.

One can argue that in many instances, the controversial concept of cadre deployment and its practice do not necessarily ensure that the most qualified and skilled people are appointed in key positions. However, according to Shoba (2011:9), President Zuma is adamant that he will move ahead with the Municipal Systems Amendment Act, 2011, that will ensure that only qualified and skilled people are appointed to critical posts, especially in municipalities challenged in ensuring quality and sustainable service delivery. 

Findings on challenge five: Institutional Development

According to interviewee fourteen, the transition between the presidencies of President
Mbeki (1999 – 2007), President Motlanthe (2007–2008) and President Zuma (2009 – current) was costly in terms of institutional development and service delivery.
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Interviewee fourteen is of the view that institutional development suffered specifically in relation to capacity building in improving the performance of institutions. Interviewee fourteen further believes that the implementation of policies and strategies such as the
HRDSA, 2001, in the past ten years was negatively affected, due to the high turnover of three presidents in a short space of time. Interviewee five underscores a lack of capacity and availability of resources such as human, financial, infrastructural and institutional capacity, as a huge problem with regard to the implementation of policies and strategies across all spheres of government.

One can argue that the building of institutional capacity to improve and sustain the effective implementation of programmes and projects such as the HRDSA is critical.


Findings on challenge six: Role and responsibilities of stakeholders

Interviewee four is of the view that there is no common vision and understanding of national strategies amongst stakeholders and social partners, as well as government.
This view is shared by interviewee five who also believes that stakeholders and social partners including government do not have a common view on how to drive or resolve policy implementation and/or implementation challenges of strategies such as the
HRDSA. According to interviewee five, social partners themselves constitute a constraint, since they seldom work collaboratively in resolving systemic challenges.
Moreover some role-players that enter the HRD environment, according to interviewee four, are generally more interested in business opportunities than in making a constructive contribution to the HRDSA.

It is evident from the data obtained through the interviews, that stakeholders do not have a common vision and understanding of national strategies, and in particular the
HRDSA. One can argue that it will be of critical importance for the implementation of the HRDSA to define the roles and responsibilities of all the various stakeholders and

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entities, so that all stakeholders can understand what is expected of them in the implementation of the HRDSA.


Findings on challenge seven: Implementation

Interviewee seven is of the view that the primary challenge in the implementation of the
HRDSA is the implementation agency, which is the state. The state, according to interviewee seven, needs to insist on merit-based appointments and appropriate budgets to ensure that the state provides sustainable quality service delivery.
Interviewee nine is of the view that the implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, can be negatively affected since it was drafted during a period of replicated divisions in the
ANC and political intolerance and could be unsuccessful in achieving its goals.
According to interviewee four the country has a significant authoritative history, meaning that policies and strategies are seldom properly consulted on, nor is the necessary buyin or ownership secured from stakeholders and social partners.

This, according to

interviewee four, explains the problems with the implementation of strategies such as the HRDSA, 2001. Interviewee three concurs with interviewee four and is of the view that stakeholder consultation is a significant aspect in relation to not only the development of the strategy but especially its implementation. According to interviewee three, institutions never or seldom engage the stakeholders and implementers of strategies before, during and after implementation. According to interviewee three, the lack of consultation is one of the most important reasons why a significantly high level of failure is experienced in the implementation of policies and strategies such as the
HRDSA. Interviewee one is of the view that the development and implementation of a national strategy, such as the HRDSA, must be as a long-term macro strategy, for example over 20 years. According to interviewee one, another challenge occurs at a political level, where new incoming politicians bring in major political and policy changes. These changes, according to interviewee one, could fundamentally change the duration of a strategy and normally negatively affect its implementation. Moreover,

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according to interviewee one, the majority of strategies have a one-year focus, instead of a focus over a twenty-year period in achieving the required impact.

Interviewee two is of the view that most national strategies, such as the HRDSA, are incorrectly developed by consultants, facilitators and academia. According to interviewee two, national strategies such as those of the department of health are developed in the absence of the eventual implementers, outside of the institution.
Interviewee two is of the view that this practice, where consultants develop strategies almost in isolation, has incorrectly became a norm or culture in all three spheres of government. Again, in numerous cases departments have imported processes from consultants without proper consultation and understanding of the institution itself on the side of the consultants. Moreover, when consultants have for example completed a policy or strategy, the departments concerned usually do not understand the contents of the document nor are the departments in a position to implement the strategy.

Interviewee eight argues that when policies and strategies are designed the drafters, stakeholders and implementers need to think of all the possible challenges, since there usually seems to be a disjuncture between policy drafters and implementers.
Implementers of policies and strategies, it seems, do not always understand the spirit of the policy and to this end rather implement strategies and policies by the letter.
According to interviewee eight, implementers of policies and strategies are unable to utilise their imagination and creativity deal with the implementation challenges.
Moreover, according to interviewee eight, a significant number of implementers of strategies do not always understand the debates behind these strategies. As a result the implementers become dogmatic rather than innovative in their approach
(interviewee eight). Interviewee ten is of the view that a significant lack of buy-in from organised business including small firms exists with regard to the HRDSA. Furthermore, according to interviewee ten, buy-in from government in all three spheres, beyond those running the HRDSA, is urgently needed. Interviewee ten is of the opinion that the strategic priorities of the HRDSA are too numerous and too ambitious. Interviewee ten
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is further of the opinion that the performance targets and activities of the HRDSA will pose certain challenges to its success.

Interviewee twelve pointed out the complexity to “get the HRDSA as a high level national strategy right.” Furthermore interviewee twelve underscored the importance for the HRDSA to have as one of its commitments to focus on a knowledge-based economy. Interviewee twelve was of the opinion that South Africa should have a

university-orientated approach to become a first-world country, as this is the goal of most developing countries.

Interviewee thirteen pointed out that a significant number of countries, including South
Africa, are facing weakened secondary education. As secondary schooling is the feeder to universities, this is a serious problem and must be sorted out as a matter of urgency
(interviewee thirteen). According to interviewee thirteen, the articulation of government and private institutions can be a challenge. For example, government can develop a strategy that draws the delivery institutions to follow suit (interviewee thirteen).
Moreover, another challenge in respect of the implementation of the HRDSA in a fast changing economy is how to ensure that a strategy is adaptable to changing needs without focusing mainly on the short term (interviewee thirteen).

The researcher agrees with all the challenges regarding the implementation of national strategies and in particular the implementation challenges of the HRDSA, as stated by the respondents in the interviews. A number of the implementation challenges cited are also reflected in the study’s literature review in sections 2.4, 3.3 and 3.4. However, the researcher is of the view that in order to improve the implementation of the HRDSA, the focus should be on working in collaboration with the relevant institutions to identify priorities for the HRDSA and to identifying and address bottlenecks and constraints that could hamper delivery. It can be argued that in order to achieve the HRDSA strategic priorities, high-level leadership must be mobilised, as well as resources.

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Findings on challenge eight: Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation on a continuous basis make up one of the key areas at executive management level which is absent or inadequately developed (interviewee one). Interviewee eleven highlighted the lack of compliance amongst government departments and the little regard that is displayed to the development and improvement of monitoring and evaluation systems to determine the impact of policies and strategies in benefiting and improving the livelihoods of people. Interviewee eleven believes that most monitoring and evaluation systems or mechanisms are only on paper and are not implemented. According to interviewee eleven, the DPSA is expected to oversee compliance with regard to the monitoring and evaluation of human resource development programmes to improve the competencies of the public service.
Unfortunately, in interviewee eleven’s view, the DPSA does not have the legislative authority to enforce compliance.

The above-mentioned findings underlined the importance of monitoring and evaluation.
In the literature review the lack of monitoring and evaluation was highlighted, as was also the case in the Gap Analysis of the HRDSA, 2001. One can argue that there is a dire need to strengthen and increase the monitoring and evaluation capacity in the HRD
Secretariat especially during the implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. To this end a practical and implementable monitoring and evaluation system with the requisite capacity will produce a report on how well the HRDSA achieves its goals and on the impact of the strategy.


Findings on challenge nine: Governance

According to interviewee six, part of the challenge with regard to good governance is to determine the type of governance model that can enhance coordination, collaboration and communication across the spheres of government to enhance service delivery.
Interviewee six is of the opinion that the cluster model, utilised by government, instead
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encourages separate functioning of government departments, so that government cannot address or answer complex questions regarding systemic blockages and implementation challenges. Government made an attempt sixteen years ago to put in place a cluster system to coordinate and integrate government programmes
(interviewee six). However, according to interviewee six, the various clusters in government are mostly committees to achieve what the specific department, acting as chairperson of the cluster, needs to achieve. According to interviewee six, government added another layer of bureaucracy with the introduction of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Ministry. It is important to note that the PME Ministry is not a replacement for the government cluster system (interviewee six).

As reflected in the literature review, governance is fundamentally a political imperative and cannot be reduced to a purely public administrative function due to the conflation of the political-administrative roles that need to be fulfilled as indicated under section 2.2.3
(Cf. Kate & Nnabuife, 2010:40; Fourie, 2009:1118). One can argue that effective governance requires the complete dedication, commitment and accountability of all roleplayers involved in the management and implementation of the HRDSA.

4.3.4

Question 2: How do you recommend that the Human Resource
Development Council address and arrest these implementation challenges? Although the main question stated under 4.3.4 deals with how to address and arrest implementation challenges as mentioned in the previous section, various sub-themes such as a common vision, joint planning, practical solutions to implementation etc. were identified. In question two respondents were requested to make recommendations on how the HRD Council could address and arrest implementation challenges with regard to the HRDSA.

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Findings on implementation challenge one: Common Vision

Interviewee four emphasised the importance of the HRD Council in reaching a common vision on the HRDSA, with its social partners (organised business, organised labour and the community), all three spheres of government and academia. Interviewee four further emphasised the importance of a set of practical and achievable goals and a common value system around the HRDSA.

One can argue that a common vision and long-term goals for the HRDSA are of paramount importance coupled with the necessary capacity and resources in ensuring the effective implementation of the HRDSA.


Findings on implementation challenge two: Joint Planning

Interviewee three underscored the importance for the HRD Council to have structured and regular joint planning sessions with the implementing line departments and entities, with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA’s commitments.

The respondent’s view is sound and is supported by the researcher. This means that the HRD Council in collaboration with all its implementing sub-systems and relevant line departments needs to plan collaboratively and agree on commitments, strategic objectives and activities including budgets,

as well as how best to implement the

HRDSA and how best to resolve bottlenecks that may occur during the implementation of the HRDSA.


Findings

on

implementation

challenge

three:

Practical

solutions

to

implementation

According to interviewee two, government in all three spheres needs to move away from artificially resolving implementation challenges of strategies including the HRDSA.
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This means that each situation and factor that may impact on the implementation of the
HRDSA, including each problem that may occur during the implementation process, has to be understood in its proper context (interviewee two). Interviewee two is of the view that rigorous research on these possible situations and problems needs to be done before the implementation of the HRDSA.

One can argue that a culture and methodology of rigorous research and analysis must be inculcated to form a deeper understanding and evidence of possible problems, to collectively find more lasting solutions.


Findings on implementation challenge four: Performance Management

Interviewee

one

argues

that

performance

management

policies,

if

properly

implemented, can assist with the effective implementation of the HRDSA. However, according to interviewee two, although the policy in terms of performance management in the public sector is in place, the experience of most departments across government is that in some instances managers are inexperienced in handling the performance management instrument and process. It can thus be argued that the manner in which performance management is dealt with across government will not enhance the effective implementation of the HRDSA. For example, in a number of public schools teachers only teach 25% of the curriculum but are still fully remunerated by the
Department of Basic Education (interviewee one).

One can argue that performance management, if understood and correctly implemented across government, could improve performance and the productivity of government’s programmes in general, including the HRDSA.

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Findings on implementation challenge five: Education and training

Interviewee fourteen places a significant emphasis on educational training for development, job creation and poverty eradication, rather than merely depending on economic growth for job creation and the eradication of poverty and inequality.
According to interviewee fourteen the economy in the next five years will move away from commodities such as minerals to a services-based economy where knowledge and proficiency will be needed especially in Information Technology (IT) (interviewee fourteen). Therefore, for a government to be able to function in this kind of knowledge economy the country will need quality education and training at a much higher end for people to be absorbed into the labour market (interviewee fourteen). As a result, work opportunities will become less and less accessible for people with low level skills
(interviewee fourteen). Interviewee five is convinced that, even if the country achieves high levels of growth, it will not guarantee new jobs for people with low level skills in the long term.

One can argue that formal education and training is more critical than economic growth over a long-term period to eradicate poverty, create jobs and improve the ever increasing inequalities amongst the people of South Africa. Finland, for instance, intends to produce 1,600 doctorates per year to improve economic growth (Eggins,
2008:3).


Findings on implementation challenge six: Implementation

Interviewee five underscored the need for the HRD Council to look at the implementation challenges of the HRDSA from a strategic point of view. As mentioned in section 4.3.3, the HRD Council can only start to address challenges pertaining to the implementation of the HRDSA after rigorous and relevant research has been conducted. Interviewees eight and twelve share the view on the necessity of research prior to the implementation of the HRDSA. Interviewee twelve is also in agreement
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about the need for rigorous empirical research to inform and improve the implementation of the HRDSA, instead of trying to resolve populist and artificial challenges. Interviewee eight acknowledges the importance of rigorous research in the identification of problems or challenges with regard to the HRDSA in order to obtain the necessary buy-in, commitment and ownership from the relevant stakeholders.

Interviewees nine and thirteen share the view on the need to align relevant policies and strategies to the HRDSA to avoid duplication and to ensure coordination. It will also be important to align the HRDSA with certain policies and strategies, for example the
HRDSA with the NGP (interviewee nine).

According to interviewee ten, a binding

commitment and buy-in from organised labour, business, FET Colleges and Universities is needed to create more labour intensive and decent work opportunities and to enhance the implementation of the HRDSA.

Again one can argue that a culture and methodology of rigorous research and analysis must be inculcated to form a deeper understanding and evidence of possible problems, and to collectively find more lasting solutions with regard to the implementation of the
HRDSA.


Findings on implementation challenge seven: Governance

Interviewee six emphasised that the HRD Council needs to understand its mandate differently, meaning that the HRD Council needs both the authority of the office and the authority of competence8.
HRD Council members need to have the respect of the people of South Africa by having the authority of the office, as well as legislative authority and competence. The latter is critically important if the HRD Council wants to become the authoritative voice of the
HRDSA.
8

The authority of competence means that the HRD Council should have the necessary expertise, knowledge, experience in for example HRD, the labour market, economics, the political economy and monitoring and evaluation, including gravitas to take decisions and not only to serve in an advisory capacity (interviewee ten).

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One can argue that the HRD Council needs to seriously consider introducing the required legislation to provide the necessary authority to the Council in leading the implementation of the HRDSA.

4.3.5 Question 3: What do you think are the necessary ingredients for the effective implementation of the HRDSA?
Although the question as stated above deals with the identification of the ingredients necessary for the effective implementation of the HRDSA, various key sub-themes were identified and are outlined below, based on the respondents’ feedback.


Findings on ingredient one: Location of the HRDSA

Interviewees ten and one are convinced that the HRDSA and its Secretariat should be located in the National Planning Commission (NPC) within the Presidency. These two interviewees (ten and one) are of the opinion that the HRDSA needs the authority of the office of the President or the Deputy President, who has authority over ministers, to ensure coordinated planning, management, coordination, alignment, integration and collaboration for effective implementation.

One can argue that the above-mentioned view in the preceding paragraph is one of the most fundamental and strategic ingredients that could determine effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA. It can be argued that it will be of critical importance to re-locate the HRDSA outside of any specific government line departments to enable it to act faster and more flexibly outside of the normally frustrating and bureaucratic red tape environment. According to the researcher, government departments’ processes and procedures, through which services are provided, are unfortunately to a large extent still based on the rule-based bureaucratic norms.

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Findings on ingredient two: HRDSA Implementation Model

According to interviewee ten the HRDSA needs a comprehensive and binding long-term powerful implementation model or mechanism. For example, the HRDSA needs an administrative head together with the requisite capacity regarding competent and experienced high level researchers, HRD experts, labour market experts, experienced researchers, monitoring and evaluation experts and economists to be able to successfully implement the HRDSA.

The importance of a comprehensive long-term powerful implementation model for the
HRDSA is supported by the researcher. An implementation model for the HRDSA is a critical and urgent ingredient for the successful implementation of the commitments of the HRDSA. The need for a fully dedicated and capacitated unit or branch with its branch head or a chief executive officer with the relevant technical competencies, knowledge, relevant skills, values and experience is imperative if HRD is deemed to be important in South Africa.


Findings on ingredient three: Cadre Deployment

Interviewee one suggested that cadre deployment be reviewed or at least be more balanced with regard to deployment. Further, according to interviewee one, cadre deployment increased since 2001 irrespective of processes and systems at the expense of qualifications and experience and thus service delivery suffered from 2001.
Moreover, there is a need to define or develop clear criteria including qualifications and experience to enter the public service and particularly criteria for moving up to senior management level (interviewee one).

One can thus argue that appointments made in the public sector through cadre deployment are being experienced as highly counterproductive with regard to service

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delivery, due to the apparent lack of knowledge, skills especially technical skills and experience brought into the public service.

4.3.6 The analysis of questions on the improvement and acceleration of quality services (Section C of the interview questionnaire)

Section C of the interview questionnaire relates to the improvement and accelerating of quality service delivery. The following research objective is relevant to this section:


To make key recommendations on how to improve and accelerate effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA to achieve its strategic priorities in improving accelerated and quality service delivery.

The following sections outline and discuss respondents’ feedback and the researcher’s summary of these responses.

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4.3.6.1

Question 1: What is your general view of service delivery in the public service in South Africa?

Diagram 2: Respondents views on Service Delivery in the Public Service

The focus of this question was for respondents to provide their views on service delivery in the public service. Interviewees two, three, six, seven, eleven and twelve described service delivery in the public service as being from poor to extremely poor.
Interviewees four, nine and fourteen rated service delivery as from poor to exceptions of excellence such as the South African Revenue Service (SARS). According to interviewee one, the service delivery mandate has fallen short of expectations.
Interviewee one identified four areas of poor service delivery, namely health, education, housing and safety and security. Interviewee five is of the opinion that service delivery is a mindset, if people are not service delivery orientated then they will not receive the requisite service that they deserve. According to interviewee five, people are not being served because of the legacy of apartheid. Interviewee five is also of the view that in some instances workers in government abuse citizens instead of providing a friendly
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and helpful service, hence the bad service delivery. Public officials will one day start to provide services to the people of the country, once they know that they are not just entitled to work in government (interviewee five).

According to interviewee eight,

service delivery in South Africa operates in extremes, meaning that a citizen can experience extremely poor and good service with the same intensity in any given day.
According to interviewee eight, it almost never happens that citizens experience the middle path with regard to service delivery. Interviewee ten experiences service delivery as depressing due to its poor quality. Interviewee thirteen is concerned that service delivery is not strengthening, but instead may be weakening in the face of great and ongoing challenges and expectations.

One can argue that from the feedback obtained from respondents in the preceding paragraphs, it is evident that service delivery in the public service is predominantly viewed as poor to very poor by respondents.

4.3.6.2

Question 2: In your view, what are the key challenges with service delivery in South Africa?

The following sections outline and discuss respondents’ feedback and the researcher’s summary on various key sub-themes under this question.


Findings on challenge one: Leadership and management

According to interviewee eleven, good leadership and management are critical for effective and sustainable service delivery, since managers and leaders need to direct and drive government programmes, projects and initiatives. In many instances where good leadership was absent, anarchy blossomed (interviewee eleven). Hence the recent unprecedented service delivery protests by various communities (interviewee eleven). Interviewee thirteen highlighted the weak leadership and management exhibited at most educational institutions. According to interviewee twelve, the absolute
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lack of accountability amongst most government institutions is proof that responsible and good leaders and managers are needed. According to interviewee twelve, good leaders and managers will bring about no fraud and corruption and a systematic way of working as well as a realisation that the country has minimal resources needing to be underlined. One can argue that one of the key challenges with regard to service delivery is the lack of courageous, responsible, accountable, knowledgeable, skilled and experienced leadership and management.


Findings on challenge two: Fraud and corruption

According to interviewee eleven fraud and corruption are like cancer that is ravaging society and is a huge impediment to efficient, effective, sustainable and quality service delivery. Interviewee one shares the same view by identifying fraud and corruption as key challenges which could become a catalyst for a downward trend in service delivery in the country.

One can argue that a strong view is emerging that, as a result of unprecedentedly weak and incapacitated leadership and management, inappropriate planning and budgeting, with little or no financial record keeping has unfortunately led to relatively high levels of fraud and corruption in the public service. The unprecedentedly poor leadership and management have already clearly had serious negative implications for sustainable and quality service delivery, including the huge misappropriation of scarce and limited resources. As a result, the poor leadership and management, incapacity, fraud and corruption could have a negative impact on the implementation of the HRDSA.

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Findings on challenge three : Over-regulation

Interviewee ten believes that the country is over-regulated and depicted the PFMA as an example. According to interviewee ten, the PFMA is also complex with a myriad of regulations that most officials across the three spheres of government have to understand, let alone comply with. As a result, in interviewee ten’s view, the focus has shifted to compliance with the PFMA, instead of being on quality service delivery.
Interviewee ten further expressed concern about the endemic fraud and corruption in the public service, irrespective of regulations.

One can argue that, although the country has well-written policies, problems occur during the implementation of these well-written policies. It can be argued that the PFMA in particular has become an impediment in the quest for quality and sustainable service delivery. 

Findings on challenge four: Capacity

According to interviewee four, the lack of the requisite competencies amongst public servants, especially the lack of technical skills is a prominent feature. An almost complete lack of standard operating procedures and very few service standards are other significant challenges in the public service as a whole (interviewee four).
According to interviewee four, government departments make few or no attempts to develop service delivery improvement plans. Interviewee eleven identified a lack of proper integrated planning with regard to service delivery as a challenge. According to interviewee two, little or no service delivery is taking place because officials do not have the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to implement the various programmes and projects. Interviewee nine underlined the importance of appointing the right people, meaning people with the required competencies, and of utilising functional systems, as well as the importance of ensuring coherence, coordination and integration with relevant stakeholders and partners. Interviewee fourteen identified capacity building as a
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significant challenge, together with a lack of the necessary experience in various occupations and systems. According to interviewee fourteen, the retention of qualified, competent and experienced officials in the public service is a fundamental challenge.

One can argue that the lack of the requisite competencies and experience amongst leaders and managers, including most of the public servants, is one of the recurring views arising from the literature review and the comments of respondents. A few more significant aspects are the importance of appointing the right people, with the required competencies and experience required for their positions, as well as the utilisation of functional systems and the importance of ensuring coherence, coordination and integration with relevant stakeholders and partners, especially with the implementation of the HRDSA.

4.3.6.3 Question 3: How best can government in collaboration with the public servants address and arrest these service delivery challenges in your view? The following sections outline and discuss the respondents’ feedback and the researcher’s summary on how to address and arrest service delivery challenges under this question.


Findings on aspect one to address service delivery challenges: Leadership

Interviewee fourteen is of the opinion that strong and courageous leadership is needed from both political and administrative heads across all three spheres of government.
According to interviewee one, a clear demarcation between the political and administrative order with regard to responsibilities and functions must be defined as a matter of urgency in all government departments and across all three spheres of government, to bring about stability and to improve service delivery. Courageous leadership should include motivation, communication and appreciation of what officials
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are doing, irrespective of their designation and level, so that the officials themselves can value their jobs and what they are doing (interviewee fourteen).

One can argue that the most significant observation of this section is the critical importance of a clear demarcation of responsibilities and functions between the political and administrative order, in all government departments and across all three spheres of government to bring about stability and to improve service delivery, especially with regard to the effective and efficient implementation of the HRDSA.


Findings on aspect two to address service delivery challenges: Capacity

Interviewee three is of the view that the capacity problem amongst public servants is multi-faceted. In some cases incapacity is also experienced at ministerial level
(interviewee three). According to interviewee three, the unfortunate part of some ministerial actions is that most strategic decisions are not based on rigorous research.
Interviewee three further believes that as a result of a lack of leadership capacity, government departments became reactionaries with no strategic vision. Moreover, the lack of planning capacity and lack of capacity regarding what is required further add to poor service delivery in South Africa (interviewee three). In the end the abovementioned lack of leadership, strategic vision, lack of the required competencies and lack of technical skills cascades negatively down to operational level (interviewee three). Interviewee five emphasised the importance of continuous demand-led development of all government employees to improve and accelerate service delivery in the public service. Interviewee five underscored the fact that only organised business appears to be under an obligation to provide training and development, although government is the biggest employer. According to interviewee five, government unfortunately does not contribute 1% of payroll, nor sufficient funds to develop its employees.

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One can argue that the first significant aspect that emerged from the feedback of the respondents underlines not only the incapacity of public service officials, but also the incapacity experienced at ministerial level in the national, provincial and local spheres.
The second significant view that emerged from the feedback is that although government is the biggest employer it has no obligation to contribute 1% of payroll, nor sufficient funds to continuously develop its mostly incapacitated public servants
(resource) in improving service delivery.


Findings on aspect three to address service delivery challenges:
Service Delivery

According to interviewee eight, government must re-engineer the public service as a people-orientated organisation. Government must also find a way to value all public servants including cleaners (interviewee eight). There is a need for public managers and public servants to have emotional intelligence to ensure quality service delivery
(interviewee five). Interviewee fourteen shares the view with interviewee eight and suggested that managers should acknowledge good work by officials at a personal level. Public recognition of good work is also needed, including appreciation for excellence (interviewee fourteen). Interviewee thirteen appreciates the recognition of good work by emphasising the need for public servants to have a more motivating context in their workplaces. Interviewee ten emphasised the need for a competence culture in shaping the public service.

Interviewee ten is also of the opinion that a

compliance culture (just to perform a required task without the necessary quality and excellence) keeps officials and government departments trapped in silos and does not assist with horizontal coordination and integration. The compliance culture in the public service would be a significant problem with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA, since the necessary quality and excellence will be absent (interviewee ten).

Interviewee five believes that the public service as a whole should improve its recruitment, career pathing and retention strategies to ensure that the right
94

appointments are made. Cadre deployment should be discouraged at all costs since most deployees do not have the requisite competencies or the relevant experience to make a difference in the public service (interviewee five). Interviewee nine considers the need for performance management as critical to improve and sustain service delivery. Interviewees four and eleven share the same view on the need to establish service delivery improvement forums in the local sphere to oversee service delivery, for example one service delivery forum per municipality. Interviewee four further suggested that people establish a complaint management system. Interviewee thirteen believes that the whole system of government requires improved alignment between policy, strategy, planning and implementation.

One can argue that a strong view was expressed to discourage cadre deployment at all costs, since most deployees do not have the requisite competencies or the relevant experience to make a difference in the public service. The transition from a compliance culture to a competence culture also emerged as a strong view and should be welcomed in the public service to enhance quality and sustainable service delivery.

4.3.7 Views of respondents on key ingredients for the effective and efficient implementation of the HRDSA

Table 2 below provides a summary of the views of respondents with regard to the necessary ingredients for the implementation of the HRDSA. According to the respondents, the sixteen listed factors could make a significant and positive impact on the implementation of the HRDSA.

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Table 2: Ingredients for the effective, efficient and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA

Presidency

National
Departments

1.Leadership

7%

7%

2.Capacity

7%

3.Common Vision

Gauteng
Provincial
Department

Organised
Business

Organised
Labour

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

14%

0%

7%

0%

7%

7%

14%

4.Location of HRDSA

7%

14%

14%

14%

7%

14%

5.HRDSA Implementation Model

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

14%

6.HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, has ambitious and too many strategic priorities and activities 7.Funding Model

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

0%

7%

0%

0%

0%

7%

8.Coordination & Integration

7%

21%

7%

0%

7%

7%

9.Joint Planning

7%

7%

7%

0%

0%

0%

10.Institutional development

7%

0%

0%

7%

0%

7%

11.Governance

0%

7%

0%

0%

0%

0%

12.Service delivery

7%

21%

7%

7%

7%

42%

13.Fraud & Corruption

0%

7%

7%

0%

0%

7%

14.Project Management approach

0%

0%

7%

0%

0%

7%

15.Monitoring & Evaluation

7%

7%

7%

7%

7%

14%

16.Roles & responsibilities of
Stakeholders

0%

7%

0%

7%

0%

0%

Experts

From the results indicated in Table 2 it is evident that the factors with the greatest impact on the implementation of the HRDSA include the need for the requisite capacity, a common vision for the HRDSA, coordination and integration of the HRDSA, a need for an HRDSA implementation model and monitoring and evaluation of the HRDSA.
4.4

CONCLUSION

The chapter provided the findings obtained from the empirical research of the study.
From these research findings it is evident that the effective, efficient and sustainable
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implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, would not be possible based on the absence of a range of necessary ingredients as listed above under section 4.3.7. The results obtained from the interviews also revealed that the central challenges confronting the implementation of the national HRDSA are the need for courageous leadership, improved capacity of the HRD Secretariat, re-location of the Secretariat, horizontal coordination and integration across government with regard to the HRDSA, institutional development, monitoring and evaluation of the HRDSA and good governance of the HRD Council in leading the HRDSA.

In summary, one of the most deep-rooted issues in resolving the implementation challenges of the HRDSA is the question of whether education and training should be regarded as more important and not necessarily economic growth only. It will be important to develop a culture of rigorous research to deepen the HRD Council’s understanding of a problem in order to find evidence-based collective and lasting solutions. A process aimed at filling the governance gaps within the HRD Council is needed, especially with regard to the authority of the office, in other words to establish the relevant authoritative legislation for the HRD Council to lead properly on the HRDSA and possess the authority of competence.

There is a strong perception amongst the respondents that service delivery in the public service is poor to very poor. One can argue that the impediments to quality and sustainable public service delivery equate to the lack of capacity in the public service as a whole, a lack of courageous leadership, a lack of knowledge, skills and experience amongst most public servants, including a lack of accountability from public managers and leaders, as well as an alarming increase in fraud and corruption in the public service. In order to counter poor service delivery, arguments by interviewees one, two, five and fourteen were expressed to discourage cadre deployment at all costs, since there is a perception that most deployees do not possess the necessary competencies and experience to secure quality and sustainable service delivery. Moreover, a transition from a compliance culture to a competence and performance culture emerged
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as a strong view from interviewee ten. One can argue that the culture of competence, performance and excellence must be promoted and nurtured in the public service and especially amongst all stakeholders in the implementation of the HRDSA.

In sum, the findings with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA are clear. In order to ensure that the implementation challenges experienced with the HRDSA, 2001, do not recur serious attention must be given to the following factors with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA:


the re-location of the HRDSA Secretariat;



establishing a dedicated high level capacity for the Secretariat to drive the implementation of the HRDSA and the decisions of the HRD Council;



appointing an HRD Officer at a senior level in the same way as an accounting officer to lead the HRDSA is fundamental and urgent;



a monitoring and evaluation strategy;



clarification of roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and social partners; 

horizontal coordination and integration across all three spheres of government and entities; and



the need for an HRDSA Implementation Model is urgent in ensuring the effective and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1

INTRODUCTION

Based on the feedback obtained from the interviews (as outlined in the preceding chapter), recommendations will be made regarding the manner in which the HRDSA can be

effectively,

efficiently,

economically

and

sustainably

implemented.

Recommendations are focused on the prevention or handling of implementation problems that could prevent the HRDSA from achieving its strategic priorities. This chapter also provides a summary of the study as outlined in the following section.

5.2

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS OF CHAPTERS

Chapter One provided a background and orientation to the study with regard to the implementation of the HRDSA by the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Presidency. As part of the background to the study, the importance of HRD was explained in Chapter One. It was also explained that HRD demanded an urgent response in addressing the significant developmental backlogs due to the legacy of apartheid and deep-rooted poverty and unemployment. The developmental backlogs demanded a wide-ranging and determined response from government, which resulted in the first HRDSA that was introduced in 2001.

The

chapter explains

that

certain

challenges

were

experienced

during the

implementation of the HRDSA, 2001, which impacted negatively on its performance and effectiveness. The revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, was introduced in September 2010.
Chapter One briefly outlines the reasons for and purpose of the revised HRDSA, 2010 2030. The chapter also indicated the research design for the study, including the research problem of the study which was to find solutions to the main implementation challenges in order to ensure increased performance regarding the strategic priorities of the HRDSA.
99

Chapter Two provided an overview of the understanding of HRD within the context of the study, including critical levers to enhance the implementation of the Strategy such as good governance, service delivery, outcomes-based governance and alternative mechanisms to improve service delivery. Chapter Two further explored international best practice on theories and principles pertaining to national HRD strategies of selected countries and/or skills development to improve both the implementation of the
HRDSA and the quality of service delivery in South Africa. The selected countries, namely: Brazil, Malaysia, Finland and Ireland, were chosen to provide a diverse international range of national HRD strategies from which international best practice could be sourced with regard to general and specific implementation challenges of their countries’ HRD Strategies in improving the implementation of the HRDSA and in ensuring the improvement of quality service delivery.

One of the significant international best practices that emerged in Chapter Two was that the HRD policies of the Malaysian Ministry and Department of Human Resources are not stand alone policies, as is the case in South Africa, nor delinked from other government programmes. Rather, they arise out of the development of the founding economic and industrial policies of modern Malaysia. One can argue that the HRDSA needed to be similarly embedded in South Africa’s NGP, industrial policy framework, industrial policy action plan, science, technology, innovation and research and development strategies to ensure efficient and effective implementation the HRDSA.

Further important lessons learnt from the four countries include:


Brazil’s out-of-school skills training system that began in the 1940s and is now one of the largest of its kind in Latin America and comprises a group of institutes, collectively known as the S-system. The HRDSA in collaboration with its social partners should find solutions to offer more responsive and advanced human resource development opportunities and career guidance, as well as work places
100

to post-school learners, meaning learners who are not in education, who are not employed and not in training;


The whole government or joint-up government approach of Malaysia which should be seriously considered and implemented by the Human Resource Development
Council in addressing the supply and demand divide amongst others;



Finland’s investments in human development and its steadfast commitment to innovation and knowledge-intensity in the economy, as the primary driver of social and educational advance in the Finnish society. The HRDSA, instead of creating long shopping lists of targets and indicators, needs to collectively identify logjams that prohibit human resource development, innovation and research and development; and



Ireland’s new form of flexible network governance in which issues can be moved onto or off the agenda, moved up or down in priority, moved into the legislative agenda, or identified as a concern within a longer term framework of policy development . The HRDSA should consider utilising the latter flexible approach to governance and implementing the HRDSA that is premised on finding consensual solutions with regard to complex problems.

It is advisable that the above-mentioned lessons learnt from these countries be considered by the government of South Africa to enhance both the implementation of the HRDSA and accelerate quality service delivery.

The chapter further indicated that the successful implementation of the HRDSA depends on a number of factors such as a favourable political environment and political buy-in, capacity needs, good governance, an implementation model, funding model, accelerated and quality service delivery, credible, reliable and valid information,
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resources, credible policy development, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation and reporting of progress on the HRDSA’s eight commitments and strategic objectives.

Chapter Three provided a brief overview of the relevant legislation that guides HRD and skills development processes and implementation in South Africa. The chapter also discussed the HRDSA, 2001, as a government policy framework. The focus was predominantly on the implementation challenges experienced during the implementation of the HRDSA, 2001. Feedback obtained from a Gap Analysis and First Study done in
2005 and 2008 respectively was given. The purpose of the Gap Analysis and the First
Study was to utilise both the Gap Analysis conducted on the HRDSA, 2001, and the
First Study on how best to coordinate, integrate, plan, manage, monitor, evaluate and report on the HRDSA, as a basis for developing a draft revised HRDSA, 2010 - 2030.
The chapter concluded with a discussion on the recommendations made by the First
Study in 2008 on how to prevent these challenges from recurring in the revised HRDSA,
2010 - 2030.

Chapter Four provided an outline of the research methodology, the findings of the feedback obtained through the interviews and the researcher’s interpretations thereof.
From the empirical research findings it became evident that the effective, efficient and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, may indeed be challenging, based on a range of necessary ingredients as listed above under section 4.3. The most significant findings that emerged from the feedback obtained through the interviews indicated the following anticipated challenges with the implementation of the HRDSA:


the re-location of the HRDSA Secretariat;



establishing a dedicated high level capacity for the Secretariat to drive the implementation of the HRDSA and the decisions of the HRD Council;



appointing an HRD Officer at a senior level in the same way as an accounting officer to lead the HRDSA is fundamental and urgent;



a monitoring and evaluation strategy;
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clarification of roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and social partners; 

horizontal coordination and integration across all three spheres of government and entities; and



the need for an HRDSA Implementation Model is urgent in ensuring the effective and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA.

The purpose of this study was to make recommendations pertaining to the abovementioned challenges with the implementation of the HRDSA. The next section subsequently outlines these recommendations.

5.3

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the empirical study and the literature review that was conducted, the following recommendations for

the

effective,

efficient,

economical

and

sustainable

implementation of the HRDSA, can be made:


The need for courageous leadership and management

The efficient and effective implementation of the HRDSA requires courageous leadership and capability in planning, management and financial management. As a result it is recommended that the HRDSA be championed by the president or deputy president of the country to ensure that the leadership of the HRDSA is evident.
Moreover, it is recommended that the president or deputy president of the country be at the forefront of an HRDSA campaign, to advocate and market the HRDSA and its benefits to all the people of South Africa.

A significant aspect in achieving the

objectives of the HRDSA will be to formulate a clear distinction between the political and administrative mandates and responsibilities of government departments. The latter could ensure proper implementation for example of the HRDSA, to secure service delivery of the HRDSA and to secure service delivery in all spheres of government.
103



The need for dedicated capacity for the HRD Secretariat

It is recommended that the HRD Secretariat be fully capacitated and resourced to be able to successfully coordinate, integrate, plan, manage and report on the HRDSA.
Moreover the capacitated secretariat needs to provide strategic, technical and administrative support to the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa
(HRDCSA) in the effective execution of Council’s decisions.


The need for re-location of the HRDSA

One of the most strategic ingredients necessary for the successful implementation of the HRDSA is to re-locate the HRDSA and its Secretariat within the Presidency or as stand-alone public entity. The HRDSA needs the authority of the office of the president or the deputy president, who has authority over ministers and sectors, to ensure coordinated planning, management, coordination, alignment, integration, collaboration and communication for effective, efficient and sustainable implementation of the
HRDSA.

The re-location of the HRDSA outside of any specific government line department will enable it to act faster and more flexibly outside of the normally frustrating and bureaucratic red tape. Most government department’s processes and procedures, through which services are provided, are unfortunately to a large extent still based on the rule-based bureaucratic norms.

The latter unfortunately serve the bureaucratic

needs of the public service rather than the needs of the people. As a result, if re-located as indicated above, the HRDSA will be more objective and empowered to take the stance of an outsider and look from the outside across the system. The re-location would assist the HRDSA in identifying logjams and system blockages, in improving the implementation of strategic objectives, either within the HRDSA, or in assisting certain line departments and/or entities to resolve certain system challenges.

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The need for a common vision, coordination, integration, alignment and joint planning There is a need to collectively craft a common vision, a set of practical and achievable goals and a common value system around the HRDSA, in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. Stakeholders could include social partners such as organised business, organised labour, community and government in all three spheres, including academia and sectors that are essential in the implementation of the HRDSA. The revised
HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, will, based on its design, depend on government line departments, sub-systems and entities for the successful implementation of its eight commitments, strategic priorities and activities. As a result, joint government, relating to the integration and alignment of relevant policies with the HRDSA, is needed. The joint government venture will include horizontal coordination and integration of relevant policies and strategies as indicated under section 2.4.2.1 and 4.3.3, to meaningfully enhance the implementation of the HRDSA. Equally important will be to secure the necessary alignment with key policies and strategies, for example the New Growth Path
(NGP), the national industrial policy framework and the industrial action plan (IPAP II).
In addition to joint government and the coordination, integration and alignment of the
HRDSA, greater emphasis is needed with regard to human resource planning and human resource development.

The HRD policies of the Malaysian Ministry and Department of Human Resources are neither stand-alone policies nor delinked from other government programmes. Rather, they arise out of the development of the founding economic and industrial policies of modern Malaysia. One can argue that the HRDSA needed to be similarly embedded into South Africa’s NGP, industrial policy framework, industrial policy action plan, science, technology, innovation and research and development strategies to ensure efficient and effective implementation the HRDSA.

105



The need to prioritise the HRDSA’s strategic goals

According to Kraak (2010:77), the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030, has ambitious and numerous strategic priorities, strategic objectives, activities, targets and performance indicators which could pose implementation challenges. Instead it is recommended that a priority list, in alignment with the electoral mandate and in consultation with social partners, of no more than six (entry, middle and high level) HRD priorities be reprioritised on the basis of the bottlenecks and systemic challenges in the human resource development pipeline. It is further recommended that a design paradigm shift be considered where the implementation of the HRDSA is based on a problem-solving approach as opposed to a shopping list of targets and indicators. The focus or the core function of the HRDSA should rather be to work in collaboration with the relevant institutions, agencies and entities to collectively identify challenges around HRD priorities, address bottlenecks and constraints, for example in the HRD pipeline, and to mobilise and/or bring together high-level leadership and resources to achieve the country’s HRD goals.


The need for an HRDSA Implementation Model

It is recommended that a comprehensive long-term powerful implementation model for the HRDSA be developed. An implementation model is a critical and urgent ingredient for the successful implementation of the commitments of the HRDSA as the HRDSA does not have an implementation model.


The need for an HRDSA Funding Model

It is recommended that an HRDSA country-wide funding model be established for effective, coordinated and integrated implementation of the HRDSA and other HRD programmes and projects implemented by relevant departments, sub-systems and entities responsible for human resource development in South Africa. The rationale of the HRDSA country-wide funding model is firstly to ensure that the relevant sub106

systems, line departments and stakeholders share the same vision with regard to the type, level and scale of HRD interventions.

The latter is important in creating an

enabling environment which is the right environment to produce jobs, eradicate poverty, develop socio-economic growth and bring about social cohesion and the like. Moreover the country-wide funding model will have as one of its aims to avoid duplication of effort and could serve as a clearing house for line departments, entities and stakeholders after broad consensus on HRD investments and return on investment.


The need for monitoring and evaluation

It is recommended that a practical and easy to implement monitoring and evaluation system be developed. Such a monitoring and evaluation system should not only assess the implementation of the HRDSA, but also the impact of the HRDSA. As a result it will be critical to strengthen and increase the monitoring and evaluation capacity of the
Secretariat to determine the necessary impact on policies and strategies.


Governance

It will be important for the HRD Council to interpret, understand and approach its mandate differently. This means that the HRD Council needs both the authority of the office and the authority of competence to efficiently and effectively execute its mandate.
Authority of the office speaks to the ability to have the necessary legislative authority to strategically and effectively implement the HRDSA.

The HRD Council has created a shared space for social dialogue amongst a wide range of stakeholders and social partners to jointly find solutions to the HRD challenges of the country. However, a gap relating to the authority of the office and the authority of competence still exists. As a result it is recommended that the HRD Council considers a process to appoint experts with the relevant technical competencies and gravitas to assist them in strategic and technical decision-making and in solving challenges. It is
107

further recommended that the HRD Council considers relevant legislation relating to the
Council or for both the Council and the HRDSA to provide more legislative authority in relation to the authority of the office.

5.4

FURTHER RESEARCH

This study focused on the implementation of the HRDSA; future research can attempt to critically assess existing implementation models. Further research can also focus on the customisation of a comprehensive and binding long-term and powerful implementation model for the HRDSA to improve and accelerate implementation of the
HRDSA in the interest of the nation.

5.5

CONCLUSION

The purpose of the study was to determine the manner in which the HRDSA, 2010 2030, can be effectively, efficiently, economically and sustainably implemented in order to achieve its strategic priorities in improving and accelerating quality service delivery.
As implementation problems were experienced during the implementation of the
HRDSA, 2001, a literature study was conducted with the aim to learn from and benchmark with international best practices from other countries on how to address and/or prevent these challenges from recurring.

Further, an empirical study was conducted to determine the critical levers or main ingredients to improve and accelerate the efficient, effective and sustainable implementation of the HRDSA, 2010 - 2030. Interviews were held with senior officials in relevant national departments and the Gauteng Provincial Government and social partners, as well as relevant experts. From the results obtained from the interviews it became evident that serious attention must be given to the recommendations made under 5.3 in order to ensure the successful implementation of the HRDSA.
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ANNEXURE A:

CONSENT FORM

Consent Form for a mini-dissertation
Andrew Bartlett

MA degree in Development and Management

North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

109

Consent Form for a mini-dissertation: Andrew Bartlett

1. Research Information
This consent form will grant the researcher, Andrew Bartlett, permission to use information obtained from respondents to the questionnaire/interviewees for his mini-dissertation for the MA degree in Development and Management at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).
The study focuses on the implementation of the human resource development strategy for South
Africa (HRDSA) with the following title: Implementation of the Human Resource Development
Strategy for South Africa.
Questions that have been specifically designed for the research outcomes required by the researcher’s investigation will be put to all the respondents and all respondents will have the opportunity to express their valuable opinions and make valid contributions to the researcher’s study. 2. Ethical Considerations
The researcher’s questionnaire has to adhere to the ethical requirements set out by the NorthWest University’s ethical committee. Respondents will be requested to provide individual permission to participate in the research study.
The content of the research questions will not discriminate against the respondents in any way and the answering of these questions will remain voluntary and at the discretion of each respondent.
No personal information or content of any of the responses will be made available to any external parties whatsoever. The questions will be answered anonymously and the information shared with the researcher will be handled with confidentiality. No personal information will be printed or published during or after the research has been completed.

1
110

3. Respondent and Researcher consent and declaration:

I, __________________________ (Respondent’s name and surname) hereby agree to participate in the research study conducted by Andrew Bartlett that forms part of his Master’s degree study at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. I understand that the researcher will maintain the ethical codes of the NWU and will keep the interests of the respondent in mind.
I, Andrew Bartlett, hereby commit myself as researcher to the guidelines stipulated by the ethical committee of the North-West University and the stipulations agreed upon in this consent form. I will uphold the declaration undersigned here and will consider the interests of the respondents at all times. For any queries, please contact me on 082 4676722.
Thank you for your participation and cooperation in improving the implementation of the HRDSA.

…………………………….

…………………………………..

Signature (Respondent)

Signature (Researcher)

Date: ……………..

Date: ……………………..

2

111

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Structured Questionnaire for a mini-dissertation wertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuio Andrew Bartlett pasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghj klzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbn mqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwerty uiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxc vbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqw ertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdf ghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxc vbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqw ertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiop
ANNEXURE B:

STRUCTURED QUESTIONNAIRE

MA in Development & Management

North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

112

Questionnaire for a mini-dissertation: Andrew Bartlett
Dear Respondent
This questionnaire forms part of the data collection for a master’s degree study. The study is titled Implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa.
The purpose of the questionnaire is to obtain information from HRD practitioners within the relevant government departments, seeking joint solutions for challenges regarding the implementation of the HRDSA.
Please note that participation in the study is voluntary and anonymous. In order for the results obtained from this questionnaire to be used, you are kindly requested to complete the attached consent form. (Annexure A)
The questionnaire comprises three sections: Section A deals with questions pertaining to
Biographical information, Section B deals with the human resource development strategy for
South Africa (HRDSA) and Section C deals with service delivery in the public service.
The duration of the questionnaire will be approximately 10 minutes.
Please only choose one option per question.

113

SECTION A: BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
1. Name of the organisation that your are representing: …………………………………….
2. How long have you been working for the organisation? (Please tick in the appropriate box) Less than 5 years
Between 5 and 10 years
Between 11 and 20 years
More than 20 years

3.

Gender

(Please tick in the appropriate box)
Male

Female

SECTION B: HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SOUTH
AFRICA (HRDSA)

(Please tick only one number or option per statement.)
Option 5 = Strongly agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Neutral, 2 = Disagree and 1 = Strongly disagree. 114

5
1. A comprehensive, credible and focused HRDSA is critical to achieve social and

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

economic growth.
2. The lack of adequate human resources development (HRD) severely constrains social and economic growth.
3. The central national concern is to accelerate development so that there is a match between supply and demand for human resources.
4. The overarching recommendation for achieving integrated planning within government is to ensure that the HRD planning mechanisms are aligned with the existing architecture for government-wide planning (the National
Planning Commission (NPC), Performance Management and Evaluation the (PME) in the Presidency and National Industrial Policy Framework).
5. The country’s HRDSA’s Secretariat is correctly located in the Department of
Higher Education and Training.
6. The monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the HRDSA’s agreed upon indicators and targets will be aligned with the Performance, Monitoring and
Evaluation Unit within the Presidency.
7. The Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDSs), which resonate with local governments’ integrated development plans (IDPs), will align their strategies where relevant to the country’s HRDSA.
8.The scope and importance of the HRDSA for South Africa’s developmental agenda dictates that its success depends on the full contribution of all social partners e.g. organised business, organised labour, community etc.
9. The main challenge confronting the HRDSA is the effective, efficient, economical and sustainable implementation of the strategy, in order to

115

achieve the set HRD objectives in the quest for a capacitated, developed and empowered public service and citizenry in improving service delivery.

SECTION C: SERVICE DELIVERY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
What is your general view on service delivery in the public service in South Africa?
(Please choose

one option only)

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor

Please

rank the following key challenges with regard to the delivery of public services

in South Africa. Rank from 1 (the most serious challenge) to 6 (the least serious challenge). Capacity
Regulations
Governance
Funding
Lack of Performance Management
Political support

116

Which

ONE

of the following alternate mechanisms to improve the quality of service

delivery and service delivery innovation would you recommend?
(Please choose one option only).

e-governance
(The utilisation of information communication technology (ICT) to deliver certain services electronically, especially to the rural, poor and disadvantage citizens, not excluding the citizens residing in the urban areas is critical. Electronic services could be identified in collaboration with communities based on their needs and be offered on-line, for example access to apply for a identification document, birth certificates etc., at the Thusong- or one stop service Centers.)
Privatisation
(Government working hand-in-hand with business, sharing the risks and opportunities through joint ventures etc.)
Outsourcing of services
(The outsourcing of services by the public service institutions, or departments at all three spheres of government to the private sector, non-governmental organisations etc. for “greater quality”, because it provides access to high level technologies, quality control etc.)
Service delivery innovation
To benchmark service delivery practices; act and function as an enabler, facilitator and champion of innovative ideas.
Public-Private-Partnerships
(Delivering projects and programmes at lower total costs; quicker and better, but to a higher quality standard.) 117

ANNEXURE C:

SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

Interviews for a mini-dissertation
Andrew Bartlett
MA in Development & Management
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
Interviews for a mini-dissertation: Andrew Bartlett
These interviews form part of the data collection for a master’s degree study. The title of the study is Implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa.
The purpose of these interviews is to obtain information from high-level managers and experts within the relevant government departments, research organisations, organised business, organised labour and community, identifying and seeking joint solutions for challenges regarding the implementation of the HRDSA.
Please note that participation in the study is voluntary and anonymous. In order for the results obtained from this interview to be used, you are kindly requested to complete a consent form.
(Annexure A)
The interviews comprise three sections: Section A deals with questions pertaining to biographical information, Section B will focus on the human resource development strategy of
South Africa and Section C will deal with service delivery challenges and possible mechanisms to address and arrest these service delivery challenges.

118

Section A
1.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION OF INTERVIEWEE

1.1

Name of the organization that you representing:
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Department

Department

Department

Department

Department

Department

of Higher

of Basic

of Science

of Trade &

of Public

Education

and

Industry

Service and

9

of Labour

Education

Presidency

8

and Training

Administratio

Technology

Gauteng

Experts

Provincial
Government

n

1.2

How long have you been working for the above organization?

Less than 5 years

1

Between 5 and 10 years

2

Between 11 and 20 years

3

More than 20 hears

4

1.3
Male

Gender
Female

119

Section B
2.

HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SOUTH AFRICA

2.1.

What do you think are the key challenge (s) in the implementation of a country strategy, for example the country’s human resource development strategy?

2.2

How do you recommend that the Human Resource Development Council should address and arrest these implementation challenges?

2.3

What do you think are the main ingredients for the effective implementation of the
HRDSA?

Section C
3.

SERVICE DELIVERY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE

3.1

What is your general view on service delivery in the public service in South Africa?

3.2.

In your view what are the key challenges to service delivery in South Africa?

3.3.

How best can government in collaboration with the public servants address and arrest these service delivery challenges in your view?

120

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