Democracy as government by the people

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Governments are instruments by which political missions and objectives are achieved (Du Toit in Doyle, et al., 2002:64-65). However, in the main governments tend to: (a) operate on the vertical plane and (b) are structured in terms of a series of departmental hierarchies with little or no incentive to engage in cross-silo cooperation with all stakeholders (Khosrow-Pour 2005:98). As instruments of political missions and objectives, governments are in a position to realise concrete benefits if they form close relationships with civil society (Heimans 2002:21). Cooperative government and intergovernmental relations mechanisms such as consultation, communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration are critical. It is essential that public managers are heavily involved in all forms of communication, cooperation, coordination, collaboration and consultation with other departments or agents and/or agencies within both public sector and other sectors in order to jointly achieve their own departmental objectives and also contribute to a shared policy as well the meeting of societal needs, including housing needs (Williams 2012:95). It is incumbent on governments to be informed about the interests of their citizens and to pursue these interests efficiently (Jensen 2011:5). In addition, public servants (agents) must serve the state (principal) by implementing public housing policies effectively (Panter & Peters 2010:6). Conceptualisation, network governance, public participation, roles of stakeholders, South Africa Parliament, cooperative government and intergovernmental relations structures and mechanisms are all discussed in this chapter.

Conceptualisation of government

Concepts: (a) are ways of making sense of the social world, (b) are essential labels which highlight aspects that are significant and common in the social world, (c) assist researchers to reflect on what they want to find out in a more disciplined ways and through organised research findings, (d) are the starting point of researchers in that they represent key areas in respect of which data is collected, and (e) assist researchers to reflect upon and organise the data that they have collected (Bryman 2012:8-9). The functions of concepts include:
(a) the facilitation of communication between human beings, (b) providing assistance in the classification of the elements of reality, (c) enabling generalisations about the reality of elements, and (d) serving as the building blocks of theories (Bless, et al., 2013:80). As a concept, government consists of governmental institutions that make policy decisions for society, including public housing policy decisions (Edwards, et al., Lineberry & Wattenberg 2012:9).
These policy decisions are then operationalised. Operationalising the concepts, potential strategies and techniques used for measuring the effectiveness of the concept should be taken into account when the concept itself is defined while the concept which has been defined should also be theoretically sounded. Governing is an unending process (Rose in Bernhagen, et al., 2009:19 & 25). The aim of government is to achieve pre-determined outcomes which, in most instances, are politically motivated or oriented (Leyshow & Moir 2013:1007). Political missions and objectives are manifested in constitutions which present the fundamental principles of a government and also establish the basic structures and procedures by means of which the government operates in fulfilling both written and unwritten principles (Deardorff 2013:35). Thus, a constitution may be said to be a nation’s basic law that creates government institutions, allocates power within government and often provides guarantees to citizens (Edwards, et al., 2012:35). South Africa adopted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1996. Section 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, declares it (the Constitution of 1996) to be the supreme law of the Republic of South Africa and also stipulating that the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled (South Africa. Constitution, 1996). However, the South African government is faced with distortions in policy formulation by: (a) an over reliance on foreign models, (b) a failure to truly develop contextual policies and (c) a failure to interpret policies in such a way that they fulfil constitutional obligations and meet the needs of citizens (Franks 2014:48 & 50). Franks (2014:48 & 50) is of the view that, although the three spheres of government are independent and interdependent, it is difficult for the central government to control the functions relating to the execution of the constitutional obligations by the other government spheres. Regardless of this difficulty, the Constitution places an obligation on the state to provide access to adequate housing for its citizens. Section 26(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, mandates the National Department of Human Settlements (NDHS) to act as the custodian of the housing sector and to develop housing strategies, policies and programmes to ensure the progressive realisation of the provision of housing to all citizens (South Africa. Parliament of the Republic of South Africa 2014c:1). According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2010:169), the government must: (a) develop coordination mechanisms between the various spheres of government and also across the same spheres, (b) allocate or share regulatory responsibilities at the various spheres and
(c) capacitate the different spheres to produce quality regulation (regulatory governance/regulatory public policies) in order to improve housing service delivery. Coordination is further discussed in section 3.5.4. It should be noted that coordination does not take place in a vacuum but within government institutions.
The South African hierarchy of government institutions is as follows: (1) National government which consists of the: (a) legislature composed of Parliament and comprising houses, i.e. the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP),
(b) executive made of the President, cabinet and national departments as the extension of the executive and (c) judiciary comprising the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, High Courts, magistrate courts and other courts and (2) Provincial governments which consist of a: (a) legislature comprising thirty (30) to eighty (80) members, (b) executive made up of the Premier and executive council of between five (5) and ten (10) members and (c) local government which consists of metropolitan, district and local municipalities (Du Toit in Doyle, et al., 2002:63). Cabinet is provided by section 91(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The cabinet consists of the President, Deputy President and ministers (Du Toit in Doyle, et al., 2002:71). In each government sphere, there are structures which are responsible for, inter alia, consultation, communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration in order to promote both cooperative government and intergovernmental relations – see sections 1.1 and 1.2. Van Niekerk in Doyle, et al., (2002:264-265) is of the view that e-government represents a permanent government commitment which may be used to improve the relationship between the citizens, private sector and the public sector government institutions in order to enhance cost-effective services, information, knowledge and promote cooperative government.
The vision of e-government is to: (a) facilitate a modern and efficient government through continuous optimisation aligned to digital economy developments, (b) meet the needs of citizens and stakeholders through participation and effective service delivery and (c) improve citizen access to government information services and ensure that citizens participate in the governing processes in order to enhance the meeting of the citizens’ service needs. The principles of e-government include: (a) building services around the citizens’ choices, (b) making government and its services more accessible, (c) social inclusion, (d) providing information in a responsible way and (e) using information technology (IT) and human resources effectively and efficiently. This is affirmed by Nzimakwe (2012:56) who states that e-government: (a) enhances public service delivery if it is accessible, (b) offers governments opportunities to interact with citizens, (c) changes the way in which government institutions and organisations are structured, (d) provides citizens with access to, among other things, government documents, order publications, file taxes and records. Seward and Zambrano (2013:8) are of the view that e-government is helpful in tackling issues related to: (a) cost, (b) efficiency, (c) effectiveness, (d) transparency, (e) improved service delivery, (f) greater participation by all stakeholders and (g) offering innovative solutions to public institutions and private sector actors. However, e-government is discussed for the purposes of knowledge building only in this study and it is not strongly recommended for full implementation by the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality as the case study. The reason for this is that the majority of the citizens, including some government officials, who fall within the jurisdiction of the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality do not have access to either internet or to other information and communication technologies (ICTs) tools. For example, five (5) ward councillors who were interviewed at their offices did not have computers. Nevertheless, numerous scholars, including Mubangizi, et al., (2013:783), regard network governance as an effective mechanism that may be used to address complex issues in a decentralised administration. The conceptual framework of decentralised powers in South Africa is presented in Figure 3.1 while network governance is discussed below the figure.

Network governance

The provision of public resources is a distinct network management strategy despite the fact that governance networks often experience points of conflict as a result of real and substantive differences of opinions and perspectives. Nevertheless, despite experienced conflicts, if any, it is essential that network relationships be established between the institutions within a single branch of government in order to create the basis for cooperative government and intragovernmental relations (Koliba in Meek & Thurmaier 2012:73 & 76-78). In delivering public services, all the role players should strive to achieve the service delivery objectives through the: (a) sharing of leadership skills, (b) facilitation of service delivery activities and (c) capacity building combined with organisational and management development (Mubangizi, et al., 2013:792). Dikotla, Mahlatjie and Makgahlela (2014:848-849) maintain that an effective knowledge management would encourage the sharing of knowledge and information. If information is shared between employees, departments and even with other organisations in an effort to devise best practices, service delivery may be improved as a result of the innovation, effectiveness, efficiency and growth which arise from the sharing of knowledge.
According to Koliba, et al., (2011:109), the aims of social networks include collaborative partnerships, coalitions and strategic alliances while compliance in collaborative relationships is created through trust. It should be noted that the social world comprises interactions and relationships between multiple actors and that this constitutes social networks. Social network analysis entails: (a) a set of techniques for handling, analysing and visualising relational data (data concerning relations between a set of social actors and entities) and (b) a structural method that examines the pattern of the connections between entities (Crossley in Dale & Mason 2011:75). A network is a way of governing which: (a) influences cooperation and interrelationships within government spheres and between government stakeholders and (b) in the context of housing delivery, promotes collaboration because it assists in providing an integrated housing development style of planning (Gibbens 2008:44-45). Collaboration is discussed in section 3.5.5.
Network processes assist in formalising means or ways in which to maintain links between stakeholders and promoting mutual trust and may involve simultaneous actions by a number of different actors. This should result in fully integrated systems in which the network members realise that their perspectives are holistic despite the fact that they represent their individual organisations. This is affirmed by Mubangizi, et al., (2013:781 & 787-788) who state that network governance may be correlated with an attempt to take into account the increasing importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector, scientific networks and international institutions in the performance of various government functions. Mubangizi, et al., (2013:781 & 787-788) are also of the view that governance networks provide an innovative environment for learning, thus paving the way for adaptive and effective governance by integrating actors from various sectors. By so doing, several contemporary policy problems may be effectively and legitimately dealt with through the: (a) network coordination of resources, (b) skills and strategies across public sector institutions, (c) formal organisations and (d) policy sectors. If network processes are to be successful, issues such as: (a) administration and management, (b) leadership, (c) good relations, (d) communication and (e) capacity are extremely important. Good cooperative leadership at all government spheres is essential for the effective implementation of programmes, including housing programmes. Cooperation is discussed in section 3.5.3.
Inter-ministerial networks are an important governing tool in ensuring that public resources such as housing are accessible to all citizens (Bevir 2011:3). Ministerial clusters are discussed in section 3.4.4. It is imperative that national governments play a central facilitation in network cooperation and coordination in order to improve service delivery (Mubangizi, et al., 2013:788). In South Africa, ministers serve in the national government sphere as the heads of national departments. For consultation, communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration and inter-ministerial networks purposes, ministerial clusters are selected. These ministerial clusters are also expected to promote sound relationships between all stakeholders – see section 3.4.4. The quality of these relationships is important because, when the participants communicate and interact effectively, good relations are promoted and this enhances cooperative government and good relationships, team spirit and performance. The benefits of network governance include opportunities for capacity building, skill transfers and knowledge exchange between the various role players and this improves service delivery (Mubangizi, et al., 2013:790-791). Networks in social sciences provide appropriate institutional designs which cater for the good governance and collaborative relationships created through trust. Trust is regarded as a key element in: (a) reaching a consensus on collective actions, (b) reducing gaps between good intentions and cooperative practices, (c) enabling cooperation and (d) facilitating the participation of actors in the decision-making processes and with a willingness to resolve conflicts (Lee & Yu 2013:86). According to Van der Waldt in Burger, Knipe, Nell, Van der Waldt & Van Niekerk (2002:126), a lack of trust between project teams also hampers any possible change in institutions. The reason for this is because trust is a belief which encapsulates the essential components of commitment, honesty and not taking advantage of another (Williams 2012:48).
Among other things, the success of any government depends on trust because trust is anchored in perceptions of: (a) integrity, (b) inclusion, (c) fairness, (d) competence, (e) reciprocity and (f) reliability, all of which play a role in fostering excellent working relationships (Newell, Reeher & Ronayne 2012:1 & 13). In addition to trust, accountability also constitutes an important element in the relationship-building in governance networks. Accountability helps to alleviate the silo-approach to executing government tasks and, particularly, when budgets are allocated for the funding of programmes activities including housing (Khosrow-Pour 2005:98). The participants in government networks are accountable to each other because they are jointly responsible for the functioning and results of their networking activities. In addition, interaction and trust-building over a period of time create the sound intergovernmental and network relations that benefit all parties. In South Africa, the delivery of public services is one of the important roles of Parliament because the members of parliament represent the citizens who have elected them and should act as their voices (Madue 2014:860-861). The cooperative government and intergovernmental relations structures which have been established should also assist in this regard. The composition of the South African Parliament is discussed in section 3.3.


Public participation as a democratic right of expressing views

State intervention in decisions on the design and sizes of housing units is contrary to the freedom of choice which housing beneficiaries should enjoy if their housing needs are to be met (Ndinda, et al., 2011:765). Communities are often surprised during the implementation of activities that bear little or no relation to the decisions they sought through their public participation in the service delivery planning processes (Ramonyai, Segage & Tsheola 2014:396). It is this way that the rights of some citizens in democratic countries may be infringed. According to Newell in Newell, et al., (2012:33), it is essential that citizens are included in the decision-making processes that impact on their lives while public leaders must be able to solve the public problems facing the citizens. Service delivery planning should entail both public decision-making processes as well as the management of change in order to ensure the effective delivery of services, including water, electricity, roads and housing (Ramonyai, et al., 2014:396). The results revealed that the beneficiaries of the housing project under study had been involved from the planning to the allocation phases – see section 5.4.4. It is only through the constant watchfulness and criticism of public officials by citizens that a state will retain its integrity and usefulness.
All adults should be free to: (a) air their views by joining political groups, (b) engage in open discussions about the way in which the country ought to be governed and (c) protest by writing to politicians or taking part in demonstrations. Public refers to the community as a whole (Rogers 2012:60 & 77) while the public sphere is the sphere in which issues and opinions are: (a) taken up (input), (b) aggregated and structured into public opinion (throughput) and (c) then passed on to the political system (output) (Adolphsen 2012:30). Participation in the politics of their country is both an obligation and a right of the citizens of that country (Rose in Bernhagen, et al., 2009:12). Political participation encompasses all the activities by which citizens attempt to influence the selection of political leaders and the policies they pursue (Edwards, et al., 2012:11).
Political participation: (a) implies activities on the part of citizens which are aimed at influencing government structures, selection of government officials or policies, (b) may be pursued via voting stations or through public protests or demonstrations and (c) embraces both conventional and unconventional forms of political participation. Conventional political participation entails behaviours that are acceptable to the dominant cultures in a given situation and should be routine behaviour that uses the established institutions of representative government effectively and for the benefit of all citizens. On the other hand, unconventional political participation is relatively uncommon behaviour that challenges or defies the established institutions and dominant cultures and it is stressful to both the political participants and their opponents (Berry, et al., 2012:209). Effective participation implies that all citizens enjoy equal opportunities to express their preferences or views throughout the process of binding decision making (Rose in Bernhagen, et al., 2009:12 & 27). These preferences or views which are expressed by the citizens are important to policy makers because these preferences or views may be used to formulate specific policy development guidelines that are aimed at addressing a particular public issue (Deardorff 2013:193).
Civil or public servants are responsible for implementing government policies and serve as the main administrative tools of government in that they carry out government functions in the rendering of public services to communities. If there is to be effective adherence to democratic principles by democratic governments, it is important that civil servant systems be promoted. A civil servant system: (a) is a necessary tool that is used as a means of carrying out the mission of the state and the government, (b) is an important mechanism in the implementation of policy objectives and values and (c) plays a critical role in government and occupies a vital position as regards the functionality of the state and government (Tobin & Xiaoyun 2009:53-54). Du Toit in Doyle, et al., (2002:65-66) maintains that governance development should be the result of public administration and management activities. Governance development is what communities and their representatives want and it also brings changes in social, economic, political, physical and cultural conditions. However, Tobin and Xiaoyun (2009:54) are of the view that the development and implementation of many regulations and policies are dependent on civil service groups.
Civil servants play an important role in government affairs and, thus, their quality and also their capacity to meet the demands of their jobs directly determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the government’s performance. Governance development activities are executed through the public administration. As a field of practice, public administration is concerned with the implementation of government policies so as to enable the government of the day to function effectively and efficiently (Hanyane 2011:26). Public functioning in the South African context implies that activities are performed by the national, provincial and local government spheres in order to meet the community needs which have been identified (Robson 2006:1). It should be noted that case research is popular tool in public administration research approaches. For the purposes of this study the researcher, as a public administration student, used the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality as the case for this study. A case assists researchers to contribute to the existing knowledge base of a discipline (McNabb 2010:91). Municipalities are organs of state, as defined in sections 1.10.13 & 1.10.14 respectively, within the local government spheres, have both legislative and executive authorities as well as democratically elected representative leadership.

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background and rationale for the study
1.3 Importance of this study
1.4 Purpose of the study
1.5 Problem statement
1.6 Objectives of the study
1.7 Research scope and demarcation of the study
1.8 Limitations and delimitation of the study
1.9 Ethical considerations
1.10 Clarification of terms
1.11 Overview of chapters
1.12 Reference technique
1.13 Conclusion
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Decentralisation as a democratic governance model
2.3 Democracy as government by the people
2.4 Governance as a principle of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations
2.5 Major types of decentralisation commonly used by democratic countries
2.6 Democratic decentralisation in Germany, South Korea, Tanzania and Uganda
2.7 Conclusion
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Conceptualisation of government
3.3 Composition of the South African Parliament
3.4 Critical structures of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations
3.5 Cooperative government and intergovernmental relations mechanisms
3.6 Provision of adequate housing as a concurrent function of the three government spheres in South Africa
3.7 Conclusion
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Research design
4.3 Research methodology
4.4 Research data collection instruments
4.5 Data
4.6 Validity, reliability and trustworthiness
4.7 Ethical considerations
4.8 Conclusion
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Administration of the semi-structured questionnaires
5.3 Data analysis and interpretation of the results
5.4 Research questions
5.5 Conclusion
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Summary of the chapters
6.3 Findings
6.4 Recommendations
6.5 Areas of further study
6.6 Limitations of the study
6.7 Conclusion
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Some highlights from the literature review and the results of the study that justify the
development of an accountability tool
7.3 Conclusion
7. 4 List of sources

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