Public administration processes towards self-determination : a case of Ndwedwe rural women and the Zibambele project.
Thusi, Vusumuzi Eugene.
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The Zibambele programme is a KwaZulu-Natal poverty alleviation project initiated by the Department of Transport (DoT) with its recruitment pool dominated by rural women who are female-heads of households. The project creates job opportunities for people living in poverty, and encourages rural women who participate as contractors to strive to conquer their circumstances by empowering themselves. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the contribution of this project towards self-determination of rural women. The study assesses the public administration processes applied by the DoT for the successful implementation of the project to meet the needs of the society. Ndwedwe Local Municipality was identified as the place to conduct the research since it forms part of the deep rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal province affected by poverty where more than fifty per cent of households are female-headed. Most contractors are aged 51 years and above with no formal education. A case study research design was used in the study as it allows for multiple research methods for data collection. A mixed research method was conducive for the study as it is composed of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. A focus group discussion of nine contractors was conducted as part of the qualitative method at the DoT Depot. Through the quantitative research method seven hundred survey questionnaires were sent to 700 contractors and 473 surveys were returned to the researcher. Data collected through the qualitative method were analysed using thematic analysis, while data collected through quantitative research method were analysed using SPSS and descriptive analysis producing tables and graphs. Findings demonstrate the public administration processes used to implement the Zibambele project. Findings further show that contractors can now receive monthly salary although this is not enough to meet their basic needs. Therefore, they are encouraged to form savings clubs to save money for accumulating for their future needs. Recommendations from the study include, amongst others, a decentralization of the Zibambele officers from a district level to allow local municipalities to exercise full control and monitoring towards supervisors.