Analysing the intricacies of performance management systems in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation.
Mkhize, Langelihle Nkululeko.
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Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the first democratic government has been transforming public service delivery. To this end, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, and other legislative frameworks, pronounced the significance of performance management systems. The uneven performance of the public service in South Africa has led to the promulgation of set legislations which seek to respond to public needs. There are distinct driving forces that may cause barriers to the PMS execution (Ammons, 2001). Despite such drastic measures made to mitigate poor service delivery, public institutions are still faced with challenges in the implementation of PMS. The study seeks to provide a perspective on the intricacies of PMSs, using the case of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation (KZNDSR). The study used a qualitative research design with the intention of obtaining a comprehensive insight into, and opinions on the experience of the study’s participants. The study adopted a phenomenological research strategy. Data was collected using in-depth, one on one, recorded interviews, which include 15 interviewees, with the assistance of an interview guide. The study employed a non-probability strategy and also adopted a purposive sampling technique. Data quality control was ensured through trustworthiness of the data, while data was analysed using thematic analysis. In the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation the following challenges were identified by the study: inconsistent and erratic filling of PMS documents, PMS being human-resource driven, lack of strong performance culture (money driven), and lack of perceived fairness in the implementation of the performance management system. This study’s contribution will add value to the existing body of knowledge, thereby providing insight into what needs to be done, in an attempt to improve PMS implementation. Little is known on how PMSs can improve performance (Sanger, 2013). The study seeks to fill this void. In an effort to mitigate the identified challenges, the following recommendations are proposed: continuous training and development, appointment of a PMS specialist, recognition and rewarding of good performers, alignment of the performance management system with other strategic documents supporting service delivery, monitoring and evaluation, and dissemination of feedback.