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Training and development for public governance: a case study of the department of government communication & information systems in South Africa.

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It has been previously observed that all components of the public service are impaired by a deficiency in expertise and professionalism. Studies have shown that many workers in the public sector have not performed well because of a lack of basic training and development (T&D). In order to enhance organisational efficiency and the ability of employees to provide high-quality services to the public, T&D of public servants are required to ensure the development of effective skills and practices. Drawing upon governance theory, human capital theory and learning theories, this study explored T&D in the Department of Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS). In addition, through the use of a mixed methods design, the study aimed to provide evidence of the inherent weaknesses that currently exist in the public sector, using the case of the GCIS, when it comes to the systematic planning, implementation and evaluation of T&D. A method involving documentary research, interviews (13), and surveys was used in the study (108 questionnaires). The research attempted to show how T&D is implemented and evaluated in the GCIS department by using both qualitative and quantitative enquiry methods. The findings show that, despite the existence of T&D policies and different training frameworks, different obstacles continue to obstruct its successful implementation in the GCIS. These include a lack of standardised training, supervisory support and rigid and lengthy implementation processes. These challenges militate against training leading to increased capacity in the public sector and addressing the skills challenge that hinders national development, social development, economic development and progress in the attainment of the government’s developmental goals at large. The findings will be of interest to public sector human capital development practitioners and researchers alike, as they have several practical implications. There is a need to establish a robust legislative framework that is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the training needs of the employees. Another finding of this study is that there is an urgent need for the implementation of training programmes that reflect the individual needs of employees in the GCIS. Overall, this study reinforces the idea that the systematic and appropriate implementation of T&D is crucial in order to improve the quality of public sector services.


Doctoral Degrees. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.