Repository logo

Governance in food security programmes in the OR Tambo District, South Africa.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Using a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews, this study investigated the role of organisational culture, coordination, planning, monitoring, and evaluation and how they affect good governance, i.e., effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, and the approach to governance in food security programmes in the OR Tambo District. Literature is often silent on factors impacting food security governance in rural municipalities. Fifty-eight purposively selected individuals participated in the face-to-face interviews. Collected data was analysed using Thematic analysis. The study finds that organisational culture impacts good governance in the implementation of food security programmes. The Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) and the Department of Social Development mainly use the top-down approach, with the local government mainly using a bottom-up approach to the implementation of programmes. Within this context, the lower-level employees of DRDAR feel that they are not involved in decision-making. Further, some state agencies implementing food security programmes are highly centralised while others are decentralised. The centralisation of certain services by the Head Office of the DRDAR to address procurement delays, are only effective when decisions are taken timeously when there were contracts with service providers. It was also established that most challenges faced by food security policy implementation in the District are attributed to planning and coordination while the one-size-fits-all approach used in project implementation is detrimental to efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness. It is recommended that food security implementation finds a solution to the challenges of planning, coordination, and the politics-administration dichotomy. Further, effective consequence management mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation are to be established to enhance programme effectiveness. A favourable work climate and organisational learning will go a long way in improving programme impact. The theoretical contribution of the study is that contrary to the notion that the bureaucratic approach to governance is 'long dead', food security implementation in the Eastern Cape, specifically in the OR Tambo District, still retains many aspects of a bureaucratic approach. Further, contrary to the general belief that the New Public Management has replaced the bureaucratic approach as a model of public policy implementation, this study found very little evidence to support that notion.


Doctoral Degree, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.