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A robust form of public participation may create confidence, trust, and understanding between the citizenry and the government, and help to clear the existing misconceptions. Another possible dividend that can be gained through meaningful public participation includes increased electoral participation. One of the most far reaching public participation dividends is the trust it builds between citizens and government.

The more the citizens know about what is happening in government, the more they understand the limitations of government and the role they play in it. Conclusion The importance of public participation cannot be overemphasised, particularly in the democratic states where the public is expected to be involved in the matters that concern it most. In the South African context, the need for public participation is enshrined in the Constitution.

This paper has acknowledged the existence of various public participation modes in South Africa, with special reference to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. However, the existing modes have proven to be less effective as the results of the above mentioned study has indicated. The paper has argued that the public is not adequately involved by the Legislature. The outreach programmes do not reach all the citizenry in the Gauteng Province as they are mostly targeting organised groups. The article has recommended an increased engagement of communities and other stakeholders in all the legislative processes in the Gauteng Province, and mainstreaming public participation across Committees alongside the mandates of law-making, oversight and cooperative governance.

The development of a well coordinated and integrated public participation programme, a sound feedback system, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, are among others the mechanisms that the Legislature should employ to maximise public participation, transparency and trust. Between the community call and the city hall: Public participation and the lack of service delivery before and after the local government elections in the Free State. Public participation in democratic South Africa: The public participation handbook: Participatory development in South Africa: Community agency and community engagement: Journal of Public Policy, 31 1 , Citizens at the center: Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 18 1 , The geopolitics of democracy and citizenship in Latin America, In C.

Public accountability and citizen demands: Journal of Public Administration, 42 3 , The role of civil society in promoting good governance in the RSA. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 70 3 , South Africans participation in local politics and government. Development of local government and decentralised service delivery in the democratic South Africa, In G.

Community capacity building or state opportunism. Community Development Journal, 40 3 , Participation and democratic theory. Qualitative research design as tool for trustworthy research. Journal of Public Administration, 44 4. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Municipal Structures Act, Act of Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of Municipal Property Rates Act, Act 6 of Community participation in the real world: Urban Studies, 44 2 , Developing the social economy in Ireland?

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 31 1 , Journal of Policy Studies, 27 3 , Several interventions have been introduced to confront these challenges, which include poverty, unemployment and skills shortage, with partial success. The literature review includes an analysis of documents issued by four municipalities as well by the former national Department of Provincial and Local Government. In this regard, an explanation of the concept of SMMEs is provided so as to contextualise the study.

Apart from the lack of funding, SMMEs appear to suffer from a lack of information, efficient production technologies, and the inadequate use of management and control systems. To further contextualise this study, the debate on local economic development LED in the South African local government sphere is presented to highlight the current challenges. Finally, drawing from the above context and discussions, a conceptual framework is articulated and presented, which is intended to assist municipalities to ensure that viable SMME strategies are developed. Introduction The challenges of developing countries, including South Africa, centre on how to ensure that development interventions are effective so that the majority of citizens benefit from the economic activities of the country.

This is because sustainable economic activities are necessary for the wellbeing of society. South Africa has provided numerous initiatives in response to developmental challenges. Interventions to promote local economic development include initiatives such as public—private partnerships as well as the promotion of small, medium and micro enterprises SMMEs. In this article, only the concept of SMMEs receives attention.

The purpose of this article is to propose a conceptual framework for municipalities in supporting SMMEs. The article is not intended as an analysis of whether SMMEs are successful as service providers, but rather, on whether a conducive environment for SMME success has been established. The concept of SMMEs is explained to clarify the point of departure.

Since SMMEs are embedded in LED, it becomes the responsibility of municipalities to ensure that the economic development challenges are responded to within a regulated and supported framework of SMMEs. Finally, a conceptual framework for SMME establishment and support is provided to indicate what municipalities should consider when adopting and implementing an SMME strategy. In this strategy, reference is made to the Constitution of and the White Paper on Local Government of The implication of this legislation is that the LED function of municipalities is not to create jobs directly, but to facilitate an overall economic and social environment that promotes the creation of job opportunities.

In response to its provincial economic challenges, the Gauteng Provincial Legislature has passed the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller Act 5 of , which provides provincial stipulations to tackle issues relating to small enterprise support in Gauteng province. This has led to the establishment of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller GEP as a provincial agency to give effect to this ordinance. The GEP, like the municipalities, serves as a facilitator in supporting sustainable small enterprise development, establishing guidelines for SMME development as well as providing advice, information, analysis and support for SMME policy implementation among other things.

While there is a close relationship between these four different characteristics, it should be emphasised that social development and economic growth, as well as the democratisation of development, should be regarded as key SMME features for sustainable LED. The White Paper also provides a framework within which municipalities must develop their own strategies for promoting the social and economic development of communities.

Developmental outcomes as mentioned and identified in this White Paper include the provision of household infrastructure and services; creation of liveable, integrated cities, towns and rural areas; local economic development; and community empowerment and redistribution. Local economic development LED is a policy for economic development that allows and encourages local people to work together to achieve sustainable economic growth and development. This policy should be aimed at bringing economic benefits and improved quality of life to all residents in a local municipal area.

Frieda Human, Lochner Marais and Lucius Botes view LED as a function of local government in an economic sense, which is required to create viable conditions conducive to the success of business activities. LED is concerned with the creation of an environment that will engage stakeholders in implementing strategies and programmes.

LED is about communities continually improving their investment conditions and business- an enabling environment to enhance their competitiveness, retain jobs and improve incomes. This is essentially what the understanding of the democratisation of development should be about. To ensure that LED policy may be translated into deliverables, the development of LED strategy within municipalities with a provincial and national alignment is imperative. Frieda Human, Lochner Marais and Lucius Botes promote a strategic approach to the development of local economies and a shift away from narrow municipal interests focused only on government inputs into ad hoc projects.

In effect, strategic planning ensures that priority issues are addressed and limited resources are utilised to the maximum. Once an LED strategy has been initiated, there is a need to ensure that its implementation is realised. In supporting the above notion, the five-step planning process as developed by the World Bank is detailed below, in which an attempt is made to apply the context to the concept of SMMEs in South African local government: Organising the Effort A community considers the LED policy planning process by identifying the local people, local public institutions, local businesses, local community organisations and other local groups of interest in the local economy that could establish and run SMMEs.

The skills and resources that each one of these stakeholders brings to the strategy process provide a critical foundation for success. A resource audit is a necessary input to the strategy, and should include the identification of financial, human and capital resources that can contribute to LED strategy. The goal of assessment is to create an economic profile of the communities and other regional, national and international competitors within the local economy. Developing the LED Strategy Most importantly, the LED strategy and action plans must be finely assessed against the staff resource capacity to carry them out, as well as budgetary constraints.

The aim is to leverage strength, overcome weaknesses, exploit opportunities and deal with threats to SMMEs. Ongoing monitoring is provided through formal structures identified and created in step one. Evaluation of specific project outcomes ensures that the strategy continues to lead to the achievement of the LED vision, goals and objectives through SMME activities. In undertaking strategy implementation, it is important to identify and establish the appropriate institutions SMMEs may use to carry out the plans.

Reviewing the LED Strategy Effective monitoring and evaluation techniques could help to quantify outcomes, justify expenditures, determine enhancements and adjustments, as well as develop good practices. It may be that the initial conditions have changed or that the assessment was incorrect for the local conditions.

The LED strategy that is intended to address SMME needs should evolve continuously to respond to the ever-changing competitive market environment. According to Rogerson , LED needs to be seen as having the following dimensions in order to evolve sufficiently and respond to the SMME approaches: For example, the establishment of a chicken cooperative company could be ideal.

Organising LED within the different spheres of government listed above is intended to give meaning to the way the concept of SMMEs could be expressed in municipalities. It is necessary to highlight that, since the SMMEs are embedded in LED, municipalities would require innovative approaches to satisfy the economic developmental needs of its community. This could be useful in realising the implementation of the SMME concept.

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In realising the implementation of LED strategy to improve the economic conditions of its community, the City of uMhlathuze has provided an exemplary strategy for implementation during the period — An outline of pertinent challenges that could hamper SMME development and success was undertaken while possible remedies and the role of the municipality in developing SMMEs were addressed. These include start-up and venture capital, local business centres, reforming the tendering policies, establishing a database, as well as monitoring and evaluating SMME activities.

To further understand the organisation of LED strategy, as well as satisfying SMME needs, Phila Xuza and Mark Swilling propose a consideration of institutionalising the different roles of stakeholders in municipalities. The intention of presenting LED strategy and its institutionalisation is to ensure that its implementation approaches to issues such as SMMEs are undertaken within a guided framework. Phila Xuza and Mark Swilling further allude to the notion that institutional arrangement and implementation of LED should be done with the following in giving further effect to SMME initiatives: One role of NGOs might be to find external resources other than those of government to support the LED projects of a municipality.

The involvement of donors in the development of South Africa is essential. However, this should be treated with caution, since such involvement is largely seen as a short-term solution for long-term problems. This is due to the limited amount of money that can be dispensed. In this regard, the local municipality should be able to engender sustainability in the established SMME projects. The formation of agencies could serve as an important initiative to support LED at all community levels for different activities.

The above institutional arrangements could also give meaning to the implementation of LED strategy realised through SMMEs, as argued in this article. This government action is developmental and stimulates the heart of the economy which comprises those enterprises that operate in local municipal spaces. The framework is underpinned by an appreciation of the evolving practice of LED internationally and is based on the unique South African context and challenges. The promulgation of the National Small Business Act, , gave formal recognition to the existence of the small business in South Africa.

This recognition served as a basis for the establishment and promotion of small businesses by all spheres of government. The recognition discussed in section 3 1 a—e of the NSB stipulates that a National Small Business Council be established to fulfil the following functions: This article focuses on the role of local government and its policy interventions to address developmental challenges for small business. This is because the creation of LED units and other methods on the institutionalisation of LED in local government requires an understanding of the different forms this implementation could take, including SMME development.

These included several women-driven entrepreneurial initiatives. Visagie espouses the recognition and value of the SMMEs in the generation of new employment and competitiveness, in which, the government must endeavour to bring SMMEs into a regulatory framework for labour standards. The South African municipalities are facing the enormous challenge of poverty, which requires interventions to improve the conditions of the poor. The introduction of the SMME concept requires that the municipal role be clarified, not as a business owner, but as a facilitator of an environment conducive to the development of business initiatives by community members.

Rogerson provides examples of SMMEs in most African countries which include handicrafts, speciality food outlets and tourism. This identification is necessary, because SMME policy should support specific sectors within a particular municipality. Rogerson further quotes a study by the World Bank regarding value chains within a particular area of SMME operation, such as tourism, to ensure that there is an understanding of the business environment.

In this regard, municipalities are expected to become the major role players in LED in creating an opportune policy environment to facilitate SMME activities in the following ways: They are any entity, whether or not incorporated or registered under any law, consisting mainly of persons operating small enterprise concerns in any economic sector, and established for the purpose of promoting the interests of small enterprises. One of the challenges faced by SMMEs in South Africa remains their inability to maintain effective presence within the economic system for a relatively long period of time.

However, as earlier discussed, this is not the focal point of this article. The presence of supporting entities in the economic system and the vitality of this role suggest that SMME programmes and projects should reasonably operate in a favourable environment created by municipalities. It is the aim of the South African government through legislation and other policies to support the development of sustainable local economies through integrated government action.

This developmental action stimulates the heart of the economy, which consists of a collection of enterprises including cooperatives that operate in local municipal areas. In this regard, LED strategy is not about what municipalities do, but more critically what the three spheres of government do together with municipalities in supporting the generation of local economies through functional and effective SMMEs. In order to unpack the notion of SMMEs within municipalities in the context of this article, it is necessary first to understand the conceptualisation of LED as applied in this article.

The discussion of the common characteristics of LED as seen in public—private partnerships, as well as SMMEs such as food outlets used in municipal programmes, illustrates the bond between them, since they are more related than distinct. This analogy explains the nature of their power and influence, and the contributions they can make to the economy of South Africa.

The common characteristics identified include several areas such as the following: This is because LED strategies are required to offer both municipalities and the private sector including SMME initiatives the opportunity to work together to improve the local economy. This interplay should be aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of various SMMEs and should encourage sustainable growth that is inclusive and participatory for the community.

On one hand, LED strategy should be understood to be a result of actions and interventions of local government and the constant improvement and integration of national priorities and programmes in the local sphere Nel On the other, SMME development and operation should be construed to be an outcome of LED strategy aimed at enhancing the living conditions of communities.

According to Rogerson , LED processes and business cycles at times operate on different scales with varied implications, while there are some commonalities when devising policies and strategies. Hence, project development within the LED sphere, in particular within emerging areas, needs to incorporate the needs of SMMEs during the start-up phase.

For example, the need is not only for business advice and support, but also for the provision of business infrastructure, because this is generally inadequate in many municipal areas both poor and rich, although to differing degrees. This is intended to enhance the management and implementation of economic development strategies that are participatory, realistic, feasible and viable for development opportunities.

The fact that a strong community participation culture within municipalities has not taken place outside party political influence means that SMMEs are faced with enormous pressure to ensure the inclusion of the general community. They produce locally made and branded products for the domestic and international market that are of high quality and appeal to the needs of different consumers. Despite support from the government to ensure that SMMEs are owned by local cooperatives, this has not been sufficiently realised, as many of the businesses are largely owned by individuals within municipalities.

Through these policies and strategies, municipalities have strategically channelled resources and support to promote SMME development. The main challenge, however, is to develop and implement sound monitoring systems to guide the measuring of performance against outcomes achieved. This could offer the potential to link economies and accelerate growth directly by public—private sector investment and through facilitating the strategic development of competitive advantage. The performance of a local economy is dependent on both effective local governance and the input of other spheres of government in local spheres.

An example is the establishment of Seda by the Department of Trade and Industry. The involvement of both provincial and local government is necessary in the establishment and sustained support of SMMEs. However, the challenge is always how to manage the interplay among these stakeholders. Challenges including duplication of resources and lack of coordination of activities have not been fully addressed thus far.

This could increase the sophistication of SMME projects and avoid their oversimplification, which could decrease innovation and contribution to local economic growth. To further consolidate the argument regarding the need to understand the concept of SMMEs as distinct from LED as described above, a conceptual framework for the improvement of SMME initiatives within municipalities is discussed below.

They have played a vital role in creating jobs, spurring innovations, and creating new products, and thus contributed to economic vitality and growth. However, in considering the situation in African countries, there are several impediments that have to be removed in order for SMMEs to flourish. Most notably, according to Kim , African countries lack the governmental capacity necessary to properly support the development of local SMMEs.

It is also difficult to obtain a licence. Additionally, proof of premises and requirements for large amounts of capital and high qualifications stifle growth. SMMEs are heavily taxed. However, it is said that the existing legal system provided a more favourable environment for international companies. Consequently, it became impossible for local SMMEs to compete with international firms that have greater know-how and capital. Information about contracts is not made available to local providers and there are perceptions of a lack of transparency.

Management competence is often determined by the availability of management and financial information.

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Lack of financial sources is often reported as the major obstacle for businesses, including lack of financial planning and control, bookkeeping and profit realisation. Hence, a proper financial history and business operation is crucial for success as well as recognition by potential financiers. It is also common knowledge that business managers reward themselves with bonuses and incentives before a turnaround profit is realised. Entrepreneurs need to be technologically aware and understand the business systems and operations.

Innovations and upgrading of existing systems need a boost. Marketing factors such as poor location and structures, inability to interact with potential clients and customers and lack of a customer-friendly approach also impact on the success and elevation of SMMEs. Despite their important contribution to the socioeconomic development of South Africa, many SMMEs are exposed to the high cost of the fraud wave currently engulfing corporate South Africa. Appropriate measures such as internal controls and whistle blowing should be put in place to curb the scourge.

Accordingly, procedures and mechanisms should be put in place to alleviate the problem and sustain the business operations. There is an overreliance on the single ownership manager of most small firms and there is a reluctance to move away from this managerial tendency on the part of the owner-manager.

Small Medium and Micro Enterprises: A Conceptual Framework Proposition Considering the pivotal role that municipalities are required to play in establishing conditions conducive to SMME development, it is necessary to understand and propose viable approaches for South African municipalities. This understanding is premised on the fact that the introduction of the concept of SMMEs has not substantively benefited poor people in South Africa.

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This is despite municipalities in general having introduced the formalisation of LED units which have initiated SMME projects in local communities. A conceptual proposition customised for South African local government could assist in the improvement of economic conditions in this regard. In order to ensure functional SMME initiatives that respond to the developmental agenda of the government in South Africa, several aspects that should be heeded are identified and explained below.

Municipal initiatives and programmes must seek to ensure that adequate support and delivery mechanisms exist across the entrepreneurship continuum. This means that every phase from pre-start-up to start-up, business survival, growth and expansion, and turnaround of ailing businesses should be carefully planned. A key question has been whether government should provide finance directly to address the requirements put forward by the private banking and financial service sector in supporting the development of SMMEs.

One of the key challenges of these SMMEs is their inability to attract and maintain a qualified workforce for securing productivity and profitability. The SMME strategy should seek to provide training opportunities for needy members of the community. A strategy is required for managing diversity which takes into consideration the effects on SMMEs of cultural, racial, gender, age and other kinds of diversity.

SMMEs need to engage in the establishment of relationships with appropriate financial service providers. Some providers may offer SMMEs the opportunity to undertake their activities within appropriate business premises conducive to productivity. Therefore, the establishment and support of SMME initiatives could provide much-needed assistance to meet the local challenges of economic development. The conceptual framework is proposed to help South African municipalities take a proactive stance in attempting to understand the concept of SMMEs.

This could serve as a necessary basis for municipalities to facilitate conditions suitable for SMME establishment and support, to promote sustainable local economic growth. Municipalities have the potential to influence their economies by contributing directly or indirectly to job creation in their areas of jurisdiction. However, it is not the primary responsibility of municipalities to create jobs, but rather to facilitate conditions for job creation.

This article indicated that the readiness of local government to adopt the concept of SMMEs and apply it as an LED strategy has not been sufficient to respond to the developmental challenges they face. One of the main factors in the success of any small business is the existence of a real business opportunity. It is not enough that the business opportunity exists; of more importance is the manner in which the opportunity is exploited or seized.

Therefore, the article concludes that, among other things, the improvement of infrastructure, such as technological applications and transport, should be incorporated into the SMME implementation strategy. This should be the key vehicle for localised enterprise support. This should be complemented with a network of sector-specific business support service providers. The best way of achieving this should be explored by SEDA with the aim of ensuring that access to relevant support is broadened and localised.

It is critical that municipalities develop strategic relationships with SEDA and provide the necessary information to their communities. It is equally critical that SEDA uses the municipalities and information services to extend the reach and range of its services and be perceived to be local and driven and locally owned. Transformational leadership in SMEs. Journal for Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. Making Plans Against all Odds: Challenges and the role of Government for the future. Republic of South Africa, Constitution, , Pretoria: Republic of South Africa, Local Government: Municipal Systems Partnerships Act 32 of , Pretoria: Pro-poor intervention for Local Economic Development: Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand.

World Bank and Cities of Change Initiative. Institutional arrangements for Local economic development implementation, in Consolidating Developmental Local Government: It is such a challenge that compelled the present government to identify various alternative strategies that will enhance service delivery, hence the birth of an idea to establish Multipurpose Community Centers MPCCs , which later became known as Thusong Service Centers TSCs , to serve as the vehicle in enhancing service delivery.

The aim of this study was to evaluate if the MPCCs herein also referred to as TSCs or Centers established by the South African government do enhance service delivery to the previously marginalized communities. The study was conducted in three provinces in South Africa, and in each province three municipalities where TSCs have been established were randomly chosen on the basis of their geographical location, namely rural, semi-urban and urban areas where previously marginalized communities dwell. Stratified random sampling was utilized in gathering information as the researcher targeted four population groups, namely the beneficiaries of services, government officials who service clients in the TSCs, center managers and provincial coordinators of the TSCs.

The researcher utilized structured questionnaires to gather information from beneficiaries of services, semi-structured interview schedule for government officials, and an observation sheet to record how TSCs operate, and whether the government officials practice Batho Pele Principles in serving recipients of services. This article argues that although the introduction of such Centers was a noble idea and that the household access to basic services has changed for the better in certain communities, the Centers have not been successful in accelerating services in some communities as revealed by the study.

One of the reasons these Centers are not successful is lack of consultation by government with communities and other relevant stakeholders in the establishment of some Centers to establish what services need to be rendered. Furthermore, some Centers do not have adequate physical and human resources, and the managers running these Centers are not adequately trained in managerial and other relevant skills.

The study also revealed that lack of funding makes it impossible for these Centers and services rendered sustainable, and lack of communication and coordination of activities between departments utilizing the Centers render integrated service delivery. The article concludes by giving recommendations that were carefully drawn from the analysis of the findings and the entire study. Introduction The advent of democracy in South Africa in and the demise of the apartheid regime brought hope to millions that were deprived of decent basic services.

The democratically elected government led by the African National Congress, however, was faced with a monumental challenge of addressing the inherited inequalities of the past in, among other things, the provisioning of basic services. Previously inequality and segregation based on race and Color prevailed, therefore the new government was obliged to transform the public service in order to provide quality services to all citizens on an equitable basis, regardless of race, Color and population group. As mentioned by Harsch , 12 , democracy ushered a new dispensation as far as the provision of basic services to citizens.

However, the inequalities created by the apartheid regime would still linger for a long time. A few years after democracy came into being; service delivery to the previously marginalized still remained a big challenge for the newly elected government. Levin , 78 , the former Director-General in the Department of Public Service and Administration, acknowledged the fact that the South African Public Service was to a certain extent inaccessible particularly to those in remote and or rural areas due to transport costs that were high and unaffordable.

He further stated that lack of information and communication makes it impossible for ordinary citizens that were previously disadvantaged to be aware of what the government offers as far as benefits and services are concerned. According to Pahad , , in the Cabinet mandated GCIS to roll out the program as the pilot project in the delivery of services. The reason for delegating this program to GCIS was that the Department as mouth-piece of government had to ensure that citizens become active participants in government and are well informed on the services they are supposed to be receiving.

The Centers were seen as the vehicle that will speed up service delivery and improve the lives of citizens by bringing services closer to them, particularly the poor and previously disadvantaged. In order for the programme to be successful, as mentioned by the Government Communication and Information Service GCIS, , the national and provincial public institutions had to be involved in developing an effective community-centered communication, with the main focus on integrated service delivery offered in one locality, that is, citizens have to access a number of services in one place.

The Government Communication and Information System GCIS and its provincial counterpart, the Government Information Centers GICs , were to support the TSCs initiative by continually assessing information needs in communities and developing creative ways to meet these; identifying and promoting the utilization of the most appropriate mediums available in each area; working with communities and all the stakeholders involved to develop creative ways of passing on messages for all-round development; organizing events for national, provincial, local and other stakeholder leadership to interact with communities; helping communities understand and utilizing all available sources of information including radio, TV and the internet; promoting the need to maintain specific focus on gender, youth and other sectoral issues; and sustaining intergovernmental relationships between national, provincial and local government.

The Concept of Multipurpose Community Centers According to Benjamin , 2 a Multipurpose Community Centre is an adequately resourced establishment in which government provides diverse services to a community in an efficient, cost effective manner, and enables a community to develop itself through programs initiated by both government and a community involved.

Service delivery in the Centre needs to be integrated, where information and a variety of services can be accessed by a community in one place within five minutes of a residence. A Centre is also to empower the poor and marginalized through access to information, services that were expensive to obtain, and resources from both government and non-governmental organizations for community development.

In other words, access to information by communities was perceived as the driving force to development. The concern was that recipients of services often struggled to get prompt services because of inefficient officials who would send them from one office to another. Government Communication and Information Service further states that for integrated service delivery to be successful, all stakeholders need to play an important role. It is not only government that needs to utilize such buildings, but also the nongovernmental organizations NGOs , community-based Organizations CBOs , parastatals and private sector.

Expanding further on community involvement in the affairs of government on matters that affect them directly and in the development of their socio-economic status, Chiliza This is further articulated by Mubangizi , 6 who states that the Government needs to have people-centered programs of development that are based on meeting both the material and non-material human needs.

The need for TSCs in South Africa From , the Government engaged itself in improving strategic planning and management in order to effectively implement the plethora of policies developed for the betterment of lives of citizens, particularly those that were disadvantaged prior to The managers of public institutions were entrusted with the responsibility of implementing these policies.

One of the challenges faced by the managers was the turnaround time between decision making and implementation that extended to 18 months because of bureaucracy which often caused lack of communication between different levels of authority. Other challenges facing institutions are shortage of office administrators who have basic administrative skills, leadership that cannot take prompt decisions, and the non-implementation and monitoring of Batho Pele Principles in public institutions Ramaite The above-mentioned challenges had a negative effect on service delivery, particularly in the remote areas of the country where the poorest of the poor are found.

It therefore became imperative that government should introduce an innovative strategy that would further transform public service delivery in order to take care of the needs of those that are unreachable, thus the birth of MPCCs also known as Thusong Service Centers. The Centers would offer services from three spheres of Government, availing as many services as possible in a single place. The target is to establish one Centre in each of the local municipalities that will have representatives from various departments who will expedite services like social grants, identity documents, passports, housing and any other relevant service by the year GCIS The roll-out plan ran from October to March in a form of pilot projects in rural and areas where communities have not been receiving adequate services.

By the year there were already Centers and satellites throughout the whole country GCIS With these Centers the Government aimed at covering 43 districts and 6 Metropolitan Municipalities by the end of March In the same year, there were 54 TSCs and 7 satellite sites established throughout the country and by the end of there were already 60 Centers.

About 96 TSCs were already established by the end of March , as the Government was determined to expand infrastructure for citizens to access information and services. By the end of March , TSCs were in operation. Services offered in these Centers are supposed to be client-oriented and need to vary according to the needs and demands at the time. They range from giving advice on education to health matters and any other relevant issue to the community. People who come to these Centers include jobseekers, community organizations that may require information on internet, small businesses that require consultation to get ideas on how to write a business proposal for tendering purposes, development officers that may need telephone, fax and email services GCIS In these Centers communities get empowered through access to information not only to government services but also to NGOs, parastatals, business and any other relevant institution.

Each Centre is expected to have a minimum of six Government departments that will offer a variety of services to clients GCIS In his State of the Nation Address President Thabo Mbeki emphasized that his administration was committed to offer better services to communities, and therefore every municipality must have an MPCC by the year Services rendered in these Centers vary according to the needs of the communities. Community Development Workers and NGOs will use these Centers for developmental projects that will empower communities to be economically skilled to fend for themselves, other than depending on government grants and handouts.

According to Pahad ,7 the GCIS Thusong Service Centers Business Plan , there are supposed to be three categories of TSCs which offer six types of integrated services, and they are hubs, satellite and mobile service units. These categories were identified on the basis of different services offered, the frequency of offering those services, and also on the availability of infrastructure and facilities. The infrastructure of the hub and satellite Centers in different provinces can be offered in different forms. For instance, it can be one big building that offers a variety of services under one roof, separate buildings that are very close to one another, or buildings scattered in a wider area, preferably utilising existing infrastructure to cut the costs.

The Government proposed that such Centers may be established in already existing buildings such as shopping Centers or buildings that are privately owned. Mobile units may be based at a hub but not bound in one position; they have to be moved from one place to another, stopping at defined points. The population density determines what type of centre to be provided to a particular community National Treasury Research Method The research required the researcher to be in different places to collect and analyze data that would be used to evaluate if the introduction of TSCs in South Africa has improved service delivery, particularly in areas that were disadvantaged during the apartheid era.

The researcher saw it necessary to use both the qualitative and quantitative approaches. For this research the following data collecting methods were employed: The sample was representative of all population groups to avoid bias. The researcher used two different types of samples, and they are the beneficiaries of services who are also referred to as clients, and officials who are responsible to render services to clients.

The latter represents the knowledgeable population because of experience, position, and information in the field of service delivery. They are officials who hold senior position in the public service and are directly involved with policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The former represents citizens who benefit from services rendered. It was crucial to get information from them as they experience service delivery first hand.

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The study was conducted in three provinces in South Africa, and in each province three municipalities where Centers have been established were randomly chosen on the basis of their geographical location, namely rural, semi-urban and urban areas where previously marginalized communities dwell. The structured interview schedule, directed to nine managers and 18 government officials working in the Centers, served as a tool to ask questions that are written down in their correct order as they appear on the interview schedule, ensuring that both the researcher and the interviewee do not deviate from the pertinent issues that will enable the researcher to reach the objectives of the research.

The schedule had Sections A and B. Section A composed of nineteen questions, focused on biographical details of respondents, and Section B with seven questions, intended to inform the researcher about the types of resources available at the Centers. The semi-structured interviews were directed to three key role-players and strategic provincial government officials who are responsible for the Centers in their respective provinces, and three Senior Communications in Centers where the study was conducted. These are in direct contact with various Centers in provinces where they have been placed, and have in- depth information on the operation of Centers.

The semi-structured interviews were directed to two government employees working in each centre who interact face-to-face with clients on a daily basis. The total number of government employees interviewed in the three provinces using semi- structured interviews was eighteen six in each province.

The questionnaires were designed to obtain information relevant to the objectives of the research, and had eighteen questions divided into four categories, namely the biography of respondents, their knowledge of TSCs, customer service as per the Batho Pele Principles, and a section on whether the Centers are bringing projects that will uplift the socio-economic standard of communities. In this research the researcher used a structured observation sheet to record how Centers operate, the infrastructure, surrounding environment, how staff treated clients and general observations about the functioning of the Centers.

The sheet focused on the geographical details of the Centers, taking into consideration aspects such as the distance of the Centers from the community, mode of reaching the Centre by the clients, accessibility of the Centre to clients, the availability of furniture and safety equipment, whether the vision and mission of the Centre and Batho Pele principles were displayed, and general behavior and attitude of personnel towards clients and other visitors of the Centers.

As stated by Welman, Kruger, and Mitchell, Although the respondents have secondary education, most of them are unemployed and do not have necessary skills that are needed in the labor market. The Centers, therefore, were a beacon of hope in the creation of employment opportunities. Respondents according to level of education 2 6. This is due to the fact that the discriminatory laws that were passed by the apartheid regime that promoted inhumane and unjust forced removals that led to classification of inhabitants according to race.

Areas that were mostly marginalized are historically black townships, followed by Indian and Colored residential areas. For that reason, the 2 Respondents in this section refers to community members where these Centres have been established, who are supposed to be recipients of services. Most teens interviewed said that they visit the Centers either to apply for identity documents or birth certificates, as some were accompanied by parents or guardians. The majority of those that fell between the ages solely came for child support grant which was introduced by government in for persons responsible for looking after a child younger than 15 years old.

These parents are mostly single and earn R28 Many of the respondents who fall between 40 and 59 years of age visit the Centers for social grants and were looking for job opportunities. This is due to the fact most households were headed by single females that were both young, unemployed see Figure 4 below or pensioners. As mentioned before, most households were headed by single female parents. Respondents According to Marital Status 6. This is due to the fact that most respondents are unemployed and do not have steady income as depicted in Figure 8. These are the residents that get less than a dollar per day.

They often go to the Centers, particularly to the Department of Labour, with the hope of finding employment. Respondents who get a gross income from R1 Respondents who fall in the R9 and above category are at one percent.

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Respondents according to their income 7. Utilization of Centers These Centers were supposed to be the nucleus of community development by offering education, knowledge, and providing relevant basic services and projects to benefit communities. Although certain Centers have libraries, schools, clinics and other relevant facilities, some Centers are not optimally utilized.

The reason given by respondents who are recipients of services is that services rendered are not the ones needed by them, in other words a Centre was placed in the community and services provided were of no relevance to the community. Again, some Centers that have telephone facilities charge clients for the use of the equipment, and therefore are not accessible to ordinary citizens who do not have money.

  1. Сведения о продавце.
  2. The Temptress: The scandalous life of Alice, Countess de Janzé.
  3. This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies.
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  5. Skills Development and Economic Projects One of the objectives of establishing such Centers was to bring projects that will equip communities with the development of necessary skills that will enable them to be employers. The Centers were also expected to bring about job opportunities that will benefit communities such as construction of roads, toilets and houses by municipalities, and upgrading of the sewage system.

    The survey, however, showed that Centers seldom brought projects for the benefit of communities. Skills Development and Projects Brought by Centers 9. Batho Pele Principles are meant to serve as guidelines for achieving quality service delivery. The aim was to determine if the principles were practiced by government officials in the carrying of their duties in the Centers. Are staff members in the centre very helpful and demonstrate an acceptable behaviour and attitude that is of high standard? Courtesy is that behavior or gestures that should be exhibited by providers of services to clients.

    According to these clients, treatment meted on recipients of services by officials in the Centers was bad. This kind of behavior made clients feel they were not valued and unimportant. Even though the bad attitude of officials was reported to the relevant superiors, the disrespectful behavior of officials still continues. Are your complaints addressed by the concerned departments in the centre? Redress is one of the ways that an organization can be able to evaluate itself as far as service delivery is concerned.

    One way of knowing whether customers are satisfied or not is to listen to their compliments and complaints. In many instances complaints are attended to, but very late, which makes clients feel that the service they get is not worth the money they pay. It is noteworthy that respondents also mentioned that government officials do not take kindly to complaints. Complaints addressed by relevant departments Openness and Transparency Q: Are you informed as a community member how the Centre operates, and how money is spent on services you are supposed to be receiving?

    Openness and Transparency Information Q: Does the centre provide up-to-date, easy to understand information concerning services rendered? The latter said there were brochures and information leaflets offered to them when they visit the Centers. Those who strongly disagreed contest that there are no road shows that take place and that in itself is a barrier to information flow. They also alleged that councilors and government officials do not bother bringing necessary information to them.

    Again, these Centers were supposed to have fully fledged computer laboratories that would enhance knowledge and bring information to communities on health, education and economy. In some Centers visited the computer laboratories were not functional, and others were not fully utilized because of illiteracy level of communities that served as a stumbling block in the usage of computers. Centers providing up-to-date and easy to understand information Other Challenges Identified The following challenges were identified when using the structured interview schedule to interview the nine managers of the Centers and eighteen government officials placed in these Centers.

    That is a major concern as these managers are expected to enforce Batho Pele Principles, and abide by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, especially Chapter Two that has the Bill of Rights and Chapter Ten that deals with public service issues. The managers blame employers for not offering induction program to newly recruited managers, particularly on legislation, in order to equip them with necessary knowledge. They are employed, put into Centers and left on their own without proper support. They have to learn through trial and error. The issue of low salaries was raised by a number of employees as one of the causes of demotivation.

    Finally, staff members allege that they do not get the needed support from their respective departments. Bringing the departments together, and the availability of online services in the Centers will enable these departments to work together and know the details of what the other departments are offering, and what documentation is needed from clients to access a certain service. This will prevent a client waiting on a queue for a long time and be turned away at the counter because of standing in the wrong queue.

    Again, integrated service delivery was envisaged to eliminate traveling from one department to another by the client and in the process time is lost. Although these Centers are in operation, there is still lack of government departments working together to ensure that the Centers serve their purpose: Only one person stands between the president's plan and its execution. Sixty year-old Winnie Anne Holmstead owns an acre of prime beach on Lake Michigan, just north of Muskegon and she will do almost anything to preserve the lake for future generations.

    She uses her knowledge of science and human nature to try to sabotage the Chicago-based diversion. In , Winnie, at age 80, dictates a letter to her four grandchildren. She is a wanted felon for sabotaging a federal facility and she wants to set the record straight. Eleven years later, her grandson, Jackson Holmstead, sets out to prove to his satisfaction the truth of her narrative. The investigation leads him to some memorable Michigan characters and in the process of investigating his Gram Winnie, he discovers a great deal about himself.