The Effects of Political Leadership on Public Administration Within South African Local Government

22 Nov 2018

Politics-administration interface is perceived as the heart of practice of public administration and aims at fostering relationships between administrators on one hand and political leaders and the public on another hand. The interface is the direct opposite of the dichotomy and advocates for a complementary model to be adopted where both politicians and administrators work hand in hand. Woodrow Wilson, widely acknowledged as the founder of Public Administration as an academic discipline, famously asserted that proper administrative questions were not political questions, meaning political questions are different from administrative questions. In his view, politics was outside the purview of public administration. However, it can be argued that politics cannot be separated from public administration because one needs the other. The findings indicate that politics do play an important role in public administration of the country however; the problem starts when the discipline of public administration tries to separate the two. The academic writings try to separate politics from administration nevertheless; it may be possible in writing but difficult in practice. Hence the paper seeks to probe the effects that politics has on public administration specifically in South African public administration. The political leadership in the South African context contributes to the effectiveness of public administration in the country. The paper seeks to analyse the benefits or rather seeks to look at how the political leadership contributes or affect running of public administration. Furthermore, the relationship between politicians and administrators at the local level is the point of view. A comprehensive literature survey or review in the study was the most important research method to gather relevant data that supports the study. Thus, recommendations are that, since politics cannot be separated from administration in practice, the relationship between political leadership and public administration should be strengthened.