Performance management in the South African Department of Labour : smoke and mirrors?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This article examines performance management in the South African Department of Labour looking at the roles of the national office, provincial offices and labour centres. The research objective was to identify the problems and obstacles in implementing both the organisational and individual performance management system. A single case-study method was followed and use was made of a semi-structured questionnaire. The findings were that, although there are well developed performance management frameworks, they have not really been successfully implemented. There are four categories of impediments affecting the implementation of performance management. The first category is that of problems of measurement and design. The second category is that of the gaming of the system and a lack of compliance in the signing and evaluation of individual performance agreements by senior officials. The third category is lack of capacity which includes inadequate information technology systems and poor quality of staff. The fourth category is that of accountability. There needs to be strong accountability of bureaucracies if performance is to be taken seriously and public bureaucracies are to work effectively.