Spoils and meritocracy: post-apartheid challenges in the South African public service
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The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa calls for equality for every citizen in the country. However, 22 years into democracy, there are perceived injustices in the public service at all levels of government. This is laden with a plethora of interpretations as shown by the introduction of South Africa's Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Affirmative Action, where previously disadvantaged people are now employed by the government, in most cases, without meeting the relevant requirements. These developments bring techniques and tools for achieving effective human resources management into question. The same also questions all available behaviourists' paradigms of maximising the roles of bureaucrats towards development in the country. This brings into focus the need to contextualise the twin concepts of spoils and meritocracy in appointment, recruitment and promotion in government departments and parastatals. Because some people, or their families and loyalists, are believed to have contributed greatly to the political liberation of the country, they have been unduly absolved of the hierarchy of the public service, regardless of their educational qualifications and relevant experience.
- Faculty of Humanities