Implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa
Bartlett, Andrew Willie
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In 2001 the first Human Resource Development Strategy of South Africa (HRDSA) was implemented. The lack of institutional arrangements, structures, procedures, processes and capacity and the location of the HRDSA, 2001, at both the then Departments of Education and Labour, severely hampered the implementation and effective functioning of the Strategy. This study aims to find solutions to the main implementation difficulties experienced with the HRDSA, 2001, in order to ensure increased performance regarding the strategic priorities of the revised HRDSA, 2010 – 2030. An empirical study was conducted to determine potential challenges pertaining to the implementation of the revised HRDSA. Interviews were conducted with senior officials and experts at relevant national departments and with the Gauteng Provincial Government and social partners and relevant stakeholders, including organised labour and organised business. Questionnaires distributed among human resource development (HRD) practitioners addressed matters pertaining to possible solutions with regard to the appropriate location of the HRDSA, challenges in implementing the HRDSA, capacity needs, appropriate governance structures, political support and budgetary constraints. Best practice for the implementation of a national HRD strategy in a number of countries is outlined and discussed with a view to benchmarking the HRDSA and learning from the mistakes made by them in the implementation of their national HRD strategies. Based on these lessons learnt by those countries, and valuable information gathered through the results obtained from the questionnaires and interviews, recommendations are made to support the successful implementation of the revised HRDSA. The recommendations are focused on the effective, efficient, economic and sustainable implementation of the revised HRDSA commitments, strategic priorities, strategic objectives, programmes and projects to improve social and economic growth, as well as HRD, human development (HD) and accelerated quality service delivery in South Africa.