*Electronic Theses and Dissertations (PhDs)

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    Capacity development of service delivery structures and programmes in Bojanala Platinum District Municipality
    (2021) Mphahlele, Matuku
    Bojanala Platinum District Municipality (BPDM), in the North West Province is a centre of the extractive economy in South Africa. The BPDM experiences challenges in relation to delivering quality public services. In this context, this thesis examines capacity development of service delivery structures and programmes of the local municipalities, in the BPDM, that is, Kgetlengrivier, Rustenburg, Madibeng, Moses Kotane and Moretele. In addition, the study explores the ways in which they can be overcome for enhanced service delivery. The BPDM is embedded in an extractive economy and experiences challenges of the largely heterogeneous and mobile population that results in high influx of labour migrants, socio-economic inequality, and unemployment that impact heavily on the municipal capacity to deliver services (Van Wyk, 2012; Alexander, Sinwell, Lekgowa, Mmope & Xezwi, 2012). Accordingly, the Mineral Petroleum Resource Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) unpacks legislative prescripts on what structures mining companies have to establish, how to monitor and report on collaborative Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) in conjunction with municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) for enhancement of service delivery. Thus, the study also examines the nature of structures and programmes, facilitators and inhibitors of skills development initiatives and how mining companies as local partners facilitate or impede improvement in delivering municipal services to the community. Within the context of local government capacity development, this study develops a theoretical framing incorporating scholarship on human capital, performance improvement and collaborative participatory governance perspectives. This framing is premised on the scholarly evidence that capacity development is an enabler of service delivery, influenced by skills development, municipal performance improvement and collaborative participation. ii )To generate perspectives in relation to capacity development of service delivery structures and programmes, a qualitative case study approach, using interviews is adopted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with senior managers in the municipalities and the respective, locally based mining company. In addition to semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis and the descriptive statistics were employed. The study’s research questions examine the structures and programmes for enhancing capacity development in relation to service delivery. In addition, the study hones in on how local partners facilitate or hinder improvement in providing municipal services and how local municipalities better utilise their capacity development resources, including partnership with mining companies in relation to service delivery. This case study reveals that there are difficulties with respect to capacity development associated with skills retention, organisational relations and socio-political capacity building. The study concludes that political abandonment, poor communication and stakeholder engagements aggravate weakened inter-municipal co-operation and inadequate utilisation of resources. These challenges undermine cost-effective, efficient and effective implementation of capacity development of service delivery structures and programmes, underpinned by skills development and organisational learning. This study, suggests that socio-political resilience and administrative synergy are key enablers in the enhancement of service delivery. The thesis contributes to the body knowledge about the distinctive nature of the interface between learning and skills development, underscoring key enablers of improved capacity development of service delivery structures and programmes.
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    The measurement of decent work in South Africa: a new attempt at studying quality of work
    (2020-06) Mackett, Odile
    The quality of work is central to the growing inequalities in Africa and the world. Central to concerns about the decline in ‘labour share’ is the notion of decent work. In 1999, the International Labour Organisation coined the term ‘decent work’. The purpose of the Decent Work Agenda was not only to establish a definition of good work which can be used as a yardstick for workers, but also to create unity among workers, governments, and employers. Since the development of the term, numerous studies have been undertaken on the quantifiable aspects of the decent work framework, however, almost each study undertaken on the topic has measured different aspects of decent work or limited its enquiry to certain aspects of the definition of the term. As such, no study has measured decent work in a way which is reproducible without the resources which are required to undertake a survey. The purpose of this study is to construct a decent work index, using an iteration of the South African Labour Force Survey. This is useful firstly to identify measures which currently exist in secondary data and it is secondly beneficial in identifying shortcomings in relation to the use of the Labour Force Survey to measure decent work. Using sub-major (2-digit) occupation groups as units of analysis, the study found that there is an expected pattern around how occupations measure in relation to their degree of ‘decency’, meaning that higher paid professionals tend to have more decent occupations compared to low-skilled workers in elementary occupations. However, the higher up the occupational ladder the occupation is, the lower they score in terms of certain indicators, such as decent working time, and balancing work, family, and personal life. Furthermore, the study finds that occupation groups often score differently when the indicators which make up the decent work index are viewed individually rather than as a composite index. These findings imply that operationalising the idea and practice of decent work to understand and address inequality is no easy matter, but that democratising work to highlight the needs and preferences of workers could be one step in the right direction. At the minimum, it requires some engagement with different aspects of decent work in relation to different occupations. Analytically, a more nuanced conceptualisation of decent work is preferable to simple wage-based approaches often utilised by organisations representing the interests of workers.
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    The contribution of non-governmental organisations to the fight against poverty in Chegutu District, Zimbabwe
    (2022-06) Kabonga, Itai
    The study explored the contribution of NGOs to the fight against poverty from an asset accumulation perspective. The research was motivated by the paucity of studies in Zimbabwe examining NGOs and poverty reduction from an asset accumulation perspective. The reality in Chegutu District reflects asset challenges emanating from income struggles, vulnerability to economic shocks and infrastructural shortages. Some of the problems are caused by politics and broader poor governance practices in the district and country at large. The study deployed a qualitative approach; given the goal of capturing NGOs’ beneficiaries, staff, and government officials' perspectives, lived realities and experiences. Data to answer the research questions were collected using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and documentary analysis. It emerged that NGOs in Chegutu District rely more on supply side asset accumulation interventions to fight poverty. They include household economic strengthening (HES), vocational training, community apprenticeship, nutritional gardens as well as service provision, with only referral strategy and lobbying resembling demand side interventions. Several asset accumulation strategies mentioned above generate income (financial assets) in poor households; enabling them to buy food, pay for children's school fees, afford medical care, and meet other daily needs. As households build financial assets, their investments in children's health and education improve, a view supported by many scholars. Guided by a theoretical framing – the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF), which argues that poverty is a function emanating from lack of access to five forms of assets–financial, social, physical, natural, and human (Arun, Annim, and Arun, 2010) –findings suggest the need to widen the framework. NGOs also facilitate the building of informational and psychological assets which are key factors in the process of poverty reduction. This research also established that asset accumulation interventions by NGOs hinge on both institutional and non-institution enablers such as government ministries, partner NGOs, community volunteers and community leaders. The study argues that for NGO beneficiaries to reap benefits from NGO interventions, agency taken to be a component of the SLF human assets in the form of patience, resilience, innovation and thinking outside the box plays a critical role. Asset building interventions by NGOs are not operating without challenges and drawbacks. Asset accumulation at household level supported by NGOs is being slowed by bad governance induced macro-economic challenges such as inflation as well the advent of COVID-19 which disrupted asset accumulation interventions like household economic strengthening, nutritional gardens, and educational support. While the supply side interventions are key in fighting poverty, this study recommends that NGOs need to intermix their interventions with more demand side interventions that include watchdog and advocacy to deal with structural causes of poverty. This may call for NGOs to re-examine their orientation.
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    Networks power: political communication in two inner city Johannesburg CBOs
    (2021-11) Pointer, Rebecca
    This research aimed to establish how two community-based organisations (CBOs) in inner city Johannesburg used communication to build political power in their political networks. As such, I explored theories on building, shaping, and transforming networks of power, especially with reference to Latour, and Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of an assemblage. Assemblages are underpinned by the desire to make connections and therefore Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of desire is helpful in revealing the connections between different elements of political communication. The departure point for this research was to examine how CBOs use political communication in networks of power or to generate networks of power. The research examined flows of communication among CBO members, their communities, and other audiences, using an a political communication machine/assemblage. The machine has five components, which were explored in depth in the chapters of this thesis. They are: desire, framing, aesthetics, communication tools and audiences. Desire is not a lack but the creative, productive impetus for the organisations; using this theory to explore the two CBOs communications led to insights into the not only the material outputs and conditions of communication, but also both the rational and affective qualities of that communication. In terms of the study of communication, the conceptual framework allowed for the study of the different components working together to generate a communication flow, instead of simply relying on a static study of frames, or tools, or aesthetics or audiences. As such, the study reveals the dynamism in CBO political communication. Previous studies of South African CBOs have mentioned that before CBOs protest, they undertake extensive efforts to communicate with government; however, the previous studies did not elucidate what these extensive efforts consisted of, so this study has provided rich detail for further exploring the dynamic. The two CBOs were markedly different in their structure and their efforts to communicate. The Inner City Resource Centre (ICRC), which tackles housing issues in the inner city, was well funded, and had offices. Their communication efforts were highly effective at building and retaining its core membership. However, they were not successful in connecting with the City of Johannesburg, because the city had locked them out of participatory spaces. One Voice of All Hawkers Association (One Voice) was highly fractious, some members exhibited micro-fascisms, and the organisation ran in somewhat of a haphazard pattern in its efforts to protect street traders. However, they were highly successful at micro-local politics, using subterfuge to undermine the city’s trader administration system and preventing traders from being evicted. One Voice also sustained a large membership base over a long period of time, and this was mainly based on one-on-one communication. Their success was not based on a powerful political communication machine, but instead on the way they opportunistically managed micro-local circumstances. The study showed that an effective political communication machine was important for growing solidarity networks. However, large parts of government could not be reached, regardless of what communication strategies the organisations deployed, since participatory governance spaces were either closed off or inaccessible.
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    The role of peace missions in sustaining peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    (2023) Nyuykonge, Wiykiynyuy Charles
    This study examined efforts aimed at ending conflict and restoring order and political stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the auspices of the United Nations peacekeeping mission. As one of the largest and most extensively funded peace operations across the globe, the UN’s mission in the DRC represents paradoxes and contradictions of the Liberal Peacebuilding approach, from the size of deployment to the scale of its funding, given the failure to end cycles of conflict in the country. In departing from the dominant socio-economic and ethnographic lenses from which the elusiveness of peace in the country have been examined in many studies, this study focused on the institutional guiding frameworks that have informed the succession of UN peacekeeping missions and madates over the years. A significant amount of research on UN peacekeeping missions in the DRC have relied on the Liberal Peacebuilding discourse and how it proposes to deliver peaceful and a prosperous nation. This study therefore interrogated the UN missions’ performance in implementing the Liberal peace framework. It examined if indeed the location of the UN mission within the Liberal Peacebuilding models may help explain its successes and failures, and whether this approach informs its inability to ensure sustainable peace in the country. Furthermore, the study examined the prospects that the transition to Sustaining peace holds for peace and stability in the DRC. To this end, it sought to understand, whether and how the new Sustaining Peace approach could overcome the pitfalls of the Liberal Peacebuilding model; and its potency to resolve this partly conceptual and partly practical quagmire. This study adopted a descriptive method of analysis based on a case study survey design, using both primary and secondary data, and qualitative analysis. Findings from interviews with the UN and other stakeholders indicate that in contrast to clear academic bifurcations on the meaning of these two frames of action, there is not such clarity within the UN, about the conceptual equivalence of it's operational frames. Sustaining peace, the study found, is a muscular conceptual matrix whose operationsalisation is not linear. It recommends conceptual harmony between theory and practice among other measures, as panacea for peace in the DRC. This justified the usefulness of this enquiry in ending the elucivenss of peace in the DRC.
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    The role of statistical numeracy in computational models of risky choice
    (2021) Werbeloff, Merle
    Numeracy is a strong predictor of general decision-making skill, and linked to differences in risk attitudes, such as risk aversion. However, the commonly used normative expected utility model assumes complete cognitive competence of the decision maker, and statistical numeracy is not considered directly in descriptive models of risky choice. These models are nevertheless used in policy-focused economics to assess individuals’ economic welfare, regardless of the effect of statistical numeracy. Thus, if model validity is dependent on the statistical numeracy of individual decision makers, resultant policy decisions may be biased. In an online quantitative empirical study, student respondents were categorised into numeracy groups based on latent mixture analysis of responses to statistical numeracy tests. Using the students’ risky choice responses to monetary lotteries, decision models were estimated using maximum likelihood parameter estimates on a subset of the data, followed by Markov Chain Monte Carlo Gibbs sampling methods for hierarchical Bayesian analysis. The results indicate significant differences between the numeracy groups on the utility parameter estimates, with risk aversion highest for low numeracy respondents. More complex models present identifiability problems. However, simpler models indicate successful outcomes in approximately two-thirds of in-sample estimates and out-of-sample predictions in the gain frame, based on parameter estimates specific to each numeracy group. The researcher proposes a numeracy-based modification to the models, citing the nudging and boosting policy initiatives of the behavioural economics literature as potential solutions to the presence of low numeracy and its effects on risky choice behaviour.
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    Implementation of the mental health care act in psychiatric hospitals
    (2017) Mulutsi, Eva Nkeng
    Introduction Mental illness is prevalent in all regions of the world and contributes significantly to premature mortality, high morbidity and loss of economic productivity (Baxter, Whiteford, Vos, & Norman, 2011; Charlson, Baxter, Cheng, Shidaye, & Whiteford, 2016). In South Africa, the Mental Health Care Act (No 17 of 2002) was promulgated in 2004 in response to the high burden of mental illness and to improve mental health service delivery, within a human rights framework. Aims and Objectives: The overall aim of this PhD study was to examine the implementation of the Mental Health Care Act in psychiatric hospitals in South Africa. The specific objectives were to: explore stakeholders’ involvement in the implementation of the Act; examine the policy processes followed in the implementation of the Act; determine whether Mental Health Review Boards execute their prescribed roles and functions; examine the implementation of legal procedures for involuntary admissions of psychiatric patients; and identify factors that influenced the implementation of the Act. Methods: The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Sixteen psychiatric hospitals were selected in nine provinces, through stratified random sampling. Using an adapted conceptual framework with policy implementation theory as its foundation, the overall study approach was qualitative in nature, complemented with a record review of involuntary patient admissions in the selected hospitals. The qualitative component consisted of 35 in-depth interviews with: the drafter of the Act (n=1); provincial mental health coordinators (n=9); a psychiatrist at each of the selected hospitals (n=16); and the chair of a Mental Health Review Board in each of the provinces (n=9). At each selected psychiatric hospital, five patient records were selected randomly (n=80), focusing on compliance with the legal procedures for involuntary admissions. The qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis and MAXQDA® 11 while STATA® 12 was used to analyse the data from the record reviews. Results: South Africa’s political transition created a window of opportunity for the implementation of the Act. Wide-spread stakeholder support for the spirit and intention of the Act, advocacy for human rights, the broader transformation of the health system, and the need for enhanced governance and accountability in mental health, facilitated the implementation of the Act. However, implementation was hindered by: the relatively low prioritisation of mental health; stigma and discrimination; poor planning and preparation for implementation; resource constraints; and suboptimal stakeholder consultation. The study found that the majority of involuntary psychiatric patients admitted during (the year) 2010 were single (93.8%), male (62.5%), and unemployed (85%), predominantly black African (80%), with a median age of 32.5 years. The primary diagnoses were schizophrenia (33/80), substance-induced psychosis (16/80), bipolar mood disorders (15/80) and acute psychosis (9/80). There was poor compliance with the prescribed procedures for involuntary psychiatric admissions, exacerbated by suboptimal governance by, and functioning of, the Mental Health Review Boards, thus resulting in de facto illegal detention of patients. Conclusion and Recommendations: The Mental Health Care Act is an important policy lever to address the burden of mental illness and ensure quality mental health service delivery in South Africa. However, the enabling potential of the Act can only be realised if the following issues are addressed: improved, and dedicated resources for mental health; training and capacity building of health professionals and hospital managers on key aspects of the Act; improved governance, leadership and accountability through well-functioning Mental Health Review Boards; and improving mental health infrastructure and community-based services.