Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Case studies of the Gauteng Department of Education
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Getting something for nothing has, in many instances, created a dependency syndrome wherein people have high expectations for receiving while giving little or nothing in return. Many of the developing countries and in particular, African countries, are still struggling to free themselves from this malaise. The "quick rich" schemes and instant success stories have fuelled speculations on easy options for success. Partnerships could provide instances where people could expect more for giving less. Partnerships are key to development in most situations and contexts. The essence of the partnership relationship is a way of communication which is based on common understanding and trust. In a partnership situation, issues agreed upon are not taken for granted, or based on friendship, but are concretised by means of a contract. There are instances of partnership programmes which kick-start at a high level of publicity, premised on grandiose missions but end up in acrimonious tangles or contestations. It is necessary, therefore, that the partnerships should be handled with great care in order to ensure their sustainability. This paper presents case studies of the Gauteng Department of Education's (GDE) handling and management of partnerships with the aim of sustainable development. A case study provides a fertile ground for in-depth study of a situation with a view to increase one’s understanding of its operations. Gay (1992:235-236) describes a case study as "an in-depth investigation of an individual, group, or institution. The primary purpose of a case study is to determine the factors, and relationships among the factors which have resulted in the current behavior or status of the subject of the study". Thus case studies are useful in providing scenarios from which examples of best practices could be drawn.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Sustainable development can be defined as the kind of development of programmes/projects which meet criteria for both short-term and long-term purposes. It is sustainable in the sense that cessation of the partnership or the breaking away of the relationship of the donor agency and the recipient of the grant, does not signal the end of the project undertaken, in that mechanisms have been put in place for the continuation of the project. Sustainable development entails the creation of capacity through institutional reform, and the formation of networks at both local and national levels (cf. Mmakola & Malunga, 2001). Personnel involved in these partnerships and the beneficiaries thereof use benefits derived from partnerships in order to better their situations. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be described as those partnerships in which the normal rendering of services by state institutions relate to public sector services, and the private sector partners with the state to provide its expertise through specialised services as a means for the state to accomplish its goals. The private sector is favourably geared to providing effective services as a result of operating in a competitive situation wherein technical expertise is a prerequisite. In highlighting the importance of PPPs, the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, indicates that the state, alone, cannot meet the needs and challenges of Africa's development. He stresses therefore that the state and the private sector should, as a matter of urgency, combine their strengths in order to promote supportive policy and regulatory environments, on the one hand, and entrepreneurial innovation and special skills on the other (A Strategic Framework for Delivering Public Services Through Public-Private Partnerships, 2000). There is caution, however, that even though there seems to be well stated anticipated benefits from the PPPs, if there is no proper regulatory framework for the partnership, public-private management can be negatively affected in the case where PPPs are not properly conceived, implemented and monitored.
THE NATURE AND ESSENCE OF PARTNERSHIPS
In broad terms, the manner in which partnerships are structured will indicate, among other issues, their nature and duration. They are intended to add value to the relationship by way of meaningful and constructive engagement of the parties concerned. If partnerships are solely based on donations or hand-outs, they are likely to have limited value, or fail. Experience has shown that these types of partnerships are not sustainable.
Motives for partnerships
There is a need to establish the sincerity of the parties concerned in partnership relationships. The underlying purpose for partnerships is for the mutual benefit of the parties involved. Mutual trust, openness, commitment and honesty are key principles which underpin partnerships. There are possibilities for exploitation and abuse in a partnership. The story of African countries indicate hidden motives for partnerships which brought misery and suffering as a result of exploitation. One could cite as an example, the former state of Zaire, which was ruled by president Mobutu Sese Seko. Mobutu entered into a number of partnership agreements with the United States of America and some Western countries. The people of Zaire benefited very little from these partnerships. What transpired was the plundering of Zaire's mineral deposits by the dominant powers whose primary motives were "how much to get" rather than "how much to give". These powers, as elsewhere in Africa, had little concern for the continued political killings, imprisonment without trial and disregard of democratic ethos and processes which were characteristic of the Mobutu regime. The profit motive outweighed any other consideration (cf. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 1997). In this case the motives for partnership were not based on common understanding and genuineness. It thus becomes necessary that careful scrutiny of the motives for a partnership should be undertaken before any formalisation is made. The motives for public-private partnerships in the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), are, inter alia, to look at ways and means of establishing quality and sustainable partnerships. In addition, attention is paid to the setting up of procedures to manage partnerships in an integrated and co-ordinated manner. A dedicated unit for Constructive Partnerships was established in 1996 with a staff of four members appointed in permanent posts. This sub-directorate is headed by a Deputy Director and has, in addition, an Assistant Director, Deputy Chief Education Specialist and a Senior Administrative Clerk. During the restructuring process of the GDE, functions of this sub-directorate were established as that of initiating, implementing, servicing and administering of public private partnership projects. Work schedule includes management of the Gauteng Education Development Trust, as well as that of partnership agreements and contracts. Similarly, the ministry of Finance has set up the South African National Treasury PPP Unit to facilitate the development of public-private partnerships. Its primary objective is the co-ordination of partnership relationships in various departments, and to ensure, inter alia, technical assistance and support, monitoring and enforcement, and policy development and legislation review (A Strategic Framework for Delivering Public Services through Public-Private Partnerships, 2000).
Big Brother/Sister relationship
The big brother/sister kind of partnership should be avoided as much as possible. Partners should value each other's contributions and engage in a relationship which will result in mutual benefit for the parties involved. In order to achieve this goal, it is recommended that clear-cut terms of reference and understanding must be developed and formulated in the memorandum of agreement or contract. Since partnership relationships are not necessarily equal in nature, there needs to be care that a smaller partner should not allow itself to be overwhelmed or intimidated by the more powerful partner.
Neither party should see itself as an underdog nor a minor partner in a partnership. The dependency syndrome makes the one partner play a passive role in the relationship while expecting to benefit from the other party. Sustainable development requires a commitment from all partners involved without any one being dependent upon the contributions of the other party. A partnership has nothing to do with a social welfare scheme where somebody depends on the soup and bread received from the other party without gleaning anything of importance for sustenance and survival. Partnership programmes cannot be sustainable if they are not based on development programmes. Beneficiaries are to be developed so that they can take control of their situation. For partnerships to be based on equitable relationships, all parties involved must contribute towards the maintenance or servicing of the relationship. This could be achieved through making sure that each partner makes a constructive contribution to the partnership. Partners should feel good about their contributions that add value to the relationship.
Theoretical models of change could help to clarify the basis for the formation of partnership relationships and the way they are to be administered. The following theoretical approaches are being cited as examples:
: It implies anticipation of the change that might occur in one’s environment. This process involves re-evaluating, re-arranging, adding to and subtracting from precious configurations. This becomes relevant in the partnership relationship since new factors come into play. This leads one to review the circumstances under which the partnership was established and accommodate the necessary changes.
: This model makes provision for managerial leadership and change. This presupposes that in managing leadership, various facets of leadership need to be accommodated. For example, the partnership project needs to have a task leader as a driving force for the task at hand, while on the other hand, there would be a need for a team leader to facilitate consensus seeking.
: It involves making an accommodation for innovation. Partnership could be a complex process with the prospect of undesirable consequences. In order to root out undesirable consequences in a partnership relationship, one has to look at innovative ways for the establishment and execution of the partnership. Partnerships for sustainable development are premised on various ways of making constructive interventions in the improvement of the socio-economic environment. Innovation could therefore be used to unlock the irresistible creative spirit of the human mind. If properly applied, innovation could greatly contribute to the enhancement of quality in partnerships for sustainable development (cf. Verhaeghe, 2001). Innovation could also be instrumental in bringing forth ways to formulate frameworks which could make partnerships sustainable.
: In Gap Analysis the intention is to move from the way things appear to be to a position of how you want things to be. It is important in a partnership relationship that processes are not left to unfold, but should be guided by what the parties want to achieve (cf. Fossum,1989).
Mmakola and Malunga (2001) argue in support of a public-private partnership, for in this relationship, the public sector is favourably disposed to manage public services. On the other hand, the private sector is more efficient with management expertise. They further state that the participation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in public-private partnerships can drastically reduce the costs of rendering services. This could be done through multiple networks of service provision, including active involvement of the beneficiaries in the partnership. They assert that the NGOs’ participation can help with the creation of alternative service delivery. There is a need, however, to be careful about NGOs’ involvement in partnerships, as was the case with the inception of the Reconstruction Development Programme (RDP), wherein there was much mushrooming of NGOs with the sole purpose of financial gain rather than the motivation or commitment to delivery. A further manifestation of profit-making NGOs disguised as alternative service delivery is the many cases of government officials who create these organisations in order to win lucrative tenders from the state. In circumventing possible budgetary implications for PPPs, precaution is directed towards the following: Some of the basic benefits derived from PPPs for the various stakeholders can be stated as follows:
For the departments: They could usher in accessible, relevant, affordable and beneficial service delivery.
For users of services: They could provide customised services that meet acceptable service standards.
For society: They could create conditions wherein goals such as social equity, economic empowerment, efficient utilisation of resources as well as protection of the environment could be established and sustained.
For private parties: They could be sufficiently rewarding to the parties involved and thus offer worthwhile investments (A Strategic Framework for Delivering Public Services Through Public-Private Partnerships, 2000).
PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In accordance with the world Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 and also more recently, the Agenda 21 of the Environment Summit report formulated in 1992, "sustainable development" has been accentuated as the new development paradigm. This new paradigm serves as a policy guideline to direct development policies, strategies and projects into the 21st century (Mashinini & De Villiers, 2001). The recent World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg provided another platform wherein proper execution and planning for projects on sustainable development was underscored. Pycraft et al (2000) outline steps and processes which are necessary for ensuring the sustainability of partnerships. Firstly, partnerships for sustainable development need to have strategic objectives. An important question would be what role should partnerships for sustainable development play in the community? Similarly, one may ask, what role would the contributions from partnerships make towards the communities achieving their long-term goals? Furthermore, the partnerships for sustainable development should translate these goals into performance objectives. These refer to the aspects of quality service delivery on the promises made in the memorandum of understanding/agreement or contract. Consideration should be given as to whether it is possible to change and adapt partnerships for sustainable development to the local needs of the community. Inter-dependability of partners in which operations are to be undertaken should also form the basis of the relationship. Co-existence and dependability of partners are sine qua non for good partnerships. In addition, one needs to look at the cost implications involved in the partnership for sustainable development; for cost could place a considerable strain on the other party for sustaining the partnership. Secondly, the partnerships for sustainable development should have an operations strategy. This is the minute-by-minute and day-to-day decision-making process. Emphasis should be placed on the location of the partnerships for sustainable development in the general strategy hierarchy of the organisation. It also involves prioritising the operations performance objectives in a way that links them to the community needs and competitors' behaviours. Thirdly, there is a need to design operations of products, services and processes for the partnerships in a sustainable manner. This makes way for determining the actual amounts and value added in terms of material contributions. It is of crucial importance to establish the location of responsibility for the design of the operations function of the partnership for sustainable development. This involves designing the whole network of public-private partnership processes which provide input to the partnership and help with the attainment of output to the customers (beneficiaries or community). The use of skilled staff and technology does much to facilitate the sustainability of partnerships. Handling contracts in partnerships, attending to queries and servicing the partnership, requires committed and experienced personnel. Up-to date technology could be cost-effective as countless hours and person-capacity could be spared in work related to partnerships. Fourthly, in the planning and controlling of the partnership for sustainable development, one needs to decide the type of operational resources to be used. This fosters the managing of the capacity of the operation of the public-private partnership so as to meet fluctuating demand levels. Attention should be given to the material requirement planning as well as controlling the timing and quantity of processing partnership operation. Finally, attention had to be paid to improve the performance and operations of the partnership, for sustainable development. In most instances, partnership projects are initiated on a small scale. This is normally called a pilot project. When this process is completed, the next phase of the full implementation of the partnership project begins. In cases where mistakes and errors are found in the pilot project, further improvement and development are undertaken. Good practice is documented on the specifics of this partnership. This helps in subsequent development which is to be undertaken, as documents for good practices could be used as reference for further work in this regard.
CONTEXTS FOR PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable development will take time to make inroads, and make a meaningful contribution in underdeveloped and developing countries, as indigenous people tend to look at how they can benefit as opposed to what they can contribute to a partnership project. Mashinini and De Villiers (2001) point to the apparent failure of the well-meaning Production Through Conservation (PTC) Project which was conducted in Mohale's Hoek district in Lesotho. The objectives of the project were, inter alia, the promotion of sustainable development in Mohale's Hoek district, through the provision of development to rural communities with regard to practices of conservation farming, agro-forestry, sustainable livestock and agricultural farming. The perceived failure of the project could be attributed to the unwillingness of the indigenous people participating in the project to part with their traditional ways of doing things; they were more inclined towards personal or material gains than striving for the general good of the project or for its sustained development. For example, they were not prepared to incur expenses which were brought about by the purchase of hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers. Neither were they prepared to change their livestock management practices nor to stall feed in order to reduce damage to unprotected development properties caused by livestock kept in the open communal grazing system. It is important to reiterate the fact that sacrifice, commitment, hard work and selflessness are essential requirements for sustainable development. In assessing the celebrations of Earth Day, as part of the United Nations campaigns for sustainable development, Hall (1996) argues that the success of sustainable partnerships lies in partners operating beyond regulatory compliance, beyond the cost-saving achievements of pollution prevention, to entirely redesigning products and services to be more sustainable. If African countries are to overcome their long-standing problems of poverty, lowered agricultural production, rapid population growth, lack of environmentally sound policies, solutions based on African contexts and spearheaded by Africans must be sought. Proactive initiatives, such as the Network for Environmental and Sustainable Development in Africa (NESDA), must be harnessed and redirected in other socio-economic sectors. This is a forum of African experts in the management of environment and natural resources (Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa, 2000). Further, for sustainable partnerships to succeed in Africa, Africans in particular, have to play key roles in kick-starting them. As a result, initiatives by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, with regard to the Millennium Partnerships for African Recovery Programme (MAP), and President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal for initiating the Omega Plan, need to be hailed. The plans are aimed at putting Africa at the centre of global development by embarking on processes which are to usher in socio-economic recovery of African countries. The merger of these two plans into the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) underscores the commitment of African heads of states to tackle Africa's socio-economic problems head-on. This African initiative seeks to establish partnerships that are both credible and capable of implementation. In taking this plan forward, care should be taken that Africans do not become targets of international manipulation; rather they must be at the forefront of directing their sustained upliftment (A New African Initiative: Merger of the Millennium Partnerships for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) and Omega Plan: 2001). The establishment of NEPAD heralds an important chapter in the history of Africa in that for African states to attain self-sufficiency, they do not have to be pitted on the basis of a begging bowl, but on the basis of rightfulness and justice. While the richest countries called the G 8 have given their tacit approval for the funding of the NEPAD, the honours remain with the African countries to prove their bona fides for being capable of redeeming themselves from the apparent economic, social and political quagmire. Will NEPAD succeed where other African initiatives have failed? Is there commitment by the African states to agree to be held accountable to the stipulations of Nepad? If not, are the stipulations enforceable? (cf. ANC Today: 2002)
THE CASE OF GDE IN SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIP UNDERTAKINGS
The initial problems identified by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) are that of integration and co-ordination of partnerships. Public-private partnerships for sustainable development were established at various levels in the department such as the office of the Member of Executive Council for Education (MEC), the Head of the Department for Education (HOD), different directorates, district offices and institutions. This move resulted in overlaps and duplication. Efforts and resources were over-stretched and wasted. Several officials found themselves speaking to the same private sector companies without knowing that they were from the same department. Investors in education raised their concerns about the uncoordinated management of the public- private partnerships activities and projects. Pretorius (2001), in her advocacy for coordinated strategy for partnerships in education, suggests the following:
There is a need for partnerships for sustainable development to be moved towards national and provincial education policies;
There should be better coordination of projects;
Partnerships should be based on an understanding of how the education system works; and
Preference should be given to projects with a proven track record in a particular area.
Similar views were expressed at the first meeting of stakeholders in preparation for the proposed Corporate Social Investment Forum, which was initiated by the National Business Initiative (NBI) in 2001, where delegates raised concerns about the millions of rands that big corporate spenders channel into education without this making the expected impact. Eric Ratshikhopha, Gensec Bank's general manager of corporate social affairs, carries the debate further by stating that corporate spending has not had much impact because funders themselves had to learn over time that education partnerships projects for sustainable development are not about the writing of cheques for once-off remedies. However, it was agreed that in order to address concerns about issues such as constant policy changes, a forum should be established where corporate business and the Department of Education would contribute towards the co-ordination of all partnerships projects for sustainable development. According to the Corporate Social Investment Handbook published in 2000, big corporate businesses spent R645 million on education in South Africa. This constitutes 35f the total corporate social investment budget of R1,84 billion. Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA), Anglo American, AngloGold, De Beers, Eskom, FirstRand, Shoma Education Foundation, Billiton South Africa, Transnet and Woolworths are some of the companies that together contributed a third of the total amount. The paper makes mention of the nine partnership projects which have been undertaken by the GDE. Discussion is provided on each of these projects as to how they were conceived, and what their aims are. Mention is also made of the parties involved in these partnership relationships.
The Education Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP)
EQUIP was launched in the Tshwane South District in Pretoria in 1997, with nine schools being involved initially. This partnership was established between the National Business Initiative (NBI) and the GDE, for the purpose of mobilising resources required for the improvement of the quality of education. The objective was to mount focused, coherent, multi-sectoral initiatives, supported by the school governing bodies (Nomdo, 1999). The EQUIP Board consists of the MEC for Education as Chairperson, three officials from the GDE and three senior managers from the NBI, who also provide secretarial and logistical support. The other members are from the business community. The Board sits once a term. It approves the school development plans and the disbursement of funds. Furthermore, the Joint Education Trust (JET) has been approved as an agency that would administer the EQUIP fund. The GDE has committed R3 million (over 3 years) in principle to the partnership in order to unlock an equivalent amount, but hopefully, more is expected from the private sector (Nomdo, 1999). Nine schools, chosen on a representative sample of the GDE education districts, were assisted by the NBI, GDE and service providers to complete a three-year school development plans. These are required from all schools in the province, and thus EQUIP is guided by the departmental strategy for school development and improvement. Once schools have completed their development plans, they are assisted in finding resources to manage their development strategy. Some funds are allocated to building capacity, but once partnership processes are underway, schools are left to explore further partnerships to realise their developmental perspectives. This project expanded exponentially from 1999 to date, to a total of 150 schools in other districts. This project is developing capacity among School Governing Bodies (SGBs), and School Management Teams (SMTs), with regard to their financial and management skills.
Gauteng Education Development Trust (GEDT)
The GEDT was established in partnership with the private sector to generate, receive and channel funds for educational development in Gauteng. It has a Section 18A status (corporations which are given tax concessions because of the financial grants they contribute to the development projects of communities). Billiton SA, Iron and Steel Corporation (Iscor), Transnet, Zenex, ABSA and Telkom are some of its major trustees. The trust has disbursed substantive amounts of monies towards building and renovating schools in the province. The focus of the trust, however, extends beyond building schools to providing assistance to the GDE in key areas, such as making funds and facilities available for planning workshops, in order to bring the department closer to its strategic priorities. So far it has spent over R30 million in about 50 educational projects that include building a comprehensive high school in Tsakane township in the East Rand. The fund is managed by a full time manager who is responsible for all the financial and general administration of the funds. The trust sits once every two months (Nomdo, 1999).
Gauteng Institute for Education Development (GIED)
As a result of a partnership between the GDE and the Department for Foreign and International Development (DFID), the GIED was established as a semi-autonomous Section 21 company (An organisation which operates as a private company) which would facilitate the implementation of Curriculum 2005. The purpose of GIED is to provide research, training and policy advice to the GDE. It supports the introduction of the new curriculum; interprets national norms and standards for the provincial context; and investigates innovative ways of improving teaching and learning practices in an equitable, accessible and relevant manner. Currently the GIED has produced modules on the eight learning areas for the new Curriculum 2005. The GDE also plays its part by channelling millions of Rands into the GIED trust fund.
The Science Education Centre (SEC)
The SEC was established in 1974 as a partnership project with numerous stakeholders, but primarily with the former Department of Education & Training (DET), the German government and the South African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. After the exit of the German government from this project, the management and funding has been devolved through the partnership between the GDE and the Science Education Trust. Training offered for this project is in accordance with the quality standards for professional development as laid out by the South African Qualification Authority. This training greatly assists in the implementation of Curriculum 2005 and is a focal point for the mapping out of the Maths, science and technology vision for the department. The SEC, is a well-resourced science centre, and will continue to maintain a high standard of technology and equipment. It ensures that quality maths, science and technology are taught to the learners in Soweto. With the technical assistance from German development agencies, teachers have been trained and further training for additional teachers is being undertaken.
This project is a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Education and other private sector parties, amongst others, the Information Technology Association (ITA), Microsoft, Safren, TML Reed Exhibitions, Hewlett Packard, Iscor and the Information Technology Industry Training Board (ITITB). Although a key strategy of the project is to provide schools with computers that have been written off by companies, the purpose of this project is to significantly add to the development of school information and communications technologies (ICTs) as well as technology enhanced learning (TEL) in Gauteng schools (Nomdo, 1999). To date the first and second phases have been completed and 90 schools have been fully equipped with targeted computers (hardware and software). The third phase involves an additional 120 schools. Currently, the GDE is involved in the roll out of the Gauteng Online.com project. It is about providing all the schools in the province with at least 25 computers for each school, for the establishment of computer centres. This is to meet the requirements of technology in the global arena.
THE VALUE OF PARTNERSHIPS IN THE GDE
There are benefits which the GDE is reaping from partnership formations. The GIED has trained many school-based educators in designing curriculum material, teaching and learning as well as facilitating outcome-based education (OBE). Through programmes such as EQUIP, district-based educators were trained in the undertaking of school improvement programmes with the emphasis on innovative teaching and learning styles. The immediate results are the steady improvement in the matriculation pass rate. The 67,5ass rate, in the year 2000, from that of 57,05n 1999, is an increase of 10.45ŠIn subsequent years, there have been further increases in matriculation results. In 2001, the pass rate was 73,7 hile it was 78.1n 2002. As a result of these efforts, the matriculation results were not achieved through luck, but through planned initiatives at head office and district offices with various partners. School support programmes do not only focus on teaching and learning but on other aspects of school development. One such aspect is the training of SGBs and SMTs in the effective managing of schools. Properly managed schools generally have fewer administrative and institutional problems, and as such, the bulk of time is used to benefit teaching and learning. The possible projected benefits of the GDE's Online.com project are immeasurable. The project is a signal of a bold and mammoth undertaking by the GDE that each school should have 25 computers and that every teacher and learner should have an e-mail address. The overriding aim is to place Gauteng at the cutting edge of innovation and development in the field of technology and thus be tuned to global development trends. The emphasis of this initiative is to offer scope for teachers and learners in new ways of learning and teaching as well as of knowledge production. Technology will be used to boost learning and teaching through computerised learning and teaching.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS
Significance of the partnership projects for the GDE include, inter alia, the following: Skilling of professional personnel in curriculum development and school governance. This is achieved through joint project undertaking, sharing of ideas and a series of capacity building seminars. There are financial gains contributed by donor partners for the management and implementation of projects. This provides the GDE with an additional supply of money which could be spent on more urgent development areas in education. Donor agencies would often like to formulate partnerships on unexplored innovative ventures. The merits of these high priority areas are tackled and thus approaches to problem solving are embarked upon. The establishment of the Gauteng Online project can be singled out as an example of an ambitious, innovative project undertaken. Institutional capacity is strengthened through partnership ventures. The GIED has distinguished itself as an efficient and effective organ of the GDE for fast-trekking delivery. The advantage of it being run as a company makes it more proactive in the implementation of projects as it is not constrained by red tape in project management and budgeting. Levels of responsibility and accountability are raised by means of partnership collaborations. Parties involved in partnership commit themselves to a high level of efficiency and effectiveness in project and financial management. This is achieved through periodic progress reports which include progress evaluation and mechanisms for overcoming impediments.
Overall, the role of the GDE as a case study in the establishment of partnerships provides useful hints on how partnerships could be structured. Furthermore, it provides lessons on successful/non-successful partnerships and/or on sustainable/non-sustainable development regarding partnerships. Mmakola and Malunga (2001) advise that despite the growing optimism from state institutions about public-private partnerships, these partnerships should not be regarded as a panacea for success. Some of the alleged benefits of these partnership programmes, supposedly lack relevance to the South African contexts or are strategically unsound. The establishment of partnerships between the public sector with either the private sector or NGOs should generally be accepted with caution and thus be constantly and critically monitored in order to ensure that fair rules, and commitment to service delivery are adhered to. For example, there is an apparent heightened disillusionment with the RDP houses in South Africa, which were proclaimed as success stories of the new government, but can now be seen as the worst scenarios of public-private partnerships. They are beginning to show cracks and dilapidation as a result of structural defects. This implies that partnerships are not to be taken for granted or be based on goodwill, but must be closely monitored in order to achieve expected outcomes.
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