Original Research

Contextualising the factors influencing human resource development in municipalities

Harlan C.A. Cloete
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 4 | a119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v4i0.119 | © 2023 Harlan C.A. Cloete | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 November 2022 | Published: 29 September 2023

About the author(s)

Harlan C.A. Cloete, Department of Public Administration and Management, University of Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Background: Human resource development implementation faces several challenges that prevent organisational optimisation as defined in the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority Skills Development Handbook and related regulatory framework. The assumption is that skills development facilitators (SDFs) do not have the functional competencies to effectively implement human resource development projects and programmes.

Aim: The aim of the research was to present and reflect on the results of a survey conducted in selected South African municipalities to ascertain the factors influencing human resource development implementation and to assess the competence levels of SDFs to determine whether there are lessons to be learned. It also aimed to recommend how the identified challenges faced by municipalities can be resolved.

Methods: The mixed-methods research approach involved the analysis of primary data obtained from a qualitative perspective, including semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Questionnaires were completed by 239 line managers, 66 human resource development staff , 357 other municipal employees and 34 SDFs.

Results: The study concluded that SDFs are experienced and qualified but that human resource development is poorly managed in municipalities on six levels (ethical values, policy, practice, organisation, internal democracy and stakeholders), which affects the overall human resource development performance of municipalities.

Conclusion: Municipalities must follow an integrated management approach to manage HRD that includes a collaborative approach involving line managers, HRD professionals and employees.

Contribution: Specific implementation recommendations are made to ensure that municipalities are equipped to manage HRD and thus ensure effective service delivery in municipalities.


skills development; human resource development (HRD); municipalities; implementation; facilitation


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