Review Article

Building a capable state through proper human resource management

Thozamile R. Mle, Xolisile G. Ngumbela
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 1 | a15 | DOI: | © 2020 Xolisile G. Ngumbela, Thozamile R. Mle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 2020 | Published: 07 December 2020

About the author(s)

Thozamile R. Mle, Department of Public Administration, University of Fort Hare, Bhisho, South Africa
Xolisile G. Ngumbela, Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


Background: This article examines the possibility of building a capable state within an appropriate ethical framework and the required human capital spectrum available to a government. South Africa currently faces shortcomings in capability and systemic stasis because of weak political management. The existing research has pointed out the state’s capacity deficit as a major factor that undermines the social and economic progress of South Africa.

Aim: The aim of this article was to look at government’s capability of building a capable, ethical and developmental state which is a crucial facilitator for the successful execution of government’s goals of achieving the targets of the 2030 National Development Plan. A developmental state that is going to develop the economy, create jobs and improve the conditions of society standard of living through proper human resource management.

Methods: As the main tool for doing this research, this article relied heavily on secondary qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Secondary analysis is a study technique that uses pre-existing quantitative data or pre-existing qualitative research data to analyse or validate previous studies on new issues.

Results: The findings point that capacity building is crucial. Fixing political control at the core should be the starting point.

Conclusion: There seems to be a complete failure of a build-up towards a capable state in South Africa as the public service shows unevenness with local, provincial and national government capability challenges. A capable state can exist only when an affordable, effective and development-orientated public service can only grow and have a transformative function in order to correct past failures, where government is making drastic changes, enhance and have the requisite effect on society on its bad results.


efficiency; effectivity; economically; skills and professionalism; accountability; responsibility efficiency


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