Training and development in South African local government :the case of the Helderberg municipality.
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Training and development is an important issue in South African Local Government. These are related concepts. However, more emphasis is placed on training in this research report. Several authors argued that the majority of South African workers need new or significantly expanded skills to keep up with the demands of their jobs. Employee training and development (T&D) is seen as a key factor in meeting the employer’s strategic, business and operational goals. Others mentioned that the people who work in the public sector must constantly strive to act in a way that will lead to improvement of the quality of service delivery by public institutions. They also mentioned that training is aimed at the practical application of knowledge as well as the development of specific behavior patterns, attitudes and motives with a view to realizing goals (Carrell et al., 1999). The population increase leads to the expansion of organizations and their responsibilities. The changing constitutional and political dispensation of South Africa demands certain amendments and changes to be made by organizations. Increased pollution and shortage of natural resources demand certain strategies. The shortage of trained manpower causes higher demand to be made on the available manpower. All these shows needs and demands for training and development. Cloete and Mokgoro (1995:91) argued that the new government would have to rely heavily on the public service to implement new policy and facilitate development. They added that the council should develop broad guidelines for public sector training. Further these would relate to current and future human resource needs for the public service. In addition, such a policy would set standards for trainers and training programs (Cloete and Mokgoro, 1995). Training and development needs are examined in this research report to see how the Helderberg Municipality (Western Cape) has conducted its training. The study aims to identify the key obstacles for effective training. Some authors suggest that the simplest method of conducting a training survey is to go around asking managers and supervisors what they think are the training priorities in their department. The result obtained may be subjective but as long as the surveys are analyzed carefully, they would prove a useful starting point for analysis. The literature also suggests that the management and supervisors must feel involved from the beginning. This study focuses on the Helderberg Municipality. The researcher relied on the literature to gain more information about training and development, especially in the South African situation. Some interviews were conducted in the Helderberg Municipality. The study is based on both qualitative and quantitative methods. This researcher used the qualitative methods because she considered them as useful and that they would give her a wider scope. By contrast, the quantitative method would be useful hence figures are also provided. Some interviews were conducted with the Training Manager of the Helderberg Municipality. The study could help the Helderberg Municipality to rectify its weaknesses and deal with their current challenges of training and development. Policy makers and consultants could use the results of this study to formulate policies for municipalities. Lastly, students could also benefit from this study by using it as a source of reference.