Determining the functionality of traditional leadership councils as agents of rural development in Vhembe District, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Francis, J.
dc.contributor.advisor Tshitangoni, M. M.
dc.contributor.author Mudimeli, Ronald Nyambeni
dc.date 2018
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-28T10:53:49Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-28T10:53:49Z
dc.date.issued 2019-05-16
dc.identifier.citation Mudimeli, Ronald Nyambeni (2018) Determining the functionality of traditional leadership councils as agents of rural development in Vhembe District, South Africa, University of Venda, South Africa,<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1296>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1296
dc.description PhDRDV en_US
dc.description Institute for Rural Development
dc.description.abstract In other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Traditional Councils (TCs) have always been central to the governance of rural communities. In South Africa, they were restructured in 2003 in order to promote effective leadership and good governance. According to the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003, TCs are responsible for land administration, promotion of peace and stability, facilitating service delivery and building sustainable social cohesion in rural communities, among others. In Vhembe District, for example, land disputes, violent protests and xenophobic attacks are experienced. This situation raises the question whether TCs are really functional. Multi stage stratified random sampling was used to select six out of the 43 TCs in the Vhembe District for the purpose of the current study. Age, gender and degree of rurality were considered when selecting respondents. Using the exploratory sequential mixed methods design, a series of studies were conducted to suggest a functionality index for TCs. The first study was conducted to clarify the meaning of rural development as perceived by grassroots communities. Focus group discussions, observation and preference ranking were used to collect data in the six TCs. Using Atlas Ti version 7.5 software, standard of living, service provision, empowerment, agricultural practice, economic development, shopping malls, indigenous culture and traditions, competent human resource and spatial planning were identified as key elements of rural development. The Friedman test of the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 was used to calculate the mean ranks of the identified themes. Most respondents (mean rank 7.57) defined rural development in terms of service delivery with construction of shopping centres (mean rank 3.90) and promotion of culture ( mean rank 3.65) being the least popular views. Wilcoxon signed-rank test (P < 0. 01) confirmed service delivery and standard of life to be the most preferred indicators of rural development. The second study was to explain the roles of TCS in developing rural communities. In addition to reviewing previous literature and legislations, focus group discussions, observations and preference ranking techniques were used to explain the roles of TCs in rural development. Service delivery, land administration, management of resources, social welfare, administration of justice, economic development, records keeping, recruitment of investors, moral regeneration, culture and tradition, and communication were identified as key roles of TC in developing rural communities. The Friedman test was performed to calculate the mean ranks of each of the identified roles. The results indicated that provisioning of service delivery (mean rank 7.34) was the most preferred role TCs are expected to perform in developing rural communities with communication (mean rank 4.75) being the least preferred. Wilcoxon signedrank test (P=0.00) indicated that there was a remarkable significance difference between the most recognised role of TC (service delivery) and the other three (communication, culture and moral regeneration) which were identified as less important in the current study. It was evident in the study that various government policies that defines the roles of TCs did not provide specific duties traditional councillors should perform within the listed fields of functional domains. The third study was carried out to determine the major attributes of functional TCs in the Vhembe District of South Africa. Leadership and governance, resources, organisational structure, development programmes and social cohesion were the main five attributes of functional TCs identified in the study. Friedman test was computed to establish the mean ranks of each of the identified attributes. The study revealed that effective leadership and good governance (mean rank 3.71) was the most attribute contributing to the functionality of TCs in Vhembe rural communities with social cohesion (mean rank 2.03) being the least identified. The results of Wilcoxon signed-rank test (P < 0.01) indicated a significance difference only to those pairs of variables including social cohesion. Therefore, the study concluded that social cohesion was the least preferred attribute of functional TCs. The results of the study were used to develop an index for measuring the functionality of TCs in rural development. The equation is in the form: 􀜻􀯜 􀵌 􀟤 􀵅 􀟚􀬵􀜴 􀵅 􀟚􀬶􀜵 􀵅 􀟚􀬷􀜦􀜲 􀵅 􀟚􀬸􀜵􀜥 􀵅 􀟚􀬹􀜮􀜩 􀵅 􀟳 To become functional, traditional councillors should be equipped with leadership and governance skills for rural development. Based on the findings of the current study, it is further recommended that provisioning of basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity in Vhembe rural communities be prioritized over other programmes for development discussed in the study. Furthermore, the study recommends for establishment of guidelines explaining the roles of TCs and to be translated in local languages. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Functionality en_US
dc.subject Traditional Council en_US
dc.subject Rurality en_US
dc.subject Social cohesion en_US
dc.subject Rural development en_US
dc.subject.ddc 320.80968257
dc.subject.lcsh Local government -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Chiefdoms -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Public administration -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Community development -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Rural development -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Determining the functionality of traditional leadership councils as agents of rural development in Vhembe District, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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