Original Research

A reflection on the relationship between performance management and training in the South African public service

P. Harry Munzhedzi
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a864 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.864 | © 2017 P. Harry Munzhedzi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 September 2016 | Published: 22 November 2017

About the author(s)

P. Harry Munzhedzi, Department of Public and Development Administration, University of Venda, South Africa


Orientation: Performance management plays a pivotal role in the realisation of many facets of public administration, including service delivery, good governance and organisational productivity through setting of performance targets and regular assessments of performance. In search of improved quality and productivity in the public service, the South African government introduced several legislative and policy interventions, including but not limited to the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation 103 of 1994), Public Service Regulations of 2001 and the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery of 1997.

Research purpose: The main thrust of this conceptual paper was to explore the relationship between performance management and training in the South African public service.

Motivation for the study: The lack of sufficient literature on the relationship between performance management and training. To also prove that the two are inseparably linked, meaning that one cannot exist without the other.

Research design, approach and method: This article, which is conceptual in nature, reviewed existing literature on performance management and training in the public service extensively so as to arrive at a definitive conclusion.

Main findings: The article contends that as much as training underpins the process of performance management, training is also fortified by performance management. Precisely, there cannot be performance management without training and vice versa.

Practical/managerial implications: As much as training is imperative in the management of performance in the public service, such training must be need-based and it must be underpinned by performance management through identification of skills gap in the assessment of performance.

Contribution: It is proposed that to enhance the knowledge, capacity, effectiveness and efficiency of the public service performance, needs-based training that seeks to close the skills gap, is developed and adequately implemented.


performance management; training; public service; capacity


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