Moving from a centralised to a network strategy in addressing unemployment

The Mangaung Metropolitan as a case study


  • Lenie Swanepoel



network governance, local government, policy, unemployment


Unemployment is a challenge for the South African government, including of the Local Government. Many strategies were developed to do so, but with little success. This article argues that this is due to the application of a centralised approach instead of a network one. The centralized strategy is depleting state resources, whilst the private sector has expertise, skills, know-how and credit that could be used. The theory of network governance reiterates that partners are equal and function horizontally, which provides a safe environment for private partners in the network with the government structure retaining the responsibility of coordination and being at the centre of decision-making. This framework is applied to the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality’s Youth Enterprise Development Programme where the private sector was drawn in in line with the network approach. The article concludes that the mode of governance within local government needs to be transformed.

Author Biography

Lenie Swanepoel

Dr Lenie (MP) Swanepoel, 48, from Bloemfontein (South Africa) is a graduate who received her Bachelor’s degree in “Communication” at the University of Johannesburg in 1991.  In 2004 she obtained her Masters Degree from the University of the Free State’s Governance and Political Transformation Programme.  She wrote her Masters Thesis on Vigilantism as a feature of political decay: Tendencies and case studies in the post-1994 South African political dispensation.  In 2009 she obtained her PhD under the title “Vigilantism as a feature of political decay in the post-1994 South African dispensation: A theoretical perspective”.  She lectured in the same programme during 2010 to 2015 the module “South African Governance and Political Transformation and has been a research fellow from 2009 to 2017.




How to Cite

Swanepoel, L. (2017). Moving from a centralised to a network strategy in addressing unemployment: The Mangaung Metropolitan as a case study. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 35, 30–51.



Research articles