Dr Tyanai Masiya joined the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2017. He is a researcher, senior lecturer and an undergraduate studies coordinator.
“The University of Pretoria is a research-intensive university with an established reputation for research quality and excellence,” he says. “Its research strategy is focused on societal challenges, in particular, the challenges faced by Africa and developing regions in the Global South.”
Dr Masiya’s research is largely focused on the niche area of public service delivery, with particular emphasis on South Africa. This choice was driven by the fact that the country is still recovering from the apartheid era where the quality of service delivered both at national and municipal levels was divided by race, and the resources skewed in favour of the white minority.
Challenges around service delivery and potential service delivery alternatives have been central to his research. The findings in several articles he has published point out that service delivery is influenced by factors such as perceptions of relative deprivation and inequality, unfulfilled political promises, uneven access to services, provision of substandard services, institutional weakness, poor employee/management capacity and high levels of poverty, including disparities that emanate from the post-apartheid regime. Dr Masiya’s research has focused on four elements of service delivery: service culture, service quality, customer service and employee engagement.
His field of research contributes to the betterment of the world because research data and findings can be used by government to make important decisions to improve public service delivery.
Dr Masiya’s research has been motivated by the fact that over the past two decades, many regions in South Africa have seen service delivery protests characterised by increased violence, and have been attributed to poor and inadequate service delivery. His research matters, he says, because it seeks to contribute towards improved provision of basic services, particularly to the majority of poor and previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa. Dr Masiya hopes to help generate alternative service delivery strategies that will result in improved service delivery in South Africa.
He would like learners or undergraduate students who are interested in his field to know that public administration is an excellent programme for those who like working with people.
“It prepares you to confront the challenges facing South Africa’s diverse communities,” Dr Masiya says.
He considers himself a world tourist and says he has lost count of the countries he has visited.