Original Research

Knowledge management awareness in South African provincial government departments: The case of KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works, Pietermaritzburg

Fulufhelo Nenungwi, Francis Garaba
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1456 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1456 | © 2022 Fulufhelo Nenungwi, Francis Garaba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 August 2021 | Published: 17 January 2022

About the author(s)

Fulufhelo Nenungwi, Department of Information Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Francis Garaba, Department of Information Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Background: Knowledge management (KM) holds a major influence on the effective delivery of services in government departments as it is tactically affiliated to the formation, composition, and sharing of information to prevent ‘reinvention of the wheel’ by staffs when performing their jobs. However, few government departments within the South African context have implemented formal KM initiatives.

Objectives: This research sought to examine the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works (Pietermaritzburg) employees’ awareness of any KM initiatives, their benefits, and barriers that are preventing the successful implementation of a formal initiative.

Method: A survey research approach was utilised in which structured questionnaires were administered to respondents. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS).

Results: The research established that KM initiatives are being practiced informally within the Department and there is a reasonably high level of awareness of these initiatives together with the benefits associated with them. The lack of a dedicated unit for KM and KM professionals are some of the barriers to the successful implementation of formal initiatives.

Conclusion: The research concluded that the Department is in dire need of a formal KM initiative to reap the potential benefits and improve service delivery.


public sector organisations; knowledge management implementation; KM; knowledge management awareness; KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works; South African provincial government departments


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