Barriers and Challenges Related to Cultural Diversity Management Within Schools in South Africa

  • Nkosana Sibanda School of Management, IT and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Brian Kwazi Majola Department of Business Management, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Keywords: Cultural Diversity; Diversity Management, School Management Teams; South African Schools


Globalization, internationalization and technology have increased the movement of people from different cultural backgrounds around the world. The coexistence has created rapid cultural diversity challenges, forcing many democratic countries to review their labour laws, compelling organisations to adopt sound diversity management policies. Pre 1994 in South Africa, the workforce did not represent the diversity of the country. The end of apartheid created opportunities for culturally diverse workforces in most sectors of the economy. Schools are no exception to this change due to the diverse teacher and learner population as women and people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds are sharing the workspace. The School Management Team (SMT) led by the Principal, need to be properly equipped in terms of knowledge, skills and capacity to deal with increased cultural diversity for the achievement of organizational goals. This paper aims to identify barriers and challenges related to cultural diversity management within the schools in uMzinyathi District, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, South Africa. The research seeks to determine if schools in uMzinyathi district are utilizing cultural diversity management for the achievement of organisational goals. The paper was exploratory and descriptive in nature and adopted a qualitative approach. The focus was on the SMT of ten schools in the uMzinyathi District comprising the principal, vice-principal(s), and heads of departments, and senior teachers. Using purposive sampling, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face involving 36 SMT members. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. Data were presented in tabular form. The study revealed that there are no work-related barriers due to the availability of teachers from diverse backgrounds under the uMzinyathi District in KZN. However, having no barriers and challenges does not mean that there is no conflict. Hence, the study recommends that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) introduces cultural exchange programmes and partnerships with other schools to share educational resources, sports development and leadership development.

How to Cite
Sibanda, N., & Majola, B. (2023). Barriers and Challenges Related to Cultural Diversity Management Within Schools in South Africa. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 6(9), 157-169.