The role of leadership in implementing service delivery initiatives : case study of Buffalo City Municipality

Mthembu, Bhekisisa Jacob (2012) The role of leadership in implementing service delivery initiatives : case study of Buffalo City Municipality. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




In terms of the South African Government Structure, Local Government is entrusted with the service delivery mandate. Furthermore, Local Government, being the closest sphere of government to the people, is expected to enhance service delivery to the communities within its jurisdiction. Local Government has for the past four years, undergone numerous transformation processes, ranging from Local Authorities, to Transitional Local Councils and to Municipalities. Having mentioned that, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, in particular, has recently acquired metropolitan status, which requires another transformation protocol. At the same time this automatically raises the bar on the service delivery expectations by the communities. In general, Local Government has been extensively supported by the National and Provincial Governments to deliver superior services to communities. This has happened through numerous pieces of legislations such as the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, act 108 of 1996. In 1997, the South African Government introduced a White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service. This was to re-emphasis on the performance enhancing role of both the political and administrative leadership in the implementation of service delivery mandates. The need was identified that communities require an assurance that their needs are taken care of by the leadership of the municipalities. It is therefore the role of leadership to ensure effective implementation of service delivery initiatives and to promote a culture of performance among the administrative officials of the municipality. The aim of this study is to critically investigate the role of leadership: A case study of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), with the view that BCMM is considered one of the high capacity municipalities within the Eastern Cape Province. During the literature review, it became evident that different people and scholars, dating back in the early 90’s, view leadership in different forms. In sourcing the information for this research, structured interviews were conducted with five Directors, five Executive Mayoral Councillors and five Ward Councillors. The interviews were an extensive consultation process which resulted in over 30 hours of engagement with research participants, with an average of 2 hours per structured interview. A four week period was allocated and effectively utilised for this exercise. The research provides recommendations for further research on other related components of the subject such as the intended role as compared to the current role fulfilled by both administrative and political leadership, and suggested solutions to the current problems in Municipalities, in order to ensure their sustainability within Local Government. The research findings identified the need for the leadership to take the leading role in service delivery initiatives in order to address the service delivery challenges in local government. Political leadership need to enhance the public participation process to ensure the community is on board regarding the progress of their respective projects and planning processes.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Local government, South Africa, Buffalo City, Municipal services, Public administration, Political leadership, Officials and employees, Citizen participation
Subjects:J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Rhodes Business School
Supervisors:Amos, Trevor
ID Code:3205
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:24 Aug 2012 09:09
Last Modified:24 Aug 2012 09:09
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