Sep 26, 2012
Partnerships key to local governments delivering on strategiesBack
Ekurhuleni|Engineering|Johannesburg|Nelson Mandela Bay|Africa|PricewaterhouseCoopers|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Building|Public Services|Service|Services|Systems|Gey Van Pittius|Jan Gey Van Pittius|Johan Leibbrandt|Seana Nkhahle
© Reuse this
Dubbed ‘Making it happen – A roadmap for South African municipalities to achieve desired outcomes’, the report was based on 36 surveys completed by six district councils, 23 local and seven metropolitan municipalities across all nine provinces.
The survey, which PwC undertook in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (Salga), started in 2010 and ended in 2011.
“The report is aimed at assisting with the way forward, to enhance local municipalities’ ability to execute their plans and strategies,” PwC local government specialist adviser Johan Leibbrandt said.
The report suggested that although leadership was critical if cities were to implement their strategies and deliver the desired outcomes, on its own it would not suffice.
“Partnerships are key for delivering the outcomes desired by local governments, from public–private partnerships, public–voluntary partnerships, to outsourcing and shared services,” PwC director Jan Gey van Pittius said at the launch of the report in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
However, the report put forward that with public, private and voluntary sector organisations collaborating to deliver public services, all stakeholders would need to be aligned to maximise the chances of success.
Currently, local governments in South Africa were failing to build the capabilities they required to overcome the challenge of execution in several key areas such as adequate financing, implementation planning, and comprehensive performance and risk management.
“South Africa is good at drafting strategies, but we are stuck at execution and detail management,” Gey van Pittius noted.
Of the municipalities that participated in the survey, 56% indicated that financing was the biggest barrier to implementing strategies, while only 31% of respondents reported having a strategic plan, underpinned by a financial plan with key risks properly assessed and mitigated.
Only one in three (30%) of municipalities had a comprehensive implementation plan, with accountabilities and responsibilities in place, together with frequent monitoring, updating and risk mitigation.
Outcome assessment and sourcing were cited as the biggest challenges to service delivery, while a mere one in five (19%) respondents had a comprehensive performance management framework in place that was aligned to the municipality’s strategic objectives and supported by transparent reporting of performance.
The study also revealed that almost two in six (42%) of municipalities reported that their organisations’ strategy was ‘completely integrated with the strategic vision’. For 39%, the level of integration was not complete.
“Municipal managers need a clear and deliverable strategy setting out the focus for the organisation…The ability to respond to a constantly changing environment through sensitivity to market forces and having visibility of the future impact; and a clear mandate for change that is driven through the organisation,” Gey van Pittius urged.
To understand the key challenges faced by local governments, PwC considered the service delivery cycle of municipalities.
According to 53% of respondents, the greatest challenges were posed by sourcing and outcome assessments.
The study further showed that most local governments reported the need to partner collaboratively with fellow city officials, followed by residents (44%) and to a lesser extent businesses (36%).
Local governments also expressed the need to partner with private (89%), public (86%) and voluntary (64%) sector providers to deliver their strategies effectively.
Only one in five (22%) of local governments strongly agree, and just over half agree (58%) that they have been successful in implementing their strategies.
“We believe that there is an urgent need for cities and local government organisations to prioritise their activities and develop a roadmap to ensure they have in place the internal capabilities and external relationships needed to deliver efficient and effective strategies,” Gey van Pittius said.
Salga acting executive director for strategy, policy and research Seana Nkhahle told Engineering News Online that the capacity within municipalities would have to be built in terms of systems, structures and processes to enable effective governance.
“We also then look at building the capacity of individuals within municipalities…to implement the decisions and policies that have been made,” he said.
Nkhahle indicated that legislation was adding to the challenges that were facing local government.
“We feel that in some instances local government is overregulated and in some instances it is underregulated.”
Nkhahle said this often resulted in municipalities spending an abundance of time managing regulatory and compliance matters, instead of governing and developing local communities.
The report finally suggested an ‘agenda for action’, which included municipalities’ investment in their financing capabilities, redesigning their organisations to enable more effective collaboration with primary stakeholders and assessing the impact of their size to find ways to standardise, simplify and streamline their operations.
Other propositions were the introduction of systems to measure outcomes and value for money, as well as the development of implementation plans with clear roles, responsibilities and timetables.
The report was launched on the same day as PwC’s international study of local government leaders around the world. Five municipalities, among others, the Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipalities participated in the survey.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Economy News
Article contains comments
Updated 44 minutes ago British gas company BG Group has produced higher-than-expected flows of gas from a test well off the coast of Tanzania, boosting the financial viability of its planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in the east African country. Test flows at BG's Mzia-3...
Updated 52 minutes ago The national fuel levy offered a better source of revenue for the improvement and maintenance of Gauteng's freeways, the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) said on Wednesday. "If you look at the past few years... the fuel levy has contributed over R40-billion...
Updated 1 hour 17 minutes ago Two bionic innovations were, this week, displayed in South Africa for the first time. The Festo SmartBird, which replicated the wing motion of a Herring Gull in a robotic form, and the BionicOpter, a flying robot based on the dragonfly, took flight at the nineteenth...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The multibillion-rand development of the Zendai Modderfontein New City, east of Johannesburg, will aim to exemplify an integrated city node, says property group Zendai South Africa COO Wenhui Du. The development will focus on the Modderfontein Gautrain station to be...
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hopes to have finalised regulations for the flying of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) – also designated Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) and popularly called drones – in the country’s civilian airspace by the end...
Various stakeholders have expressed optimism that the Small Business Development Ministry, created after the national elections in May, will add much needed impetus to enterprise development in South Africa, where a strengthening of the entrepreneurial culture is...
Capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) is the only way through which the world will achieve the lowest of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global warming predictions, called the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6....
The City of Johannesburg has recovered R107-million following the arrest of 22 people allegedly involved in corruption, collusion, fraud and tampering with the city’s electricity systems, which had ultimately cost the city R200-million in lost revenue.