Improving Municipal Service Delivery: A Case Study of a Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa

Petronella Smit, Krishna Govender


Municipal service delivery is a challenge facing many municipalities in South Africa, and this is reflected in the many service delivery protests which plagued the country recently. It is therefore essential to understand how to improve municipal service delivery, to determine what interventions are necessary, and to understand the underlying issues behind the problem. This paper reports the results of a study conducted among a convenience sample of managers and employees from the Revenue, Customer Contact Center (RCCC) of a major metropolitan municipality in South Africa, to address the problem. The findings reveal that empowering leadership is strongly correlated with employee work effort, performance and improved service delivery, in a significant way. On the practitioners’ side, the important mediating role of employee work effort and employee performance in the “empowering leadership – improved service delivery” relationship in South Africa’s public sector are highlighted.


leadership; employee performance; municipal service delivery JEL: H79.


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