n Journal of Public Administration - Leadership in local governance : a prerequisite for good governance and effective service delivery?

Volume 42, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The end of the twentieth century witnessed significant changes in governmental administration with increasing reliance on the application of market mechanisms, and the carrying out of privatization and deregulation initiatives. The significance of these changes was accelerated by the social transformations which took place during this time. Countries moved from undemocratic to participative/democratic states and from planned to free market economies. South Africa is no exception. There is a growing recognition that fundamentally different kinds of governance - being described as the exercise of control over society and the management of its resources for social and economic development - for public management and the delivery of local public services are required. The new challenges of governance therefore seem increasingly complex. Good governance is not only reflected in terms of value driven perspectives which manifest itself in effective, legitimate democratic government, and high levels of institutionalization or combinations of the above, but also in the ability of public managers (leaders) to contribute towards change for the benefit of society as a whole. For local government to deliver effective and efficient services, the above-mentioned aspects should be taken into consideration. Leadership should therefore be seen as a strategic option and is based on the acceptance that leadership is critical for organizational success and good governance. In this paper, attention will be focused on key issues facing the leadership on local government level, the challenges faced by local government to deliver quality services, leadership applicability to local government and competencies required by leadership for effective local government service delivery.

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