n Journal of Public Administration - Scarce and critical skills for local government : assessing the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The level of citizen confidence held in the managerial and political commitment of local government to meet basic needs is low. This lack of confidence also manifests clearly from recurring service delivery protests. This article postulates that the availability of requisite skills at local government, technical as well as administrative, will lead to improved performance in meeting defined developmental goals which would improve citizen confidence held in government. This article will explore the conceptualisation of scarce skills in respect of macro-policy frameworks that seek to improve the availability of skills in South Africa. Secondly, reference will be made to skill acquisition frameworks for local government aimed at skill development. The article will draw on findings from a study conducted that assessed perceptions of skills development held by project managers and artisans in the Department of Infrastructure and Engineering at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality during 2012. The main finding of this study as reported in this article is that a shortage of critical skills hampers effective strategic leadership for efficient service delivery. Finally, reference will be made to lessons learnt and recommendations are suggested for the acquisition of requisite skills that will lead to improved service delivery.

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