n Journal of Public Administration - Knowledge management for the improvement of service delivery in South Africa's municipalities

Volume 49, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The problems with service delivery remain unresolved in almost all of South Africa's municipalities. It seems that the South African local government is struggling to fulfil its mandate of effective and efficient service delivery. Recipients of services generally perceive their delivery to be progressing at a snail's pace and not visible enough to the majority of the people who still live in abject poverty. The predominance of these societal perceptions gave rise to the so-called service delivery protests, some of which are violent, in South Africa in recent years. Apparently, governments across the world are facing unprecedented challenges (as well as opportunities) attendant on the emerging knowledge economy and society. As a result, governments are starting to adopt new management practices, such as Knowledge Management (KM) from the private business sector. KM is generally referred to as the way an organisation creates, retains and shares knowledge. In the era of the knowledge economy, KM plays a significant role in the health and competitiveness of many organisations. This paper argues that there is potential for KM to drastically improve service delivery in the public sector. Moreover, KM can enable local governments to deliver the best possible services, function effectively and operate in an environment characterised by transparency and accountability. Therefore this paper seeks to explain how knowledge sharing as a critical component of KM may lead to improved service delivery in Limpopo Province of South Africa.

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