n Journal of Public Administration - Performance management in the South African municipalities : issues, trends and challenges

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The implementation of a Performance Management System (PMS) in municipalities is indispensable to the successful execution of municipal programmes designed to realise service delivery priorities, as outlined in the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). It is worth noting that, whereas, there is a plethora of literature on the subject of performance management in the South African public administration discourse, it is important to point out that such literature has a specific and peculiar focus on the PMS, as it applies to institutions in the realm of public service (comprised of government institutions in both national and provincial spheres of government, excluding the local sphere of government). As a result, there is insufficient literature on performance management in local government such that very little is known about the trends of implementing PMS in South African municipalities. To this end, it can be argued that it is largely because of this apparent insufficient empirical and theoretical research on the subject of performance management in local government that there are numerous inadequacies and inconsistencies in the application of PMS in the realm of local government. It is not surprising, therefore, that although most municipalities have adopted a framework for streamlining the management of performance, in order to reach their maximum performance potential with respect to the effective and efficient delivery of services, there have been numerous concerns that the greatest challenge facing most municipalities is to successfully roll out the system to all levels of their institutions. This, undoubtedly, explains the reason for the apparent inconsistent and unholistic application of performance management systems in most of these municipalities. It is within this context that the article seeks to make a contribution by examining the implementation of performance management in South African municipalities with the prime purpose of identifying the trends, issues and challenges associated with the implementation of PMS in order to assist municipalities to improve the implementation of such systems, so as to ensure that they serve their intended purposes.

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