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Open Access

Evaluating the efficacy of municipal policy implementation in South Africa : challenges and prospects

Published Online: by:4


Municipalities in South Africa are charged with the responsibility of identifying needs of the local communities through various platforms, including public meetings, imbizos, ward committees and petitions. Policies are then developed in the form of integrated development plans (IDPs) and municipal budgets are allocated to respond to the identified community needs. It is a legislative requirement that all municipalities in the country develop and approve such plans in order to adequately respond to the needs of their respective communities. The challenge for most municipalities is that they lack requisite capacity and political will to implement such policies. This paper seeks to evaluate the efficacy of policy implementation in South Africa’s municipalities using the 7-C protocol as an assessment framework of the various municipal plans, including but not limited to, IDPs and municipal budgets. It is concluded that the implementation of municipal policies is not effective or efficient, hence the continuous backlog often witnessed in municipal service provision. It is further noted that many set targets and objectives are not achieved in most municipalities. To this end, several measures are proposed with the aim of appropriately addressing the challenges that hinder the adequate implementation of municipal policies in South Africa. Such measures include inculcating a sense of political will in the municipal executives by their respective political parties as well as punishing offenders of municipal prescripts to address corruption and maladministration.

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