Influencing change in municipalities through leadership : a case study of the City of Tshwane Municipality

04 Jun 2019

This paper seeks to highlight leadership challenges in South African municipalities from an organisational culture and leadership perspective, using the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality as a case study. The research questions guiding this paper are: Why is service delivery remaining a challenge amidst the existence of regulatory and institutional frameworks in South African municipalities? How can leadership be used to influence change in the municipalities? In South Africa, local government has undergone numerous reforms, yet elements of bureaucracy are still highly prevalent. Bureaucratic structures like municipalities require employees with behaviours that enable them to take decisions that are suitable to address specific issues in different situations while at the same time being compliant with the legislation that governs them. Municipalities are then faced with a challenge of not having flexible and innovative leadership that is willing to boldly take calculated risks to address the challenges of service delivery within the legal framework. This paper posits that there is a need for a culture change to allow flexibility, innovation in leadership to ease the tension between these bureaucracies on the one hand and change of outdated organisational culture methods of providing services on the other hand. This paper argues that leadership can influence organisational culture as it tries to address service delivery challenges in South African municipalities. Keywords: Culture, Leadership, Municipalities, Service delivery and Challenges