Perceived challenges to talent management in the South African public service: An exploratory study of the City of Cape Town municipality

01 Mar 2017

Local government municipalities in South Africa are faced with a serious challenge of service delivery. Research continues to point to a plethora of problems in the public service that lead to the failure of municipalities in the country to deliver services to the local population. One of the problems emanating from research is poor talent management strategies that fail to retain key talent in the public service. The aim of the study was to explore perceived challenges to talent management at the City of Cape Town municipality. A qualitative research method was adopted for the study with the semi-structured interview utilised as the data collection tool and conducted on twenty senior managers at the municipality. Data collected was subjected to the content analysis method. Challenges facing talent management at the City of Cape Town municipality included failure to retain key talent, lack of employee recognition, succession planning and management problems, and sluggish career management strategies. These talent management challenges were found to be connected to the dependent variables of the study like pay satisfaction, turnover and intention to turnover theories, organisational commitment, employee engagement and motivation. To overcome these challenges, it was recommended that the City of Cape Town municipality must devise a strategy that will ensure that highly talented employees are retained for the longest time within the employ of the organisation. This, inter alia, included the recommendation that senior managers must ensure that they recognise the individual input and efforts of those they lead.