The Paradox of the Regional Centres Unit: A case of eThekwini Municipality

03 Feb 2016

Municipalities have been operating without the unit or departmental strategic plans aligned to the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). This has led to the fragmentation of their organograms or structures. The resultant to silo-ed organisational structures are characterised by inefficiency and ineptitude caused by cadre deployment, which has directly paralysed service delivery. The primary purpose of this study was to reveal the root causes of poor customer service and delivery in municipalities by interrogating the eThekwini Municipality?s Regional Centres Unit operational activities. A qualitative case study research method was employed in this study. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with a population size of 56 employees, as well as through focus groups constituted of 24 employees. A notable finding of this study was the unavailability of the approved unit?s strategic plan which has resulted to the unaligned silo-ed structure, and unclear roles and responsibilities; and ineptitude of employees. The unaligned and silo-ed structures to the approved strategic plan within eThekwini Municipality?s Regional Centres Unit have the potential value add to the literature in public administration on the ways to detect the hidden municipal administrative bottlenecks in improving the efficiency, effectiveness and acceleration of the municipal services to its customers.