An efficiency analysis of basic service provision in South African local government (2006/7 to 2008/9)

07 February 2013

The South African local government sector has undergone changes in the post-apartheid era as policy makers have sought to improve basic services provided to disadvantaged local communities. While scholars have considered various dimensions of the reform program, little effort has been directed at evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency dimensions of the changes in service provision, with some notable exceptions (van der Westhuizen and Dollery, 2009; Krugell, et al., 2010). This article seeks to contribute to this literature by evaluating the efficiency with which municipalities have provided (Reconstruction and Development Program) RDP water, RDP sanitation RDP electricity and RDP refuse removal, using Data Envelopment Analysis techniques (DEA) applied to panel data from 2006/2007 to 2008/2009 for 231 local municipalities and 46 district municipalities.