An evaluation of strategy implementation in the engineering unit of eThekwini Municipality.
Mkhabela, Phumla Charmaine.
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This study investigates the extent of strategy execution within the Engineering Unit of eThekwini Municipality and the challenges faced in strategy implementation. This research adopted a qualitative research methodology which comprised semi-structured interviews that were conducted with seven managerial personnel from the junior, middle to top levels within the Engineering Unit. Respondents were purposively selected from these levels of management for face-to-face interviews. The data collected was analysed using NVivo software. As South Africa reaches 20 years of democracy, it has taken great strides, however it still faces major backlogs with a great need for the development of infrastructure. The eThekwini Municipality has developed various strategic plans with the aim to improve performance and to accelerate service delivery. The corporate strategic plans by the municipality are the Long-term Development Strategy as well as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The Municipal Systems Act (No.32) of 2000 (MSA), requires that local government structures prepare Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). These are regarded as a vehicle to achieve the goals of the municipality. The Engineering Unit execution of strategies has to be aligned to the corporate strategy of the municipality. Whilst there is the existence of these admirable strategies, there are still service delivery protests, outcries from communities who require improved infrastructure service and development in their areas. This raises questions in-terms of how far the Municipality is in realising its vision that, “By 2030, eThekwini will enjoy the reputation of being Africa’s most caring and liveable city.’ Findings confirm that whilst the Engineering Unit has greatly contributed to improvement in the development of infrastructure in eThekwini, there is still a lack of strategy implementation principles that could improve their performance. The main recommendations of the study include a focus on building the strategic capabilities of the unit, improving the activities, systems and processes through interventions such as the capitalization of Information Technology, and Balanced ScoreCard. The Winning Framework to strategy implementation is also discussed as a guiding tool.
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