A critical review of public-private partnerships in the management of water services delivery : the case of Nelspruit.
This study sought to investigate the complexities and challenges posed by the adoption of a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) as a mechanism for delivering services in a South African local government context. The rationale of using PPP is to be effective, efficient, accountable and transparent. The study highlights the post-apartheid government's efforts to transform water services delivery through introducing various policies and legislation in order to provide water services to communities that were previously denied access to reliable and portable water supplies. This study looks at both positive and negative aspects of public service management in general and has identified New Public Management (NPM) as a theory that seeks to address the inadequacies commonly attributed to classic public service management. PPP is an example of emerging model of service delivery from the New Public Management school of thought. New Public Management, the study's adopted theoretical framework, is concerned with reformation in a public sector organization (in this case the local government), so that it can perform effectively and efficiently. Another area of concern in New Public Management is ensuring that the public sector organizations provide decision makers with sound advice on all aspect of policy: conceptualization, review, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The research methodology that this study used was a qualitative approach. Secondary sources of data were employed, while the method of data analysis was content analysis. Themes emerging from the data formed the basis for analysis in line with the adopted theoretical framework. The findings were based on the four sets of objectives of the study, using research questions as a guide. The process involved applying New Public Management (NPM) concepts to the case study. An examination of the manner in which networks have been managed in Nelspruit. Also examined is the legislative and policy framework that allowed and accommodated the inclusion and operation of PPP. Opportunities and threats surrounding the Greater Nelspruit Utility Company (GNUC) Concession were also identified. Finally, lessons and implications in the usage of the PPP approach as a mechanism of water services delivery concludes the discussion on the findings.