Strategic leadership as an approach to promote service delivery by local government in South Africa: a case study of the uThungulu District Municipality.
Ndlovu, Bongani Bhekinkosi.
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This study is about how strategic leadership is enacted in not-for-profit organisations, with particular reference to municipalities. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was used to test the enactment of strategic leadership in the municipalities. It argues that because these are complex in nature, without strategic leadership, the IDP cannot be effective, hence, service delivery is highly unlikely to improve. Strategic leadership is envisaged as a possible solution to poor leadership and poor service delivery. Different research tools were used to collect data that were to be analysed to get results. The study found that the implementation of strategic leadership in the uThungulu District Municipality is not consistent with the theories of strategic leadership. Constraints in the implementation of strategic leadership were identified as poor leadership, political interference and corruption. A list of leadership competences was compiled and matched against service delivery. Poor service delivery, backlogs, poor communication, inability to align National, Provincial, and municipality projects, poor governance and inability to formulate policies were found to be the results of lack of strategic leadership. In this study, the concept of strategic leadership was extended by not only looking at areas like the rationale, formulation, role, principles, competencies, patterns, and challenges of strategic leadership, but also at the implementation and the challenges faced during the implementation process, which is the area that has not yet been researched extensively. The area, which is well-researched, is that of the private sector, and strategic leadership in this area was found to be consistent with the strategic leadership theories. The study proposes that The Quality of Life Survey should be conducted timeously to measure satisfaction of the community with regard to service delivery and to check if service delivery is reaching those people that it is intended to reach or not. Lastly the research proposes that Theory U by Otto Scharmer, (2007) must be used to address issues of corruption and political interference. This model deals with ways in which Municipal Managers can make sound decisions. It proposes that in order to address the challenges of a dynamic and complex environment, we need to move from destructive criticism to concentrate on the positive possibilities of the present.