Original Research

Monitoring Customer-focused Quality Service Delivery in Local Government: Conceptual Issues and Perspectives for Consideration

Modeni Mudzamba Micheal Sibanda
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 1, No 1 | a21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v1i1.21 | © 2012 Modeni Mudzamba Micheal Sibanda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2016 | Published: 01 June 2012

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Modeni Mudzamba Micheal Sibanda, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

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Abstract

Local government in South Africa is no longer exclusively a function of national or provincial government; it is now regarded as a sphere rather than a tier of government. Section 152 of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 stipulates the objectives of the local sphere of government, among which is ensuring the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner. Poor or lack of service delivery by local authorities has received much media attention of late. Monitoring customer-focused service delivery could therefore be a critically important means to effect quality service delivery in local government. At its core this approach emphasises the treatment of municipal service users and the citizenry as customers. This article contends that conceptually customer-focused quality service delivery may potentially lever local government authorities out of the poor service delivery rut that has come to render some municipal authorities ineffective and inefficient and hence dysfunctional. At a conceptual level the article grapples with the elusive concept of service quality and the often contested concept of customer and proxy measures for monitoring service quality in the public sector. Citing British and South African customer-focused quality service delivery tools and initiatives, the article interrogates the efficacy of such initiatives and perspectives for monitoring customer-focused quality service delivery in the local sphere of government.

Keywords

Monitoring and Evaluation; Customer-focused; Service delivery; Local Government

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