Original Research

Effectiveness of governance towards digitalisation at eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa

Nirmala Govender, Purshottama S. Reddy
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 7, No 1 | a336 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v7i1.336 | © 2019 Nirmala Govender, Purshottama S. Reddy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 June 2019 | Published: 09 December 2019

About the author(s)

Nirmala Govender, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Purshottama S. Reddy, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: South African cities have been facing challenges since democratisation to meet the expectations of the citizens. The challenges have included fraud and corruption, financial constraints, lack of service delivery and technological progress, amongst others, which were underpinned by weak leadership and governance processes. This article explored eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality’s technological progress and identified that inefficiencies in good governance and the lack of a governance framework have limited digitalisation.

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the progress towards digitalisation and review the effectiveness of the governance processes within the eThekwini Municipality in contributing towards the fourth industrial revolution.

Setting: The study was based on the processes at the eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative research approach was used, and the study is exploratory in nature.

Results: The study identified that there was limited digitalisation at eThekwini Municipality. Furthermore, governance processes and an overall governance framework were lacking within the municipality. There was also limited support from the national government to address the fourth industrial revolution at local government level.

Conclusion: The implications of a lack of a strong public governance framework, and not being supported sufficiently by the national government, mean that the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality cannot compete internationally within the digital economy. The national government must co-ordinate a collaborated effort towards digitalisation, especially at municipal level. A multilevel governance framework, identifying collaboration between the various levels of government and the public, has been identified as the key response in embracing and enhancing the fourth industrial revolution within municipalities.


Keywords

municipal governance; corporate governance; multilevel governance; fourth industrial revolution; technology; eThekwini Municipality.

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