Original Research

An exploration of public accountability and service delivery at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa

Tando Rulashe, Edwin O.C. Ijeoma
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 10, No 1 | a535 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v10i1.535 | © 2022 Tando Rulashe, Edwin O.C. Ijeoma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2021 | Published: 24 February 2022

About the author(s)

Tando Rulashe, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Edwin O.C. Ijeoma, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bisho, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The South African public sector still faces numerous challenges of public accountability and corruption 26 years post the establishment of a democratic government and a free society. These challenges are mainly found in the local sphere of government which is the heart of where service delivery takes place.

Aim: This article aimed to examine the public accountability strategies and mechanisms being used at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape province whilst giving a conceptual view of how corruption and maladministration adversely affected the municipality and province.

Setting: This study was conducted at the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa.

Method: The study adopted an explanatory sequential design based on a mixed-methods approach where data was collected through questionnaires and secondary documents. Data was analysed through a comparative lens and thematic analysis. A total sample of 47 participants was chosen through a purposive sampling technique.

Results: The key findings of the study revealed that there is a lack of communication between local government and the residents. As well as poor implementation of accountability mechanisms and capacity issues, that is, lack of training and resources amongst others contributed to the ailing public accountability and service delivery issues.

Conclusions: Conclusions drawn reflect a municipality that is struggling with huge backlogs on service delivery. Furthermore, public accountability mechanisms exist but implementation is a challenge. Recommendations included enhanced community engagement and participation, capacity building and skills development, the promotion of individual independence of the community, enhancement of resources and infrastructure and the enhancement of the Public Participation Unit.


Keywords

public accountability; service delivery; local government; poverty; corruption; maladministration; new public management; public participation

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