Original Research

The impact evaluation of coronavirus disease 2019 on service delivery in South Africa

Babalo Yekani, Sibongisen B. Ngcamu, Sareesha Pillay
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 12, No 1 | a718 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v12i1.718 | © 2024 Babalo Yekani, Sibongiseni B. Ngcamu, Sareesha Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2023 | Published: 29 January 2024

About the author(s)

Babalo Yekani, Department of Management and Governance, Faculty of Business Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa
Sibongisen B. Ngcamu, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Public and Operations Management, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Sareesha Pillay, Department of Public Management and Leadership, Faculty of Humanities, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa


Background: The economic and social impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have hindered efficient service delivery especially at a local government level. The significance of impact evaluation within this context is critical and is highlighted by the emergence and current implementation of the National Evaluation Policy Framework.

Aim: The study attempts to explore the impact evaluation of COVID-19 on service delivery in South African municipalities.

Setting: The study was conducted at Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM).

Methods: Researchers used a mixed method approach to collect data. In-depth interview questions were used to collect data in one-on-one interviews with 13 municipal senior managers. The questionnaires were designed to meet the specific research objectives and were distributed to the municipal employees in different employment categories. A total of n = 191 people were sampled, questionnaires were despatched and 186 were returned, which gave a 97% response rate.

Results: The finding demonstrates that outcomes and impacts evaluations are not important in these municipalities and the absence of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) continually remains no one’s responsibility.

Conclusion: There is no confidence in these municipalities that monitors plan to improve service delivery and will work towards achieving the goals of the organisation beyond COVID-19.

Contribution: This study could potentially empower municipal managers and policymakers by identifying a variety of shortcomings and offering advice on their action planning.


accountability; implementation, monitoring and evaluation; policies; programmes; transparency

JEL Codes

H75: State and Local Government: Health • Education • Welfare • Public Pensions; H76: State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities


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