Assessing the impact of absenteeism policies on service delivery in the Umgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
Muthwa, Emmanuel Xolani.
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According to Occupational Care South Africa (OCSA), absenteeism costs the South African economy between R12 and R16 billion annually. Therefore, absenteeism is a significant concern for the economy locally and globally. However, the policies developed around absenteeism in municipalities and their impact on service delivery are not well understood. Thus, the study investigated the impact of absenteeism policies on service delivery at uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM). Two conceptual models were used to structure the problem under investigation in this study, namely, the Steers and Rhodes’ “Process Model” Theory, and the Grönroos service quality model. The former was used for the analysis of data related to absenteeism, while the later was used for analyses of information on service delivery. This study has opted for a qualitative approach, structured interviews were distributed to forty-four respondents. Content analysis as an analysis strategy was employed in this study. Interestingly, the study finding reveals that working conditions and environment; work overload or pressure, and; leadership style are the main causes of absenteeism at UMDM. It also reveals that the policies developed around the problems of absenteeism at UMDM are good and they are enough to minimise absenteeism. However, the internal mechanisms to implement, monitor and evaluate the policies are very fragile. The study, therefore recommends that the consistency in policies implementation, monitoring and, evaluation should be geared-up; the policies be work-shopped more regularly; also, the employer should ensure that the working conditions and environment are improved, and; the motivational incentive is provided for employees who are punctual and regular at work.