The roles of traditional leaders and ward councillor in service delivery: a case of Ward 4 of Umdoni Local Municipality.
Mzelemu, Mthobeleni Vincent.
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The study focused on the roles played by traditional leadership and the ward councillor in service delivery in ward 4 of Umdoni Local Municipality. The study further explored the roles played by traditional leadership in other African countries and in South Africa. An in-depth analysis was conducted of the roles of traditional leadership during the colonial era, during apartheid and during the democratic dispensation in South Africa. The research covered the period prior to colonialism and investigated the roles played by traditional leaders during that era. The researcher focused on the international experience of traditional leaders, with specific focus on other African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. The study further focused on the roles of traditional leaders in KwaZulu-Natal, with specific emphasis directed at ward 4 of Umdoni Local Municipality. The research was conducted using qualitative research methodology: interviews were conducted with different role players to elicit the primary data. These interviews were conducted with three traditional leaders from AmaNyuswa, eMandleni and Ukuthula Traditional Councils. Two officials from Umdoni Local Municipality were selected i.e. the Municipal Manager and the Technical Services Manager. The ward councillor, five ward committee members and ten community members were interviewed. All questions directed to respondents were analyzed using qualitative analysis. Secondary date was obtained from different textbooks, journals, newspapers, and search engines like Google, SA ePublication, Google scholar. The findings of the study uncovered the predicament of the water shortage in ward 4 in general and Thusticks in particular. The area is still far behind in terms of accessing basic services like water and electricity. The study also established that children still walk long distances to school. The researcher further found that pension pay points that are too far from residences inconvenience the elderly and those living with disabilities. As part of the findings, the study established that health facilities are not accessible to the residents of ward 4 of Umdoni Local Municipality. The researcher found that there is the lack of consultation of traditional leaders by the ward councillor before the roll out of developmental projects in ward 4. Traditional leaders are only invited for the mobilization of the public. The study also established the lack of representation of traditional leaders in the municipal council meetings and the absence of collaboration between the ward councilor and traditional leaders in service delivery. The study recommended that the ward councillor should respect areas under traditional leadership to avoid conflict. There should be frequent consultations between the ward councillor and traditional leadership to discuss development programmes. There is a need for urgent intervention that would enable traditional leaders to understand programmes that seek to develop the community. It is recommended that Umdoni Local Municipality allow traditional leaders to become members of different committees that exist within the municipality. The researcher finally recommends that a multi-purpose centre be built in ward 4 of Umdoni Local Municipality, where all government services would be accessible to all in the community members.