An assessment of the implementation of the Batho Pele principles in waste management and water services in uMsunduzi Local Municipality.
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Government policy has been an integral component of service delivery in the democratic dispensation. Since 1994, service delivery has been a top priority for the government, which has acknowledged it as a tool to reduce poverty and gear, South Africa, towards becoming a developmental state. Through its admission, the government has acknowledged that service delivery is a continuous challenge that the government is working towards overcoming and improving by introducing more policies and streamlining services and restructuring certain departments. Challenges of this nature have been mainly evident in the local government level where municipalities, across the country, have been declared dysfunctional and therefore, unable to render essential services to its people. The Msunduzi local municipality is a perfect illustration of that where this embattled municipality has undergone several managerial changes and the recalling of two mayors in less than five years due to persistent challenges that continue to cripple the municipality. It is against this backdrop that this master’s dissertation looks to assess the implementation of Batho-Pele principles concerning waste and water services in the uMsunduzi municipality. The study is done by adopting a qualitative methodological study consisting of seven interviews interviews with key stakeholders from the uMsunduzi local municipality and the KwaZulu-Natal department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. This project uses the theory of good governance and public administration, which establishes that Batho-Pele principles have, for the most part, been neglected in the municipality and has directly resulted in the significant decline in the provision of critical waste removal and water services amongst others. Moreover, the study also finds that the municipality has not been able to adhere to key principles of good governance and public administration, which also contributed to the challenges that currently confront the municipality. This study further makes recommendations about the improvement of service delivery, which includes strict adherence to Batho-Pele principles. Furthermore, the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation capacity at local government level and the professionalization of public services to ensure that the most suitable public servants are appointed based on merit and so that the municipality provides the best possible services which are embodied by the Batho-Pele principles and enshrined in the constitution.