Enabling sustainable service delivery by means of effective demand management in a local municipality
Banda, Gabriel Tsietsi
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Over the past months, newspapers and news bulletins are riddled by service delivery protests – to the extent that the President of the country acknowledges these protests. Many reasons were offered for the protests, but the main reason is cited as dissatisfaction with the level of basic services delivered by the municipalities. Questions were asked to obtain possible solutions to the problem. These challenges motivated the researcher to undertake a study to investigate the possible cause of poor delivery of service by municipalities to the communities. A possibility was to study and recommend a possible solution that would ensure that service is delivered on time, at the right price, at the right location and that quantity and quality meet the needs of the community. The system suitable to address this concern is demand management, the first element of the supply chain management system. The purpose of demand management is to ensure that the resources required to fulfil the needs identified during the strategic plan of the municipality, are delivered at the correct time, price and place, and that quantity and quality will satisfy the needs of the users. The research was conducted by means of a literature study and an empirical study. The literature study entails a literature discussion on three variables identified as crucial in achieving the objectives of the study, namely sustainability, demand management and change management. These variables form the basis of the evaluation of the factors which ensure that effectively used demand management results in sustainable service delivery. Delivering sustainable service will ensure that the service is delivered on time, at the right price, at the right location, and quality that meets the needs of the users. These variables were empirically tested in practise by means of a measurement instrument and subsequently evaluated. Based on the evaluation of the empirical study, the demographical data were analysed and concluded on. The reliability and internal consistence of the measurement instrument were determined by means of Cronbach Alpha coefficient. The results of the reliability test revealed that only change management’s Cronbach Alpha coefficient was less than the cut–off value of 0.7. Despite the results of change management’s Cronbach Alpha coefficient, the reliability of the other latent variables was found to be reliable and internally consistent. The variables were analysed and concluded upon by means of a descriptive statistical analysis, using frequency on the questionnaire responds. The arithmetic mean and standard deviation per construct was also calculated, using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). The relationship between the variables was also evaluated through determining the effect size and correlation of coefficient being calculated. Practical recommendations were suggested to address the weaknesses found during the evaluation of the questionnaires, in order to improve future continuity of both municipalities used as unit of measure. Recommendations of future research needed, were also made.