Analysing the perceptions on the amalgamation of a local government on general service delivery
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The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs together with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has decided to amalgamate the Tlokwe City Council and Ventersdorp Local Municipality in terms of section 21 of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998. The JB Marks Local Municipality (Category B municipality) was established by means of the amalgamation of the Ventersdorp Local Municipality and Tlokwe City Council following the August 2016 municipal elections, consisting of a geographical area of 6 398km², considered to be the largest municipality of three local governments in the district. Concerns regarding the impact of the consolidation of municipal entities in terms of their financial and fiscal performance have been raised over the past 18 years, leading to establishments questioning the criteria used by the MDB in order to determine municipal boundaries, condemning the board for its contribution in facilitating financially unviable and unsustainable municipalities. In terms of section 152 (2) of the Constitution, a municipality’s legislative authority is vested in its municipal council. Its primary function is to govern its local community according to democratic principles subject to national and provincial legislation. Governing the affairs of local communities implies that the municipality must provide appropriate and sustainable services to the community, promote economic development and create a safe and healthy environment. It requires the utilisation and execution of all municipal functions, relying on auxiliary and instrumental functions in order to make decisions. The data collection methodology, which will be used to collect data for this study, consists of questionnaire distribution, using open-ended questions presented to the relevant participants selected, in an effort to address the subject matter. This study is aimed at investigating and assessing the opinions of stakeholders, decisively community members and employees of Council, to evaluate the management competency and service delivery in accordance with the perceived value they anticipated. Answers were provided on a five-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated on all variables. These comprised frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations as is appropriate for this level of measurement. Reliabilities of subscale scores were subsequently calculated through the utilisation of Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Subscale scores were calculated by calculating the mean score of all the items on the scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated for these scales. Correlations between scales were calculated and interpreted. Conclusions derived from the assessment of the raw data, and subsequently valuable recommendations were provided in an effort to better the current situation within local government by maximising service delivery initiatives and minimising unsupported government expenditure.