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The post-1994 period in South Africa heralded significant socio-economic and political transformation as well as new models of policy and programmatic governance. The political re-constitution was just one part of the democratisation process that engulfed the imaginations of South Africans at home and abroad. With the advent of South Africa’s constitutional democracy in 1994, service delivery required radical and transformative policies that reflected the tenets enshrined in the Constitution. The re-engineering of South Africa’s socio-economic and political landscape was intertwined with the multiple expectations located in service delivery. Service delivery is governed by a complex web of stakeholders, spheres of Government, funding models, implementation regimes and policy, institutional and legislative frameworks that often lead to contestation in the various spheres of Government. Over the years, the ethos of how to govern and the overload of expectations have presented significant challenges for governance and service delivery in the country. Service delivery remains a burning issue in South Africa as years of apartheid resulted in serious socio-economic inequalities. The public has continuously expressed dissatisfaction with service delivery through protests. Poor governance has been cited as the major contributor to poor service delivery. This study seeks to explore the governance challenges in delivery of services at Local Government level. The study aims to assist Government, municipal councillors and ward committees, in particular members of the public, in deepening democracy at the Local Government level. The study employed a qualitative approach and Alexandra Township in Johannesburg was used as a case study. The predominant data collection methods used were structured Interviews and an expansive review of Local Government policy, programme documentation and other relevant vii literature. A total of eight people were interviewed: two councillors, two ward committees, two community members, one business representative, and one community based organization’s representative. The study revealed specific governance challenges in the area of service delivery to the community. Amongst these are corruption, lack of communication, limited community participation, slow service delivery, unemployment, poverty, poor leadership, staff incompetency or lack of skills, dependency and lack of monitoring and evaluation. The study recommends that there should be political management of governance through training of councillors, officials, and ward committees around the management of the gaps in service delivery. There is also a need to focus on fighting corruption, improve the deployment of skilled and competent people, and improve systems of public participation, communication, transparency, accountability, community empowerment and monitoring and evaluation systems
Service delivery, Local authorities