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Title: Assessment and implementation of skills development at Umzinyathi District Municipality and impact on service delivery
Authors: Ngobese, Xolani Khayelihle 
Issue Date: 2017
South African municipalities are key institutions that are close to the heart of communities and therefore, their employees form the cornerstone of service delivery to communities. Many municipalities have been blamed for unreliable delivery of basic services whilst those that are located in rural areas still struggle to generate own revenue and faces serious skills shortages. It is important to note that there has been very little research conducted in rural districts and other similar sized municipalities on evaluating the impact of skills development, service delivery and management of learning transfer. Existing studies although they provide useful data, they seem to be aggregate, broad and not tailor made for rural district[s] and some other South African municipalities. Studies which are directed at local municipalities adopts ‘one size fit all approach’ and they did not consider that rural district municipalities have enourmous challenges in evaluating the impact of skills development in service delivery and attracting people with requisite technical and managerial expertise.

According to Punia and Kant (2013) most literature on impact and evaluation of transfer training is mainly drawn from the corporate sector. Furthermore, Topno, (2012), Pallares, (2012), Bird and Cassel (2013), they similarily pointed that existing models on evaluating effectiveness of development programs in various companies have the most limitations in assessing post training job performance and organisational impact. This is supported by Wenzel and Cordery (2014 stresses that for the past 40 years, evaluation and impact of learning transfer concept remained complex, underdeveloped and with limited clearly defined empirical findings.

Raliphada, Coetzee and Ukpere (2014) indicates that there are organisational factors affecting learning transfer in the South African Public Service. The identification of factors affecting learning transfer is a critical step toward ensuring that successful strategies are developed to remove barriers to learning transfer and ultimately improve implementation which leads to enhanced service delivery (Raliphada et al 2014).

Since 2000, Government has undertaken steps to transform South African municipalities. However, systematic problems contributing to poor management and service delivery challenges have continued to engulf local government and in most instances such grievances translated to service delivery protests across the country. Amongst dilemmas facing local government in South Africa is the shortage of skills, poor management, corruption, conflict management and unreliable service delivery. Researchers consistently argued that grievances concerning local government relates to unreliable service delivery, shortage of skills and poor management.

The purpose of this is to assess the role of line managers in implementation of skills development at the UMzinyathi rural – district and other similar sized municipalities and impact on service delivery. The study investigated perceptions of line managers, skills development facilitators and employees about the impact of skills development on service delivery at uMzinyathi District Municipality in Kwazulu Natal. The study investigated challenges experienced by managers in training and skills development. The questions were to indicate how challenges in training and skills development can be addressed in rural –district municipality and other South African municipalities.

The research adopted qualitative methodology. Furthermore, thematic analysis was used for presentation and discussion of the results. The responses or data collected from participants was interpreted and analysed. The findings of the study imply that there is no human resource development strategy, absence of mentoring and coaching, managers are not involved in skills development, there are no Skills development facilitators, high management turnover, poor planning, absence of effective employee performance management system across all levels in a municipality, no proper training and development sections and there are no tools to measure impact and success of training in local municipalities of a District.

The research proposes that integrative transfer of training model developed by Lee C et al (2014), be extended to UMzinyathi District municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and other South African municipalities. The study is also suggesting that existing transfer of training model be modified to add the evaluation of impact and post organisational performance. The study targeted a rural district municipality because of limited research directed at this sphere of government.

The modified Integrative Transfer of training Model will contribute to the new knowledge which is currently not existing in the municipalities. The model is modified to consider not only post training job performance but to add the evaluation of organisational performance and impact influenced by skills development programmes.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for Doctoral Degree in Philosophy – Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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