The the value of their property, (b) charging

The aim of this study is to make an exploration of compliance in implementing the National Treasury Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency levels by Randfontein municipality. This is going to start by giving a brief background to the study in order to reflect challenges and literature gaps to the study. Linked to the background is going to be a problem statement followed by highlighting purpose of the research, the aim of research, the research objectives. Lastly, a description of the research questions, theoretical foundation of the study, concepts clarification, research design, limitation of the study and the chapter outline will be done.

 

Background to the study

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According to Mogale (2003:227), the Constitution
of the Republic of South Africa outlines that the local government is
the epicentre of the government delivery system and at the heart of poverty
eradication initiatives. Municipalities receive funding
from three sources, through (a) rates from land, houses and businesses based on
the value of their property, (b) charging tariffs for services like water,
electricity, refuse removal and the use of municipal facilities such as sports
grounds and (c) largely funding transfers from national government (Local
Government Action, 2017:1). Section
153 of the Constitution (1994) requires a municipality to structure and manage
its administration, budgeting and planning, to prioritize the basic needs of
the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the
community.

 

According to Koma (2010:111) Local government is expected to effectively
attain its mandatory mission of delivering services that are adequate and
responsive to the needs of the community. Municipalities therefore should
successfully shift from mediocrity to excellence in as far as service delivery
is concerned. Municipalities operate in a complex and fast changing environment
at which societal demands for quality, value for money and social justice have
become paramount. South African municipalities are
under severe pressure due to poor financial control and lack of accountability,
leading to extensive corruption and financial mismanagement with detrimental
consequences for effective and efficient service delivery (Laubsher, 2012:63). Effective financial management can help
municipalities to transform their local areas into a better place to live and
work. Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000,
Municipal Finances Management 56 of 2003 and the regulations on municipal
performance management are some of the policy instruments developed to ensure
accountability and financial control.

 

Problem statement

Koma (2013:112) in order for local government to be
able to achieve their objectives they should be staffed with by the nation’s
brightest and best officials functioning without constraints, and capable of
being innovative in addressing the social and economic needs of the citizens. Edigheji
(2009:62) further reiterates that positions in the bureaucracy in Africa have
to be based on merit rather than patronage; ethnic or religious considerations.

In 2007,
the National Treasury regulated the minimum competencies for officials
responsible for financial and supply chain management so as to align financial
management in municipalities with the principles of accountability,
transparency, effective and efficient utilisation of public resources (RSA,
2015:1). The Municipal Regulations on Minimum
Competency Levels were introduced in order to professionalise local government
sector by making it a preferred choice for talented officials and mitigating some
of the root causes of poor financial management and service delivery. The
competency framework consists of minimum qualifications, work related
experience, core managerial competencies and core occupational competencies for
financial officials both at senior and middle management levels (RSA, 2007:7).  As part of the process to ensure compliance
with regard to Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels, affected municipal
officials had eight years to attain the prescribed requirements.

 

It is clear that change and non-compliance in
majority of people and organization are often a challenge when new processes
are introduced. Non-compliance to regulations poses many challenges both to the
organization receiving the regulation and those who are supposed to enforce the
regulation. Steyn (2012:2) indicated that municipalities ignored a requirement
to include compliance to the competency regulations in performance agreements
of officials that are subject to it and excluded the competency requirements in
job advertisements placed after July 2007. In addition to the above, further
findings indicated that senior managers did not sign performance management for
2011/2012 and this was also queried by auditor general in 2011/2012 audit
report (Steyn, 2012:3) .

 

A 2007 report by Local Government Sector Education and Training
Authority Report published (2007), 28% of chief financial officers did not hold
finance related qualifications and 31% of municipal managers have
qualifications other than those related to finance, legal, public administration,
planning and development. The National Treasury (2017:1) indicated
that only 33% of the 2 201 by March 2017 in 17 non-delegated
municipalities complied with the requirements for minimum competency levels. The
Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs’ (2009:31) report;
also reflected that local government was in trouble due to staff incompetencies.
The following aspects are some of the ‘stubborn service delivery and governance
problems’ identified for causing
distress in local government:

Poor financial management, e.g. negative
audit opinions; and insufficient municipal capacity due to lack of scarce
skills.Municipalities constantly employing senior
managers and supply chain managers without relevant knowledge, qualification
and experience.

 

According to Oberholzer (2014:1), the poor state of municipal finances is of great concern that requires
urgent attention for improvement. For example, in the 2010/2011 financial year
for example, the Auditor General of South Africa subsequently for 2013/14 reported
that only 13 of 283 municipalities achieved a clean audit. These indicates that the total
number of municipalities and municipal entities with clean audits increased
from 30 in the 2012/13 financial year to 58 in 2013-14 with a baseline of only
seven in 2007/08, the outcome that triggered the launch of operation clean
audit (AGSA, 2015:23). The same report indicates that the majority of municipalities
and municipal entities with clean audits were characterized by good internal
controls. These controls were underpinned by most positions being filled by key
officials that had already achieved the prescribed competency
requirements. 

 

The performance of numerous municipalities across the country with
regard to the implementation of National Treasury Municipal Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels
has thus far clearly demonstrated huge
deficiencies, therefore this study attempt to investigate compliance
by Randfontein municipality.

 

Purpose of the research

This study attempt to determine the extent to
which Randfontein municipality is complying with implementation for the National
Treasury Municipal Regulations on Minimum
Competency Levels. In absence of compliance to the minimum
competency level order, the research will also determine whether there is a
plan of action to redress noncompliance.

 

The study research will provide a status quo
of Randfontein municipality in compliance with implementation of the National
Treasury Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels and propose way-forward
in redressing the challenges.

 

 

 

 

1.4.
The aim of Research

The aim of this study is to make an exploration
of compliance in implementating the National Treasury Municipal Regulations on Minimum
Competency Levels by Randfontein Municipality. The intention is to address
challenges related to the implementation of the National Treasury Municipal Regulations
on Minimum Competency Levels, with the hope of contributing to the
implementation of the change/transformational theoretical frame-work.

 

Research objectives

The study has the following primary and
secondary objective.

 

Primary
objective

The
primary objective seeks to determine the extent at which the Randfontein
municipality is complying with the implementation of the National Treasury’s Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels by
December 2014.

 

Secondary
objective

The secondary objective seeks to determine whether
the municipality has a plan of action to mitigate non-compliance to the
National Treasury’s Municipal Regulations
on Minimum Competency Levels, in case where there was no compliance?

 

Research questions

The main research question for the study is:

 

What is the extent at which the Randfontein
municipality is complying with the implementation of the National Treasury Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels by
December 2014?

 

In case where the municipality does not
comply with the National Treasury’s Municipal
Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels requirement the sub
research question is:

Does the municipality have a plan of action
to mitigate non-compliance to the National Treasury’s Municipal Regulations on Minimum Competency Levels?

 

 

Theoretical foundation for the study

The theoretical foundation
for the study will be described in terms of the central theoretical statement of
the study and the theoretical basis.  The
theoretical framework for the study is based on Accelerating Change and
Transitions – Facilitation Skills for Leaders model .The framework has been developed
by the Destra Consulting Group and highlights the ways in which an organisation
can move from an “as-is” to a “to-be state” by executing a series of change enablers
(Destra Consulting Group, 2005:10).

The
central theoretical statement will be discussed first.

 

1.7.1   Central theoretical statement

Directives
by the National Treasury to Municipalities will result in the implementation of
the Municipal Regulations on Minimum
Competency Levels.

1.8
Concept Clarification

Randfontein
Local Municipality- it falls within the borders of West Rand
District, one of the four local municipalities in Gauteng. It comprises of the
former Mohlakeng, Toekomsrus, former Randfontein, and Peri-Urban areas and
former Gatstrand Randfontein local municipality (IDP, 2011:32).

Municipality” is defined
as an organ of state within the local sphere of government exercising
legislative and executives authority within an area determined in terms of the
Local Government, (RSA, 1998:6).

Lawsons (2015:1) defines public financial management as set of laws, rules, systems and
processes used by sovereign nations (and sub-national governments), to mobilise
revenue, allocate public funds, undertake public spending, account for funds
and audit

According to Boyatzis (1982:1) Competency is “an underlying characteristic of a person in that it
may be a motive, trait or skill aspect of one?s self –image or social role or
body of knowledge.”

 

Research design

The research methodology for the study is
quantitative. Quantitative research is the numerical representation and
manipulation of observations for the purpose of describing and explaining the
phenomena that those observations reflect (Sukamolson, 2007:1).The study relies
on the legal instruments relevant to core competencies of accounting officers and
chief financial officers. These laws and regulations will be scrutinized. These
materials include notices, letters, records, reports etc. Further, structured
interviews will be held with senior management and middle managers from supply
chain unit in the selected municipality as well as in the provincial Treasury.
Table 1.1 present a summary of the research methods and design used in the
study.