PhD Graduate’s Research Aimed at Contributing to Effective Service Delivery
A perceived lack of good project management at local government level to drive service delivery in Metro municipalities led the Head of the Durban University of Technology’s Public Management and Economics Department, Dr Bhekabantu Ntshangase, to broaden his knowledge in this area through studying for a Doctor of Administration qualification at UKZN.
Ntshangase graduated with a thesis titled: “The Role of Project Management Methodology in Municipal Service Delivery with Particular Reference to Metropolitan Municipalities in South Africa”, supervised by Dr Thokozani Ian Nzimakwe.
The thesis explores the application of project management methodology in local government, focusing on six metropolitan municipalities in South Africa - eThekwini Metro, Ekurhuleni Metro, City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metro, City of Johannesburg and City of Tshwane.
‘This study links project management methodology and service delivery,’ said Ntshangase. ‘All government departments are expected to adopt an outcome based approach when delivering services to the public. This approach can only be possible by adopting project management methodology in service delivery. What does this mean?
‘It means that government departments need to have a clear starting and end date for projects. It also means that government departments need to be very serious about three pillars of project management - time, cost and quality. They also need to manage time effectively and efficiently.’
While the study has a vital role to play in enhancing public administration principles for effective service delivery, Ntshangase had to overcome a lot of obstacles to complete his research.
‘Some metro municipalities were not keen to allow me to do research in their organisations. It took me almost two weeks negotiating with them, explaining the intention of my study. I strongly believe that the findings will be used to improve the way of managing projects at local government level.’
Ntshangase hopes the qualification will enable him to produce more new knowledge through research reports and presentations in various local and international forums.
‘This qualification is a solid foundation for me to become a renowned academic and specialist in my field of study. A PhD is a lonely journey requiring a candidate to be matured, dedicated, patient and persistent.’