Original Research

Management and leadership considerations for managing effective monitoring and evaluation systems in South African municipalities

Babalo Yekani, Sibongiseni B. Ngcamu, Sareesha Pillay
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 5 | a154 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v5i0.154 | © 2024 Babalo Yekani, Sibongiseni B. Ngcamu, Sareesha Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 July 2023 | Published: 10 June 2024

About the author(s)

Babalo Yekani, Department of Management and Governance, Faculty of Business Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa
Sibongiseni B. Ngcamu, Department of Public Administration and Management, Faculty of Public and Operations Management, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Sareesha Pillay, Department of Public Management and Leadership, Faculty of Humanities, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated concerns regarding monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices in South African municipalities. Empirical studies conducted in South Africa consistently emphasise the challenges associated with M&E implementation because of weak M&E structures, inconsistent M&E frameworks, inadequate understanding of M&E, a lack of coordination, and insufficient cooperation between oversight institutions and municipalities.

Aim: The study explored the challenges in attaining effective M&E, identifying gaps and limits in its assessment, and ultimately suggesting rigorous ways to assess its effectiveness.

Methods: The study utilised a qualitative approach. Data collection involved in-depth interviews with 13 municipal senior managers before achieving data saturation.

Results: The findings imply that an effective M&E system and its implementation as an essential management tool is fraught with challenges, particularly in municipalities where the concept of M&E has not been fully rolled out.

Conclusion: Municipalities lack adequate capacity as municipal employees and managers are not committed to fully implementing M&E.

Contribution: This study anticipates making a valuable contribution to the existing body of knowledge, offering practical insights and enhancing understanding of M&E practices during challenging circumstances.


budget; employee capacity; leadership; management; monitoring and evaluation

JEL Codes

H70: General; H75: State and Local Government: Health • Education • Welfare • Public Pensions

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities


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