Original Research

Assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of the provincial MuniMEC forum inter-government relations structures in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Zolani Tafeni, Bheki Mngomezulu
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 3 | a42 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v3i0.42 | © 2022 Zolani Tafeni, Bheki Mngomezulu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2021 | Published: 31 January 2022

About the author(s)

Zolani Tafeni, Department of Public Management and Economics, Faculty of Management Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Finance, Department of Employment and Labour, East London, South Africa
Bheki Mngomezulu, Department of Political Science, Manaagement Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: This research examines the effectiveness and efficiency of the Provincial MuniMEC in facilitating the Inter-Government Relations (IGR) arrangements for improvement provincial service provision mandate in the Eastern Cape Province. Post-1994 local government reforms led to the establishment of wall-to-wall municipalities to accelerate municipal services provision and the introduction of systemic municipal service provision guidelines as part of socio-economic transformation.

Objective: The effectiveness and efficiency of this plan remains unclear. This research intends to address this issue with the view to contribute on strategies that can be adopted to improve service provision through the integration of IGR structures.

Method: The study adopted a qualitative approach by administering structured questionnaires to purposely selected participants and carefully reviewed various documents and policies in IGR and Local Government. The questionnaire analysis included theoretical propositions that incorporated the efficiency of the provincial MuniMEC IGR structures, the legal IGR framework, and the participatory approach in MuniMEC IGR structures by stakeholders.

Result: One core finding is that the MuniMEC IGR structure has contributed to the coordination and integration of government service delivery interventions at municipalities, yet little empirical evidence explains this improvement. Research shows that government’s IGR obligation to coordinate the integration of government service delivery interventions to municipalities could have more impact on service delivery improvement than the utilisation of a single-oriented approach. This study provides lessons on the view that any regulation without a structured implementation plan leads to poor service delivery. A key recommendation is that both the national and provincial government need to promote shared service delivery through the enhancement of the IGR framework.


intergovernmental relations; socio-economic development; service delivery; municipal private partnerships; effectiveness; efficiency


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