Original Research

Barriers to effective supply chain management: The case of a metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape

Beauty Zindi, Modeni M. Sibanda
Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation | Vol 3 | a54 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jolgri.v3i0.54 | © 2022 Beauty Zindi, Modeni M. Sibanda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 December 2021 | Published: 12 December 2022

About the author(s)

Beauty Zindi, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bisho, South Africa
Modeni M. Sibanda, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, Bisho, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Supply chain management (SCM) is presented as a panacea and an invaluable tool for addressing service delivery glitches in institutions. Noncompliance with SCM legislation by municipalities remains high, with fruitless, irregular, unauthorised and wasteful expenditure, resulting in weak financial governance in many municipalities in South Africa.

Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the barriers to effective SCM in a metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape and to identify the best practices to improve SCM.

Methods: A qualitative research approach was used to explore the barriers to effective SCM in a metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape Province. The sample size consists of 14 sampled participants. Data were collected from in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis was used in cleaning, organising and interpreting the findings. Credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability measures were used to promote trustworthiness.

Results: This study’s findings established that there were systemic and operational challenges which stifled the smooth operation of the SCM system. The SCM was characterised by weak ethical systems, lack of well-experienced personnel and poor implementation and monitoring of SCM systems and policies.

Conclusion: There is need for necessary institutional and systemic transformations and adaptations to SCM practices and processes. This calls for leadership commitment, coupled with concerted efforts to transform and overhaul lethargic institutional systems and practices, so as to decisively stamp out SCM unethical conduct by public officials and address public financial management hurdles, as well as the root causes of poor audit outcomes.

Contribution: This article contributes to a better understanding of new public management and principal–agent public sector accountability. Accountability, with its close affinities to risk compensation theory, resource dependence theory, trust and dimensional publicness theory, is anchored on a results-oriented government culture emphasising better performance, better accountability and better transparency.


Keywords

supply chain management; municipal finance; procurement; metropolitan municipality; Eastern Cape Province.

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