Original Research

Efficiency measurement of basic service delivery at South African district and local municipalities

Brian Dollery, Gert van der Westhuizen
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 5, No 2 | a133 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v5i2.133 | © 2009 Brian Dollery, Gert van der Westhuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2016 | Published: 04 April 2009

About the author(s)

Brian Dollery, Economics and Public Policy University of New, England Armidale, Australia
Gert van der Westhuizen, North-West University, Vaal Campus, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

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South Africa has experienced immense changes in the post- apartheid era and coordinated local public policy has sought to expand and improve the level of basic services provided to previously disadvantaged people. Local government has played a pivotal role in this process and has been subjected to intense reform in an effort to enhance its effective- ness and broaden its range of activities. While a number of scholars have examined the administrative, political and social dimensions of the local government reform program, little attention has focused on the economic efficiency of service delivery. This paper seeks to remedy this neglect by evaluating the productive efficiency with which municipal councils have delivered electricity, domestic waste removal, sanitation and water in line with their new responsibilities using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) techniques applied to cross-sectional data covering the period 2006/2007 for 231 local municipalities and 46 district municipalities.


Efficiency; local government; local service delivery; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. Local governments' efficiency: a systematic literature review—part I
Isabel Narbón‐Perpiñá, Kristof De Witte
International Transactions in Operational Research  vol: 25  issue: 2  first page: 431  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1111/itor.12364