The contemporary challenges municipalities face in effectively implementing municipal service partnerships
In South Africa, Municipal Service Partnerships (MSPs) have been in existence afore the global breakout of COVID-19 Pandemic as an essential mechanism to expand and accelerate municipal service delivery in the local government sphere. However, once the National Lockdown (NL) was put in place by the state president Cyril Ramaphosa on the 26 of March 2020, many South African municipalities were and still are pushed to look for assistance from their partners in the private sector in order to help with addressing the challenges, imposed by the pandemic, especially, service delivery backlogs. Municipalities are entering into service contracts with the private sector for the provision of basic services that are deemed essential in terms of the National Lockdown Regulations (NLRs). In curbing the spread of the virus in the communities, municipalities extended their effort by commonly cooperating with private partners. For instance, most municipalities went to an extend of collaborating with private partners and other government agencies like Rand Water for the provision of water and water tanks at different schools and communities across the provinces and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), namely masks and hand sanitisers. Methodologically, this is a conceptual paper that is embedded from secondary data. The secondary data was analysed through the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach. The article argues that South African municipalities and their MSPs are faced with huge challenges more than ever. It also argues that private partners have been long-standing with a commitment to serve communities on behalf of the government and that now includes partnering with the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The call by President Ramaphosa has been noted for increased partnerships, solidarity, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience to fight the pandemic, poverty, service delivery backlogs and social injustice. The paper concludes by offering feasible solutions to curb the challenges, faced by MSPs and service delivery backlogs.
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