Engaging traditional leaders in municipal governance: The case of South African Municipalities
As part of a larger study on establishing a payment culture for municipal services, this article examined the importance of engaging traditional leaders in facilitating a payment culture to enhance equitable service delivery. A qualitative approach and exploratory design were applied to find solutions to the problems of the study. Municipal employees were selected using a purposive sampling method and data were collected using online interviews. ATLAS.ti (version 8.2) was used to analyse the data collected from the participants. The results revealed that traditional leaders are revered by residents and could be engaged adequately by municipal employees to assist in municipal governance. Municipal employees further confirmed that traditional leaders facilitate social cohesion by representing the municipality at the local level and could sufficiently facilitate a payment culture for municipal services and service provision. All participants affirmed that municipal governance could be enhanced by facilitating adequate collaboration between municipal employees and the traditional leaders who understand the fundamental problems and challenges that face residents. It was recommended that the local municipal management should strategically engage the traditional leaders and specify their tasks to enhance the service provision motive of the municipalities as stated in the Constitution of South Africa.
Keywords: Traditional leadership, governance, municipalities, service provision, payment culture, South Africa.