South Africa’s top performing municipalities have a lot in common with the key attributes of successful private sector companies.
Mubesko Africa consults to top-rated municipalities such as Bergrivier, Breede Valley, Cape Agulhas Municipality, Drakenstein, Garden Route, George, Mossel Bay, Swartland, Swellendam, Hantam, and South Africa’s Number One rated municipality, Weskus Distrik. As such, Mubesko has a keen understanding of why certain municipalities are successful.
1. Customer Focus
A municipality’s customers are its communities which pay for services. Added to the core focus are investors and funders who expect solid governance, financial security, a stable environment, and growth potential. Well-managed municipalities understand these needs and plan to deliver.
“The top municipalities have a calling to make a difference to their communities and stakeholders and they take this very seriously”.
2. Mentoring & Growth
Performing municipalities are fully committed to mentoring and developing their employees, ensuring that the municipality can deliver to or beyond expectations. The quality of its people is the key to performance, and signals respect for their communities.
“We come across municipal managers and officials with decades of experience still growing through further degrees, masters, and doctorates to meet the changing times”.
3. Talent Attraction
High performance municipalities attract, develop, and retain top talent. To attract the best, you need to be amongst the best because talent is rare.
“Where the public and private sector differ is that successful companies work hard on building their brands to appeal to the aspirations of true talent. The public sector still focuses time and money on creating new logos or campaigns which often has little meaning. There is so much more to a brand than a logo”.
4. True Leadership
It starts at the top. Leaders must guide, encourage, inspire, and accept accountability. No different to the private sector.
“There is protocol to observe in municipalities which can falsely elevate the status of non-performing executives. But we have found that the executives of top municipalities are more concerned with what they do than who they are”.
One can argue that municipalities are hamstrung by mounds of legislation and Acts. But this is no different to private companies which have strong governance and compliance measures in place. Whether it is a municipality or company, so-called ‘red tape’ is there for very good reasons. We have seen the devastation in South Africa in the public service – and indeed, the private sector – when governance is poor or non-existent.
“Top municipal executives and managers embrace the rules but never use it as an excuse for non-delivery. The best municipal managers adhere to compliance but see it as an aid to be decisive and make things happen”.
Mubesko’s track record in the challenging municipal environment has attracted the attention of private companies. It is encouraging to know that our best municipalities can inspire others, including the private sector.
Apart from Mubesko’s experience in financial management and accounting, the company also offers specialised services such as Forensic Investigations and Asset Accounting which naturally converge and result in a three-dimensional service which adds huge value.
Nico de Kock
+27 82 905 5399