Browsing by Author "Schoeman, Stephanus Johannes"
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- ItemIdentifying trends and relationships between key performance indicators to aid municipal mangement and decision making(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Schoeman, Stephanus Johannes; Viljoen, Celeste; Mackintosh, G.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Engineering. Dept. of Civil Engineering.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South African municipalities are under pressure to improve the current state of the water andwastewater service delivery industry. Knowing that there exists a need for improvement within the municipal water and wastewater industry, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) launched a municipal strategic self-assessment (MuSSA) initiative to evaluate the business health of the industry. MuSSA asks high level technical management staff five key questions about sixteen key business attribute areas. This study seeks to determine if theMuSSA data can be used to aid municipal decision making, by way of drawing correlations between key performance indicators contained in the MuSSA questions. The correlations are to bring forth areas thatmust be focussed on to improve selected attribute areas requiring attention within municipalities. Three areas have been chosen from theMuSSA data to be investigated in this research project namely; (i)staff skill levels and capacity, (ii)non-revenue water and (iii)the execution of planned water services activities. In the MuSSA questionnaire there are questions addressing each of (i), (ii) and (iii) to determine the municipality’s performance in each of the three areas. Non-parametric statistics are used to determine with which of the MuSSA questions’ answers the relevant questions’ answers significantly correlate for (i), (ii) and (iii). Engineering judgement and expert opinion are used to determine if the questions correlating with the relevant questions for (i), (ii) and (iii) either affect, are affected by or have no relation with the question. These results are then organized using a flow diagram and are discussed in detail by way of a bivariate histogramof each correlation. The investigation revealed that municipalities not having sufficient technical management capacity are not performing well on at least one of the five questions asked on eleven of the sixteen MuSSA business attributes. The skill level of water and wastewater treatment works staff were found to be strongly affected by technical management capacity and skill, water services planning and financial sustainability of the organization. Municipalities training technical management and operational staff showed a high percentage of skilled operational staff employed at treatment works. Water and wastewater treatment works staff capacity are very dependent of the level of skill and capacity of technical management employed by the municipality. Municipalities having appropriate budgets and funding to appoint and train staff showed a tendency to be better at operational staff capacity building than those lacking funding. The reduction of non-revenue water (NRW) showed strong correlations with technical management and network operational repair staff skills and development. Municipalities employing staff with correct skills and experience combined, with commitment from management to reduce NRW by way of monitoring and practicing of pressuremanagement programs, significantly reduced NRW percentages. Equally crucial to the reduction of NRW, as revealed from the investigation, is the practicing of infrastructure asset management within the municipality. It was concluded that municipalities should strive to reach a NRW percentage of 30% or less to become financially stable, due to correlation between funding of routine operations and building up of cash reserve versus NRW percentages. Municipalities wanting to improve the execution rate of planned water services activities are recommended to address, among other factors, technical management skill levels and capacity. Municipalities lacking technical management skill and capacity reported a low percentages of planned activities being executed. Also of high significance, is the technical operational staff skill levels and capacity, due to their involvement in the execution of planned activates. The involvement of council members in water and wastewater planning and the reporting of data and issues to council greatly enhancesmunicipalities’ abilities to execute planned activities. This can mainly be contributed to increased funding in situations where council members support planned projects. The lack of funding was found to be a major inhibitor of the execution of planned activities. Even though a great deal of municipalities indicated that they are effectively spending allocated budgets, this positive indication is not seen in the percentage municipalities executing planned activities and leads to the conclusion that there is a lack of funding. Municipalities taking actions in other areas of their business such as infrastructure assetmanagement and planning were more effective at executing planned activities. In all, it was concluded that technicalmanagement and operational staff skill levels and capacity need to be present for amunicipality to function properly. Municipalities also are in need of funding to execute planned activities and need to become financially self sustainable. One way of working towards the goal of financial self sustainability is the reduction of NRW percentages. The data from this investigation shows great similarity with the literature consulted on the current state and functioning of South African municipalities. The statistical analysis of the MuSSA data accurately revealed correlations among key performance indicators in municipalities. The conclusion can be drawn that investigation of correlations amongMuSSA questions can be used to help aid municipal decision making.