Theorizing and institutionalizing operation Sukuma Sakhe: a case study of integrated service delivery

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The authority of South Africa is in the midst of a profound economic crisis precipitated by high levels of unemployment and inequality, marked by political shifts unprecedented in scope subsequent to the 2016 local government elections. The recent election outcomes reveal disturbances in the social, political and economic systems of the country. These disturbances have been precipitated by low economic growth trajectory and poor investment in service delivery infrastructure. The central thesis of this paper is that in addressing the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, a symptomatic approach of addressing social ills and service delivery will not work. This paper draws from institutional theory as a sense-making mechanism to produce a scientific approach to integrated service delivery. Using the tenets of the critical reflecting methodological approach, institutional theory is deconstructed to provide an understanding of how to operationalize integrated service delivery across functions in a scientific fashion.

Keywords: service delivery, institutional theory, poverty, inequality and unemployment.
JEL Classification: L8, J64, J71, I32

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