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TitleThe Impact of Language in Public Service Delivery: The Case of Thulamela Local Municipality, Limpopo Province
AuthorLamola-Maluleke, Malehu Getrude
SubjectPublic service
SubjectService delivery
SubjectPublic service sector
SubjectCritical theory
SubjectSocial identity theory
Format1 online resource (ix, 122 leaves : illustrations, maps)
AbstractCentre for African Studies
AbstractThe purpose of this research project was to explore the impact of language in public services in terms of service delivery. The study was steered by the fundamental question that required the researcher to assess the extent to which language impacts on service delivery. Previous research focused much on the challenges in service delivery that culminated in riots and demonstrations by communities. Complaints ranged from poor service delivery, lack of effective service delivery, to corruption, all of which affected quality service delivery. On the contrary, this study seeks to broaden the horizon by bringing in a new dimension that looks into the interrelation between service delivery and language, and the impact thereof. The study intends to provide a better understanding of the significance of language in the public service sector. The nature of the study is both exploratory and descriptive. The study is underpinned by two theoretical frameworks, namely, the Critical Theory and the Social Identity Theory; which were used as the lenses through which interactions between the municipality and communities were perceived. The analysis of both interviews and document study analysis outlined the importance of dissecting information through various modes of communication: in this case, orally and also in a written form. The language of the communities was also adopted in order to address the challenges of service delivery. The study elicited the importance of language in the partnership between municipalities, as the local governing structure, and its communities. This study recommends that Thulamela Municipality should, in its organisational structure, incorporate a language service (like a language desk) which would handle all issues related to language - for instance, translation and interpreting - to ensure effective communication with its communities. In addition, the study also recommends that the Thulamela Municipality should adhere to the laws and legislation of South Africa, in terms of language use in its jurisdiction.