ISO 9001: 2008 Standard for Local Government
Drakenstein Municipality
South Africa

The Problem

The project started in June 2009 after careful consideration of the undeniable impact tourism could have on the Drakenstein Region. Tourism to the Western Cape is like diamonds to Kimberly. There is no doubt that tourism has the potential to counterweight the many challenges of the Drakenstein Region which includes poverty, unemployment and a struggle to access basic training and skills development. The MEC for Tourism announced that for every 8th tourist who is visiting the Western Cape, one (1) new employment opportunity is being created.
The Drakenstein Municipality internalised the tourism function which primarily was privately driven. This practice severely hampered the ability of emerging tourism entrepreneurs to access the tourism market and as a result many potential tourism entrepreneurs lost out on a potentially viable and sustainable business endeavour.
It was then discovered that in order to make meaningful contribution to the function of the Tourism Unit, that processes and procedures need to be standardised in order to ensure that consistency is maintained, corrective measures being are applied and that the needs and expectations of the client (the tourist and new and established tourism businesses) are being met on a consistent basis.
The Drakenstein Area primarily attracts foreign tourist therefore, it was thought prudent to implement a total quality management system which is both practical and suitable for the local market and one which is also internationally recognised. Thus, the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Standard for Local Government was implemented. This standard was chosen due to an increased influx of tourists to the Drakenstein Area, and also due to the increase in tourist related businesses which started as a direct result of the increase in the total number of tourists.
Because the Tourism Unit is assisting up-coming tourist business it became immensely imperative that sound systems and procedures be in place to ensure the minimum turn-around time with tourism related applications whilst at the very same not compromising on the level of service expected from tourists.

After the project was implemented there was a visible increase in the level of efficiency. Procedures and processes were much more organised and streamlined to the needs and expectations of the customer. The nonconformance procedure in the ISO Standard ensured that challenges and its root causes are identified and addressed in terms of the standard set by the Municipality. Regular internal quality audits assisted the Municipality further to define processes and procedures in line with the nonconformances as identified during implementation.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The positive influence of a Total Quality Management (TQM) System on the improvement of the client’s experience cannot be denied. Drakenstein Municipality is the first Municipality in the Western Cape and second outside the border of the Province to have successfully implemented a TQM System, one which has been duly certified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). The System enables the Tourism Unit to apply corrective action to service delivery deficiencies and challenges. This means that this unit is able to assess its service delivery model and to customise it to the needs of their clients but this requires explicit examination of business processes and procedures. The evaluation of business processes and procedures will present the Tourism Unit with the opportunity of process and procedure cleansing and be able to streamline outputs and outcomes in a more and deliberate way.
The impact of the ISO Total Quality Management Standard is measured using customer satisfaction questionnaires. These questionnaires are collated and analysed annually. Because this standard is being implemented for less than a year, it is not possible to measure the impact thereof as yet. However, initial analysis indicates a positive outlook.
The major beneficiaries of this project are the domestic and international tourist as well as start-up tourism and tourism related businesses. The local residents also benefit from this project due to the fact that by assisting and enabling tourism businesses to start and excel, employment opportunities are being created in a sustainable manner.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The Executive Director: Strategic Services, Dr. Pravine Naidoo, proposed that the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Standard for Local Government be implemented as an instrument to constructively engage with the ever increasing demand for better service delivery.
It was decided that the Tourism Unit of the Municipality be piloted to test how the standard will be applied in practice. All the Tourism staff was involved in the project and no other government and or NGO were assisting with the project. However, the Municipality did appoint a service provider to assist with the project.
The project was implemented by the Management Representative, who was the Project Leader, Dr. Pravine Naidoo and all the Tourism Staff.
Externally, the community, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), community based organisations (CBO’s), government departments and other stakeholders who are dealing with tourism directly or indirectly will benefit by implementing this quality standard.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The Drakenstein Municipality’s Tourism Unit was used as a pilot site to implement the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard for Local Government. Given the nature of the area (predominantly Agricultural with major focus on the wine industry) it made logical sense that the TQM project be implemented in this unit.
Some of the actions taken initiating and implement the ISO Standard in the Drakenstein Municipality include the following:
i) Arranged departmental meetings with the pilot unit;
ii) Seek approval from the Executive Management Team (EMT) to implement a TQM System in this pilot unit;
iii) Solicit a qualified and experienced service provider to assist with the implementation;
iv) Arranged information sessions with the pilot unit to explain the extent and impact of this project;
v) Arranged process mapping sessions;
vi) Arranged process review sessions;
vii) Provide Internal Quality Audit Training; and
viii) Provided Management with regular feedback.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The implementation process consisted of the following:
i) Process mapping. It was required that participants identify the processes and procedures and map it according to their current operations.
ii) Procedure writing. Procedures and processes were drafted in consultation with the participants. Participants were required to document procedures and processes which processes and procedures drafting were facilitated by the service provider and the Management Representative.
iii) System Procedure Writing. The service provider was tasked to write the System Procedures with the Management Representative responsible to draft the Quality Audit Procedure.
iv) Process review. Drafted processes were reviewed by participants for authorisation purposes.
v) Record keeping. It was also required of participants to keep records which relates to processes and procedures.
vi) TQM System Training. TQM System Training was scheduled in order to ensure that the pilot unit is ready when processes and procedures were going to be audited.
vii) Internal Quality Audits. Trail Internal Quality Audits were scheduled to ascertain the level of readiness before Stage 1 of the certification process.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
Most of the staff members were reluctant to participate in the project, especially after they comprehend the precise extent of the project. Limited acceptance in the project was experienced. Most of the employees cited that this project causes additional duties onto an already over-burdened workforce.
After further consultation and awareness sessions the Tourism Unit was much more cooperative and participative in the project. They were organised and helpful with the review of documented procedures. They were aware of the required input from their side to make this project a success. However, the momentum was lost when employees perceive management as not as involved as the staff was. The employee employer relationship deteriorated to such extend that none of the Tourism Unit Staff was motivated anymore to complete the project.
In summary some of the challenges experienced in the implementation include the following:
i) Lack of motivation and or interest from managers;
ii) Scheduled meetings being cancelled;
iii) Failure of managers to authorise processes and procedures timeously;
iv) Non-attendance at scheduled meetings;
v) Assignments not finished on time;
vi) Limited availability of service provider;
vii) Records and documents system not in place;
viii) Employees becoming despondent in the project due to a perceived lack of interest from superiors;

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The Drakenstein Municipality sourced funds from its own budget and a service provider was appointed to assist with the implementation of the TQM System and also to capacitate the Management Representative.
The Management Representative is an employee employed by the Municipality to ensure that after the project is being implemented that it is being sustained. The Management Representative was trained and capacitated to facilitate the implementation the ISO Standard.
The service provider provided technical assistance regarding the implementation of the technical provisions as encapsulated in the ISO 9001:2008 Quality management Standard.
The cost of the project was estimated at R100 000.00.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Currently the project is being sustained by making funding available from the Municipality’s budget. Furthermore, the Municipality has appointed a Performance and Total Quality Management Officer who acts as the Management Representative (a requirement of the ISO Standard) to oversee the maintenance of this project. Three Tourism employees were trained in ISO 9001:2008 for Local Government Standard auditing. These employees will on a regular basis, in terms of the Internal Audit Procedure (which is an ISO System Procedure), audit the various processes and procedures as encapsulated in the ISO Manual. These employees are employed by the Municipality on a full time basis and are receiving regular training in this regard. These employees are deployed within the Tourism Unit as to ensure ownership of the project.
There are very few municipalities and other government institutions who are applying total quality management standards in their respective organisations.
The Drakenstein Municipality was the first Municipality in the Western Cape to apply this standard to it services. The project is sustainable and the South African Bureau of Standards will do regular quality audits to determine if the project is being maintained in line with the certification which the Municipality received.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
At this stage it is a bit difficult to measure the impact the project has had on the Municipality and in the Drakenstein Areas as a whole.
However, some of the lessons learned are that by constructively engaging with your challenges it is indeed possible to overcome them. ISO 9001:2008 has taught the Municipality that by applying corrective measures on a continuous and consistent basis that the level of customer satisfaction indeed can be raised and through this intervention the sentiment can be negated that local government is under-performing.
The Municipality was externally assessed by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and was certified as conforming to the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard for Local Government. The lessons learned during the Stage 1 and 2 quality audits are invaluable to the Municipality and will ensure that the quality standards are being maintained.
The key lessons learnt from this project are that to implement such a project requires a measure of change management. Government officials tend to be set in their ways and at times it is difficult to introduce new projects that will see a change in how work is done. This Total Quality Management System has proved that it is indeed possible to change the way work is done to the benefit of the customers in a government setting.
Another key lesson lies in the fact that to introduce new projects and programmes requires a level of marketing. Total Quality Management, though not a new concept is relatively new to most government/ municipal officials and this posed some challenges when introduced in the Municipality. Officials were very unenthusiastic towards this project when it became evident about the real and potential benefit not only for the Municipality but also for themselves.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Drakenstein Municipality
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Pravine Naidoo
Title:   Doctor  
Telephone/ Fax:   021 807 4556 Mobile: 082 415 5749
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Civic Centre; Bergriver Boulevard; Paarl
Postal Code:   7622
City:   Paarl
State/Province:   Western Cape
Country:   South Africa

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