Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

In-basket Municipalities



Case Study
Version 1

Instructions for the Participant

This exercise is designed to give participants an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in managing the Paradise District Municipality.

The Paradise District Municipality is a relatively small municipality based in Limpopo. It covers an area of 113,411 square km’s with a population of 249,836 residents. It has a population density of 16,5 residents per square km.

The province is a typical developing area, exporting primary products and importing manufactured goods and services. It is also one of the poorest regions of South Africa with a big gap between poor and rich residents, especially in rural areas. However, Limpopo’s economy and standard of living have shown great improvement. A recent border shift with Limpopo’s wealthier neighbour, Mpumalanga, was affected to try and bring some wealth into the province.

The Paradise District Municipality is a new, multi-ethnic administration, formed by the ANC government in 1998 through the merging of the predominantly Northern Sotho speaking population together with various other cultures within the area.

Paradise District Municipality initiated a development initiative, which is designed to prepare potential senior managers for senior managerial positions within the Municipality. As part of this program senior managers are required to stand-in for Municipal managers should the need arise. This is now a well-established procedure within the Paradise District Municipality.

For the next 1½ hour you are to assume the role of Fritz Mashaba, one of the new upcoming managers, who has fourteen years Municipal experience. You have had various managerial exposure, having been seconded to a number of Municipalities in the past, but this is the first time you have been to the Paradise District Municipality.

It is now 7:30am, Monday morning, 10 February. You have just arrived in the office of the existing Municipal manager, Lesley Mogoro, who is away overseas and will not be back at work for at least two months. The Mayor of the district is Ann Mabusa. She is rather busy with community work, but is willing to meet with you on appointment. Lesley left on Thursday, 6 February. You have come in this morning to work through Lesley’s in-tray as you need to be at a conference at 9:30 for a very urgent two-day workshop that came up unexpectedly to discuss new legislation that affects all Municipalities. You have to attend this workshop personally and won’t be back until Wednesday, 12 February, if nothing else happens. The office hours for the Municipality is 7h30 to 16h00 with a 45-min lunch break. As traffic can be quite hectic on a Monday morning in this particular area, it is suggested that you leave as early as possible (not later than 9:00) to ensure that you get to the workshop on time.

Part of the Mission and Vision of the Municipality is to ensure first class customer services in all spheres of the Municipality.

As you are new to Paradise District Municipality you don’t have any access to computers, fax machine, telephone or telephone numbers yet and will therefore not be able to contact any person now or anytime when away on the conference. You don’t know any of the people. Staff members are also not allowed to contact you while at the conference. You want to do well to make a good impression on your Exco, Mayor and others in the Municipality.

Although this exercise is fictitious, it nevertheless represents tasks every Municipal Manager has to face on a daily basis.

  • The material in your In-Basket is as left by Lesley Mogoro.
  • Write actions to be taken for each relevant item. Remember: As this is a real situation, you need to see yourself sitting in that particular office/position, putting action to the various items – just like any effective manager would do – don’t just describe what you would do – you have to respond to the items by informing people what you want them to do.
  • You can therefore give instructions, request information, make decisions, arrange meetings, delegate assignments, write letters yourself, etc. as appropriate.
  • You should leave your In-Basket as you would expect Sarah, the Secretary, to find it when she arrives later today. You are likely to be fully occupied for the next 1½ hours or so with no time to clarify your instructions before you leave – therefore you should ensure they are all clear, self-explanatory and easy to understand by whomever the reader is.
  • You should work privately and quietly on your own and you now have 90 minutes in order to complete the In-Basket exercise.


  1. You only have 90 minutes in which to complete the exercise. If after 90 minutes you haven’t submitted your work, the page will be redirected and you will loose all the work you had done.
  2. Below is a registration form which you must complete and then submit. If you click on the “Sumit” button you will be redirected to the page containing the exercises.  From that moment on your 90 minute countdown will begin. In the right hand margin of the page, you will see a clock. Click on the start button of the clock to get it going. This is to help you time yourself. You can refer back to the clock from time to time to see how much time has already elapsed.

Now you are ready to start. Complete the registration form below and click on submit. You will then be redirected to the page containing the exercises. Good luck.


iThemba is an accredited
Provider of Education and Training
with the Services Seta # 0659

All course fees includes:

  • NQF Aligned Courses
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Light Lunch and Refreshments
  • 15% Tax

Contact info

For further information and reservations please contact Sarah Swanepoel at:
Telephone: 012 998 0809
E-Mail: artsiecrafts3@gmail.com