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Effectiveness of the Lean Service Principle in Controlling the Civil Service Wage Bill: A Case Study of the Government of Eswatini

aMinistry of Public Service, Eswatini
bSol Plaatje University, South Africa

Corporate Resilience

ISBN: 978-1-83753-783-9, eISBN: 978-1-83753-782-2

Publication date: 13 September 2023


The Government of Eswatini (GoE) civil service wage bill has continued to rise in recent years. The personnel budget is still the largest single recurrent expenditure item in the budget in Eswatini. To control the civil service wage bill, the GoE introduced Lean Service Principle through Management Services Division (MSD). The civil service wage bill continues to rise despite the implementation of the Lean Service Principle. So far, there are no tangible outcomes that indicate that the principles applied have been effective in the reduction of the wage bill. Thus, this research aims to examine the question of why the Lean Service Principle failed to effectively slow the rampant growth of the civil service wage bill in the Kingdom of Eswatini. This study used the quantitative research approach to collect data on amounts spent on wages, the percentage increase of the wage bill for the period 2010–2017, and the percentage increase in the number of civil servants as per the Establishment Registers, 2010–2017. The study investigated the wage bill push factors, the shortcomings of the Lean Service Principle, and the Just-In-Time (JIT) Technique in the management and reduction of the GoE civil service wage bill. The study found the MSD has been applying the wrong methodologies in wage bill control, which has been evident in the continued yearly increase of the wage bill. The study recommends that the MSD should consider the utilisation of Human Resources Forecasting and Planning Techniques instead of using the Lean Service Principle and the JIT technique. This study will enable the Cabinet to make an appropriate decision on the mandate and future of the MSD, as there have been growing calls to disband the division due to the failure to reduce and/or control the wage bills as that is the core mandate of the division.



Sifundza, S.G. and Kabir, M.H. (2023), "Effectiveness of the Lean Service Principle in Controlling the Civil Service Wage Bill: A Case Study of the Government of Eswatini", Seifi, S. and Crowther, D. (Ed.) Corporate Resilience (Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 173-200.



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