The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is the single national representative body for local government.
When it comes to local government, then ‘local is lekker’ does not apply and the opposite is more likely. For many years municipalities have made concessions in terms of rates and taxes that apply to benevolent organisations, including institutions that care for traumatised children. Sadly, this has changed and one can only assume that municipalities do not embrace social responsibility as part of their corporate conduct or in business practise.
Only a week after a Sowetan report that five Ekurhuleni pupils were in desperate need of help to further their studies, the Ekurhuleni district municipality has pledged to pay for their studies.
The learners all from the Katlehong township, faced a bleak future despite having done well in their studies. They all scored six matric distinctions but a lack of funds meant they could not further their studies.
The Ekurhuleni’s municipality’s Zweli Dlamini, says they decided to invest in the future of the children after they realised what tremendous potential they have.
The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says that half the residents of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality - where Zamdela is located - earn less than R400 a month.
Residents from the township, in Sasolburg in the Free State, were protesting against plans to merge Sasolburg with the Ngwathe Local Municipality, under which Parys falls.
President Jacob Zuma says that women's representation in local government has decreased after the 2011 elections.
Zuma says this is despite the increase in representation of women in Parliament from 2.7 percent during apartheid to 27 percent after 1994.
Addressing the Progressive Women's Movement of South Africa conference in Mthatha, he pointed out that, "The country missed the opportunity at these elections to advance local government towards a 50/50 gender parity."
There is good news, and there is bad when it comes to local government.
The bad news is the old news that South Africa's magnificent policy framework is still not producing matching results either on the ground or in popular perceptions of local government. There is eager and active involvement in community organisations across the country, but citizens feel ignored, bewildered and frustrated by formal government processes.
Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says that municipalities could have saved R27 billion in the previous financial year - that is R74 million per day by cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
Gordhan urged new council members to, “Cut down on non-essentials and get your planning, budgets, service delivery and bureaucracy right.”
Speaking at the launch of the Treasury’s latest financial municipal oversight report, Gordhan said that new council members have to “forget about fancy extras like brand new Mercedes-Benzes.”
According to the Constitution of South Africa (Section 152), one of the objects of local government is to promote social development.
On the 13th of April 2011, NGOs whose core focus is the improvement of governance at the local level, gathered at the Cape Milner in Cape Town under the aegis of the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN) to launch the State of Local Governance report (SoLG) for 2010-11. Besides the delegates from the organisations that constitute the Network, the occasion was graced by the Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Yunus Carrim as the key respondent to the report presentation.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) sticking to its confusing tabulation of the results, which grants the African National Congress (ANC) 63.65 percent of the vote and 1.6 percentage points more than it got in the municipal elections.
At the same time, in official results presentations, the IEC used the figure of 62 percent support for the ANC, which political parties generally accept as the correct one.
The IEC has granted there is ‘confusion’ but has denied it helped to create the confusion, and continues to do so by highlighting the false 63,65 percent figure.