local government

What is at Stake for New Councils in South Africa?

The eight percent decline in the voters’ support for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party between 2011 and 2016 represents a fundamental shift in South African politics.
 
Much has been written on the implications for the ANC and the country, but a significant and underreported short-term impact relates to the implications for budget expenditure and service delivery at a local level.
 

Is Local Really Lekker?

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.

SALGA to Train Newly-Elected Councillors

With the municipal elections completed, the focus is now on the training and induction of newly-elected councillors by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
 
SALGA will give new councillors a general understanding of their leadership roles, knowledge about local government legislation, municipal processes and service delivery.
 
SALGA chief executive officer, Xolile George, says the programme that will be rolled out in September is a much more advanced programme compared to 2011, it’s got its own unique features.
 

Municipality Pledges to Help Needy Students

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.

Poverty Rife in Sasolburg, Says SAIRR

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.
 

Women on the Decrease in Local Govt

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."

Putting Participation at the Heart of Development

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.

Municipalities Wasted R27bn, Says Report

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.”

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