Latest resources

Moving Online, Opening the (Virtual) Door: Public Access to Online Committee Meetings in National Parliament during Lockdown Research Report
Author: Keathela
Published: Jun 08, 2022

The Womxn and Democracy Initiative and the Parliamentary Monitoring Group undertook monitoring of the information that was available regarding National Parliament committee meetings from April 2020 through to 31 March 2021 during the first year of the National State of Disaster.The purpose of this research was to assess the extent to which parliamentary committees have complied with their obligation to be open and transparent, and to facilitate public access under the conditions of the pandemic.

Presentation: Accessing legislatures under C19 challenges and successes
Author: Keathela
Published: Mar 08, 2022

The move of legislatures to hold committee meetings on online meeting platforms and stream on online platforms, opened a world of possibilities to increase their reach to a wide spectrum of the public. The PPiPP project undertook work to ensure that the gains made during C19 pandemic are not lost, and to address some of the widening inequality in access that resulted due to the high costs of data and tech.

Presentation: Money Bills, the road ahead November 2021
Author: Keathela
Published: Mar 08, 2022

The presentation establishes key points for civil society engagement to potentially influence the development of Provincial Money Bill’s legislation during 2022 and beyond. It is based on information in the Status of Money Bills – November 2021 update report.

Presentation: CSPPL reflections on civil society engagement with PLs
Author: Keathela
Published: Mar 08, 2022

The Democracy Works Foundation provided this reflection on their experience leading the Civil Society Participation in Provincial Legislatures Programme. Reflecting on experiences and lessons learnt by CSOs in the Northern Cape and Limpopo Provinces. Presented at a DOI led round-table in September 2021.

A Research Report on the Legal Recognition of Paralegals in Africa: Lessons, Challenges and Good Practices
Author: Robert Nanima and Ebenezer Durojaye
Published: Feb 28, 2022

This report is the outcome of a joint research project by the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape, and the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice in Africa. Paralegals play a critical role in providing legal support and ensuring access to justice for the community, work which they do in the face of numerous challenges. Some of the factors that inhibit access to justice are poverty, illiteracy, the bureaucratic nature of legal systems, and delays in the administration of justice. This executive summary outlines the methodology, findings, and recommendations of the study. This study aims to document the role, functions, challenges and regulation of paralegals in Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda. It has been conducted in conjunction with the ACE-AJ, and it documents good practices that can be replicated in other African countries.

Money Bills and Provincial Legislatures: An Overview and Update: November 2021
Author: Seán Muller
Published: Feb 25, 2022

The purpose of this report is primarily to provide an update on the status of money bills amendment legislation across provincial legislatures in South Africa. It follows from an earlier, much more detailed, report: Fiscal Oversight by Parliament and Provincial Legislatures (2019). Readers who are interested in more background, technical detail and analysis should read the earlier report as well.

People's Guide to the Adjusted Budget
Author: Keathela
Published: Nov 30, 2021

PPiPP partners, The Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) have created an easily accessible resource titled 'A People's Guide to the Adjusted Budget 2021/22'. The Guide provides an explanation on the changes to the amounts of money allocated to departments and their programmes after the passing of the national budget in Parliament.This year's guide notes changes to the education, water and sanitation and other sectors while providing an overview of Covid-19 related spending.

How transparent is municipal procurement?
Author: Dullah Omar Institute and IBP South Africa
Published: Nov 24, 2021

This report, which focuses on transparency in local government procurement, follows on the 2020 report titled "How transparent are municipal websites about the goods and services that municipalities procure?" In total, 34 municipalities were assessed for the 2020 report. The sample of municipalities was increased to 49 in the 2021 survey.

Framework for Coalitions in Local Government
Author: Jennica Beukes and Jaap de Visser
Published: Nov 04, 2021

This Framework provides practical guidelines to political parties and councillors on the formation and management of coalitions in local government. It sets out the relevant law but also offers guidance on issues such as coalition agreements, kingmakers and the distribution of political offices.

Combating Corruption in Local Government in the Western Cape
Author: Jaap de Visser, Jennica Beukes, Thabile Chonco and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Oct 19, 2021

This report surveys the experience of local government stakeholders in the Western Cape with addressing corruption. The report was commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Local Government and supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The report gives an overview of manifestations of corruption in local government, as well as the experience of local government stakeholders in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting allegations of corruption, involving local government officials and councillors.

The Legal Framework for Combating Corruption in Local Government in the Western Cape
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler, Tinashe Chigwata and Jennica Beukes
Published: Oct 19, 2021

This report details the legal framework for combating corruption in municipalities. It was commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Local Government and supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. It presents an overview of the law applicable to detecting, investigating, and prosecuting allegations of corruption, involving local government officials and councillors.

Electing Councillors: A Guide to Municipal Elections
Author: Jaap de Visser and Nico Steytler
Published: Oct 18, 2021

The Manual provides us with further insight into the electoral process and will ensure that the various role-players are suitably informed of the rules and regulations governing them. We hope in particular that citizens, the media, political parties and their candidates take note of these legal prescripts.

FACT SHEETS ON DECENTRALISATION IN AFRICA: A SHORT-CUT GUIDE
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

A growing number of African countries are considering passing or implementing reforms that include some form of decentralisation. There is thus a demand for clear and accessible materials that would assist policymakers, practitioners, students and members of the public to better understand the various concepts and mechanisms associated with decentralisation. A few countries on the continent are considering or implementing federalism, while many more are weighing up or are already implementing decentralised systems of government.

Factsheet 1: Decentralisation: Definitions of key concepts
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

There are different forms of decentralisation: federalism, devolution, local governance, delegation, deconcentration, and traditional leaderships. What do these mean?

Factsheet 2: Federalism and federations
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

A number of countries in Africa have federal or federal-type constitutions, for example Ethiopia (1991), South Africa (1994), Nigeria (1999, re-establishing earlier federal constitutions), the Democratic Republic of Congo (2006), the Sudan (2005); Kenya (2010); South Sudan (2011), and Somalia (2012). Only in the cases of Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia does the word ‘Federal’ form part of the country’s official name, as in the ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’.

Factsheet 4: Local government autonomy
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

Local autonomy can be defined as the extent to which local governments have discretion in carrying out their obligations. This can never be interpreted as absolute freedom for local governments to take whatever decisions they like. The extent of this autonomy differs from country to country.

Factsheet 5: Local government powers
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

The powers of local government are an important indicator of the degree of local autonomy. How then are local governments empowered and their powers protected and ensured?

Factsheet 6: Local government finances
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

Finances lie at the core of effective and autonomous local government. If denied sufficient funding, local authorities cannot perform their functions. Local finances typically centre around four main matters: (1) the revenue of local authorities; (2) the budget; (3) expenditure; and (4) internal and external controls to prevent and correct poor financial management, including corruption.

Factsheet 7: Supervision of local government
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

What are the main forms of supervision? Local governments require some form of autonomy if they are to be effective in delivering on their functions. Equally important is the need for higher levels of governments to supervise local governments to ensure the promotion and protection of both local and national goals. Supervision is also important to deal with the ills often associated with decentralisation such as incapacity, corruption and resource wastage.

Factsheet 8: Local government and cooperative government
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

Why cooperative government? A decentralised system of government is defined as a system made up of two or more levels of government, with each level having powers over different functions and responsibilities. Different governments within one level (e.g. different local authorities) or governments across two or more levels, are engaged in combined and individual efforts to meet citizens’ needs and preferences. They have to work together on matters of common concern to ensure that government as a whole delivers on its mandates.

Factsheet 9: The role of traditional authorities in local governance
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

Almost all countries in Africa have traditional authorities in some form. The most common structures of the institution of traditional leadership are, in order of power and authority, kings, chiefs, headmen and village heads. Because of how they are organised, traditional authorities are the most immediate form of governance in many rural parts of the continent.