Latest resources

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

PPiPP partners, The Public Service and 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.

Factsheet 10: African charter on decentralisation, local governance and local development
Author: Jaap de Visser, Nico Steytler and Tinashe Chigwata
Published: Aug 10, 2021

The African Union (AU) adopted the ‘African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development’ in 2014. The Charter is the first real effort of the AU to promote decentralised systems of governance on the continent. It provides a framework for local governance, which parties to the Charter are required to implement in their respective countries.

Report on Hung Councils in South Africa: Law and Practice
Author: Jennica Beukes
Published: Apr 01, 2021

Coalition governments across South Africa's municipalities have mostly been unstable. Are there any mechanisms or rules that can be adopted to facilitate stability in coalition governments? Does the law need to be reformed to accommodate coalition governments in local government? How can existing structures in local government be used to structure coalition governments in a way that parties are encouraged to cooperate in the coalition? This paper discusses coalition governments in municipalities and offers insight into these questions.

Research Report: Testing the Limits of Openness, Transparency and Access to Information – Public Access to Information that Parliament Requests from Departments
Author: Keathela
Published: Feb 08, 2021

The Parliamentary Monitoring Group and the Dullah Omar Institute’s overall intention with this project is to support transparency and public access to information. We did this by assessing how often parliamentary committees rely on requests for information in addition to that which is presented or provided to committees during the public space of a meeting; to try to assess the extent to which departments comply with these requests; and to see how available these documents are to the public. The research concludes that the systems and processes to ensure that such additional requested information is both provided to committees by departments and made available to the public require urgent attention. Otherwise, the effect is that the Executive responses to Committees oversight questions are never made public. This is the equivalent of an ‘in camera’ meeting.

Transparency in local government procurement during COVID-19
Author: Carlene van der Westhuizen, Tinashe Chigwata and Jaap de Visser
Published: Jul 10, 2020

Municipalities procure goods and services from private entities almost daily. These goods and services are often essential for ensuring the provision of basic amenities such as water, sanitation, electricity, and refuse removal.

Submission to Parliament: Virtual public participation and recommendations for enhanced virtual public access to the work of Parliament
Author: Keathela
Published: Jul 07, 2020

This submission follows two previous substantive communications relating to the functioning of the legislatures during the national disaster that were sent on 25 March 2020 and on 10 April 2020. These communications, the substantive issues raised, and our offers to support Parliament in its efforts to operate as a public forum serving the interests of the people of South Africa, have been met with silence from your respective offices. What follows is an assessment of how we have experienced the recent efforts of the National Parliament in migrating to full time virtual meetings, and proposals for enhancements in the mechanisms to be used to ensure that no citizen is left behind.

The Right to Food of Students in Tertiary Institutions in South Africa
Author: Oluwafunmilola Adeniyi and Ebenezer Durojaye
Published: Jul 02, 2020

In furtherance of its Access to Food for Students' Project, the Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute recently released a booklet on The Right to Food of Students in Tertiary Institutions in South Africa. The Access to Food for Students' Project forms a part of the Governance programme at the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE- FS)