Volume 7, Issue 4, September 2005

Cross-Boundary Municipalities to Dissapear: New Provincial Borders.

Cross-boundary municipalities are set to disappear on the date of the forthcoming elections local government election. On that date, provincial borders and the current cross boundary municipalities will be incorporated in one or other province. Five provinces are affected by the disappearances of 16 cross border municipalities. In addition, there will be a shift of municipalities between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The Property Rates Act: A Tool For Poverty Alleviation.

Property rates are an important source of revenue for municipalities and this is reflected in the preamble to the Property Rates Act of 2004.There is a need to provide local government with access to a sufficient and buoyant source of revenue necessary to fulfil its developmental objectives. At the same time, however, a municipality's financial health should not be attained at the unjustifiable expense of the poor within its area. The power to impose rates should take into account the imbalances of the past and the burden of rates on the poor.

Defining Local Government Powers: The Need For Guidance.

The powers and functions of local government are listed in schedules 4B and 5B of the Constitution. The schedules list functional areas without detailed definitions of each area. There is a considerable overlap between local government functional areas and those of provincial government, listed in Schedules 4A and 5A. Due to this, there is a degree of confusion about who does what. A lack of clarity about role definition may prejudice service delivery and cause conflict over resources and authority.

The Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan.

Each municipality classified as high capacity in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 is required to compile a service delivery and budget implementation plan. The SDBIP is a management, implementation and monitoring tool that will assist the mayor, municipal manager, councillors, senior managers and the community with realising the municipality's strategic objectives as outlined in the Integrated Development Plan.