Volume 8, Issue 2, May 2006.

Edging Toward 50/50: The Final Score

This year's elections marked a step forward for woman's representation in local government, but it stopped short of the goal of equal gender representation set out in the White Paper for local government. That said, However, the number of woman councillors elected has increased significantly from 29% in 2000 to 40% in this year's election.

Salaries Scale Upwards For Mayors, Managers and Councillors.

National government recently gazetted new and bigger remuneration packages for municipal councillors. The proposal sees a big jump in salaries for all office-bearers, especially part-time councillors. However, some dangers lurk in the changes for rural councils and voters in poorer communities.

Tackling Silositis: The Division Disease.

When examining failure of local government to deliver services, a lack of funds and lack of capacity, the failure to spend allocated budgets and lagging repairs and maintenance are found to be the usual culprits for poor municipal performance and accumulating backlogs.

The District Health System: Place and Role of Local Government.

The National Health Act 61 of 2003 ushered in a new era in the development of South Africa's health system. Health sector reforms in South Africa are geared towards a comprehensive and integrated national health system, based on the primary health care approach and delivered thorough the a district health system. The Act envisages a municipality based district health system and thus has significant implications for local government.

Keep It Local

Local democracy is a cornerstone of the new South African State. The Constitution says that local government will provide democratic and accountable government for local communities. Municipalities will build local democracy, which means that the municipal community has the opportunity to elect representatives into office and hold them accountable for their performance. A few examples of recent political party decisions are discussed and compared with the ideals of strong local government.

Managing District-Local Municipal Relations.

The Relationship between district and local municipalities varies from cordial and cooperative to conflictual and unproductive. What causes this conflict and ultimately poor service delivery? Can it be managed? The new intergovernmental Relations Framework tries to solve this problem by establishing district intergovernmental forums.

Legal Briefs: When Does A Councillor Take Office?

Does a candidate become a councillor on the day of the election or on the day that he or she is sworn in? This matter is important in relation to matters such as remuneration. It also arise during the council's term when a vacancy in the council is filled.