Local Government Bulletin

Volume 9, Issue 2, April/May 2007
Author: MLGA(Community Law Centre)
Published: Oct 10, 2017
Global City Regions: International Perspectives
Author: Nico Steytler

Gauteng is claimed to be a "global city region". What does this mean? The City region refers to an area comprised of more than city or urban node- a metropolitan region. The term "global" refers to a city region which is connected in a series of networks with the global economy. As a global economic hub, a city region competes with other global economic hubs for capital and resources. The question is then, how can the region compete more effectively with other global city regions.

Are District Municipalities Still Relevant?
Author: Dr Vuyo Mlokoti

A lot of talk and discussion documents have been making the rounds in the past two or three years about the imminent restructuring of the state machinery and the review of provinces. Yet little or nothing is said about the inevitable question: What is the future of district municipalities?

Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan.
Author: Dr Jaap de Visser

Over the past few years, municipalities have become acquainted with the three key instruments for strategic management. First, the integrated development plan (IDP) sets out the municipality's key priorities and objectives for the medium and long term. Second, the IDP is implemented through the municipal budget, which allocates resources to the priorities of the IDP for the financial year and two years thereafter. Third, the municipality monitors its performance on the priorities objectives of the IDP through its performance management system. So where does the the service delivery and budget implementation plan (SDBIP) fit in? The introduction of another instrument accompanied by procedures and legal requirements can easily make local government practitioners sceptical or obsessed with compliance. This article makes a case foR viewing the SDBIP from a common-sense perspectives rather than a legal-compliance perspective only.

Local Government and Decentralisation in Cameroon.
Author: Dr Soren David

As far back as 1986, the President of Cameroon acknowledged the need to introduce decentralisation in order to make the people aware of their responsibilities and develop their sense of participation. Little was implemented in this regard until the end of the century. Even the emergence of an opposition movement st the end of the Cold War resulted in no more than gradual changes.

Volume 9, Issue 1, February/March
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Oct 10, 2017
Municipality's Share of the National Pie: New Grants, More Money in the Fight Against Poverty.
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

The Division of Revenue Bill 2007, introduced by the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manual, sets out the allocations local government will receive for the 2007/2008 financial year. The Bill not only determines local government's equitable share of revenue raised by the national government, but it also contains a number of innovations. The most important are the new conditional grants- the Neighbourhood Development Partnership grant and the Water Services Bulk Infrastructure grant.

Community Participation: The Cornerstone of Local Participatory Democracy.
Author: Dr Jaap de Visser

Community participation is key to the functioning of local government. One of the constitutional objects of local government is to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in local government. The Landmark Doctors for Life and Matatiele judgments, passed by the Constitutional Court in August 2006, are critical for the interpretation of the law of community participation in local government.

Legal Briefs.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)

Does Item 12 of the Code of Conduct for Councillors prevent Councillors from acquiring municipal property?

Decentralised Response to HIV & AIDS.
Author: Marije Versteeg

In recent years, many municipalities have started formulating and implementing their HIV and AIDS response strategies and much progress has been made. However, most are still grasping with the issue and responses are often limited in nature, concentrating on some aspects of a comprehensive AIDS response but not yet to the extent of a well-coordinated and integrated HIV and AIDS strategy.

Immunity for Councillors: Testimony Outside Council.
Author: Reuben Baartjies

Councillor's immunity from civil liability for anything they say in council is an important cornerstone of constitutional democracy and protects councillors from defamation actions. But the ambit of the immunity is not without limit.

Return to Sender: Municipalities and the Postal Services Act
Author: Omolabake Akintan

The Postal Services Act of 1998 stipulates that delivery of all "letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels..." is a reserved service which may only be performed by a licensed provider. The delivery of Bills, statements of accounts, notices and such documents sent by municipalities to consumers of municipal services falls within the definition of reserved services.

The Winds of Change: Local Government Gaining Momentum
Author: Yonatan Tesfaye Fessha

Decentralisation and Local Government are fast becoming buzz words of African governments busy reconfiguring their state structure. This has not always been the case. Centralisation of power has long been considered a solution for African ills. With the increasing shifting of powers to local government, the tight grip of central governments on power is slowly but surely loosening.

Volume 8, Issue 5, November 2006.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Oct 09, 2017
Calming the "Cape storm" Intergovernmental Relations in Action.
Author: Omolobake Akintan

The highly politicised dispute in the City if Cape Town about a proposed change in the system of governance from an executive mayoral system to an executive committee system was finally resolved by an agreement between Mayor Helen Zille and MEC Richard Dyantyi. The dispute settlement mediated by Minister Sydney Mufamadi is a good illustration of how the intergovernmental Relations Framework operates in practice.

The Practice of Premier's Intergovernmental Forums
Author: Yonatan Tesfaye Fessha

The Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, which came into effect on 15 August 2005, requires that all provinces must have established Premier's Intergovernmental Forums within one year of the Act coming into operation. That year has come and gone. Have the PIF's been established? Are they functioning as envisaged by the Act?

Executive Commitees: Proportional or Fair Representation?
Author: Omolabake Akintan

The recent debate over plans to change the type of government in the City of Cape Town raised some interesting questions about the composition of executive committees. It is often assumed that am executive committee must be based on proportional representation, with seats automatically assigned according to the representation of each party in the municipal council. While this is possible and in most cases desirable, the courts have held that it is an option open to the municipal council but not an imperative.

HIV & AIDS: Why and How Local Government Must Respond.
Author: Marije Versteeg

The epidemic, its prevention and its consequences require coordinated responses of all institutions and sectors involved in municipal development. While municipalities may need further guidance through national programmes to know how to respond, the municipal management gas to ensure that appropriate measures are being implemented on the ground.

Municipalities and Clean Development Mechanism Projects.
Author: Kate Reynolds

Landfill sites are excellent opportunities for municipalities to develop Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, but the window of opportunity for municipalities to do is limited. What are the phases or steps in the development of a CDM project?

Volume 8, Issue 4, September 2006.
Author: MLGA (Community Law Centre)
Published: Sep 27, 2017
The Duty to Involve the Public: The Constitutional Court Speaks.
Author: Geraldine Mettler

The Constitutional Twelfth Amendment Act altered the basis for determining provincial boundaries and resulted in, among other things, in the changing of provincial boundaries between Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. It effectively relocated the local municipality of Matatiele from Sisonke District Municipality in KwaZulu Natal to the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape and relocated Umzimkhulu Local Municipality from Alfred Nzo District Municipality into the Sisonke District Municipality in KwaZulu Natal.

The State of Our Cities.
Author: Omalabake Akintan

The South African Cities Network recently released its 2006 State of the Cities Report. This report is an update of the 2004 report, which looked at how cities were confronting the challenges of the post-apartheid era. The 2006 report focuses on the trends in municipal governance between 2001 and 2006. It also provides an in depth analysis of some of the challenges that municipalities face and outlines policy options available to them in addressing these challenges.

Making Headlines
Author: Mail & Guardian Article

Gauteng has officially been declared a global city region. It is set to become the 12th largest metropolitan settlement in the world by 2015. Gauteng is already recognised as a global city region with a population of over 9.5 million people and the fourth largest economy in Africa. It contributes more than a third of the country's GDP.

Municipalities and Clean Development Projects.
Author: Kate Reynolds

The emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is a major factor in climate change. The most recent scientific evidence shows that global warming is happening at an alarming and increasing rate.

Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks: Changing Municipal Boundaries.
Author: Annette Christmas

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is entrusted with the often difficult task of demarcating municipal boundaries. Disputes around cross-boundary municipalities and the changing of municipal boundaries have recently been the focus of violent protests by communities affected by these decisions. The MDB recently published a proposal about the incorporation of the Paarl, Wellington, Stellenbosch and Drakenstein municipalities into the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality. The notice attracted much attention in the media and raised important questions around how the MDB engages with proposals received from the public.

When Everything is Political: A Customer Care Model For Local Government.
Author: Martin Nicol

A mayor was called to a community meeting. People had been promised houses, but where were they? The mayor had no houses handy and she had not made the promise, but the people were angry. One man got up and threatened to drive out those who had been allocated houses in a neighbouring development. Conflict was in the air. The mayor listened. She had no magic solution to this problem, but she listened and show the people that she understood. She did not solve the problem but she did defuse the crisis.

EU-Africa strategy: A way out of poverty?
Author: Dr Jaap de Visser

The Good Governance Learning Network is a loose network of South African NGO's that focuses on promoting good governance. It is funded by the Ford Foundation and supported by other funding partners such as the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.