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INPUT TO PLENARY 4: DEVELOPMENTAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
PROVIDING LEADERSHIP FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT &
ECONOMIC GROWTH
HELD DURING CLGF CONFERENCE 2013
KAMPALA, UGANDA
PRESENTED BY CHAIRPERSON OF SALGA
CLLR THABO MANYONI
15 MAY 2013
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Background
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Local Government in South Africa is constitutionally mandated to play an important
role in socio-economic development with Local Economic Development being one
of its key 5 areas of performance.
Local Government therefore is ultimately the space where economic growth,
poverty eradication and social development needs to take place, both in terms of
space and operating environment.
Government programmes aiming at eradicating poverty and inequality in South
Africa, seek to ensure that services such as transport, sport and recreation
infrastructure, social grants, library services, and health services, are made
available to all.
Unfortunately governance and intergovernmental structures for the fight against
poverty are relatively weak, e.g. intergovernmental poverty eradication
programmes in municipalities (War Rooms), which are effectively an ‘unfunded
mandate’.
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Background (Continued)
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Some of the instruments and services necessary for poverty eradication are not
within local government’s constitutional, legislative and funding frameworks,
Secondly, decentralization within poverty and inequality eradication functions
has often followed a ‘one-size fits all’ approach even as metropolitan
municipalities demonstrate fundamental differences in capacity and pertinence of
issues to other categories of municipalities.
Thirdly, where decentralization has occurred, it has not been consolidated
through constitutional and legislative reform to entrench local government’s
role.
SALGA and its membership have adopted a human development approach by
recognising that in real terms poverty itself has “several faces; [wherein], a poor
household could be considered “needy” in terms of health, but could have access
to education or food [consequently] social policies should present multiple areas of
treatment.
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Constitutional Framework
for Local Government
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The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides for 3 Spheres of
government, having specified powers and functions, but are:
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Distinctive;
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Interdependent; and
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Interrelated
Local Government, as one sphere with 283 Municipal Councils, plays a
crucial role in advancing the interest of its citizens.
As municipalities, effective participation in the system of InterGovernmental Relations requires that local government acts as a
Collective (with a common vision). This imperative is recognized and
entrenched in the Constitution and Legislation (i.e. Organized Local
Government Act, Municipal Systems Act, etc.)
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SALGA’s Mandate
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Section 163 of the Constitution envisages an important role for organized
local government and provides that an Act of Parliament must cater for
the recognition of national and provincial organizations representing
municipalities, and determine procedures by which local government may
consult the national and provincial government, designate representatives
to participate in the National Council of Province (NCOP) and nominate
persons to the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC)
SALGA has demonstrated a political preference for a unitary structure for
organised local government, i.e. one structure that is governed through a
constitution as one unit
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SALGA’s Mandate
(Continued)
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The Organized Local Government Act, Act 52 of 1997:
• Authorises the Minister to recognise a national organization
representing the majority of provincial associations as well as the
provincial association representing the majority of municipalities in
each province.
• Organised local government represents municipalities by articulating
their interests and seeking to coordinate their policies and programmes
with those of the other spheres.
• Our current achievement has been the collective development of a 5
year Strategic Agenda that has undertaken to improving local economic
development and intergovernmental relations with the aim of
supporting employment creation through the improvement of municipal
capacities to lead job creation.
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Leadership Role of
Local Government
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Understanding that local government on its own cannot create jobs, a
joint mapping of economic development targets, response approaches and
intelligence with other key stakeholders is critical.
Local government can and should continue to act as a key facilitator
between the different spheres of government and sectors through the
Integrated Development Planning (IDP) process.
Local government is also well located and strategically positioned to lead
business and private sector to see the value of forming part of the
developmental agenda.
This would also translate into a more responsive socio-economic planning,
indicative of local development needs though policy and regulation.
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Leadership Role of
Local Government (Continued)
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Integration of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2013 as well as
Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS) in to the
programmes of municipalities to ensure alignment with national
development targets including the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs).
Facilitating joint championing of local economic development initiatives
through high level engagements between public and private sector
decision makers for a developmental agenda.
Organizing capacity and leveraging resources from all stakeholders to deal
with the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.
Provision of leadership in networking, clustering, economic intelligence,
tools for economic growth and a sustained public private sector dialogue.
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Policy deficiencies impacting
on Local Government
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Local Government as windows of coordination - One-stop Shops
Social services that are funded through the equitable share (formally or
informally) will invariably be vulnerable to underfunding in instances
where fiscal capacity is higher than actual revenue collection due to
shocks. Very often the user-fees charged for social services are negligible
if existent at all.
Metropolitan municipalities are able to generate substantial own-revenues
outside the equitable share (government grants) and therefore are able to
sustain cross-subsidisation of libraries, art centres or a sports programme
etc.
It is noted that social services that are funded from municipal equitable
share (e.g. environmental health) tend to struggle to get priority against
revenue generating services.
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Policy deficiencies impacting
on Local Government (Continued)
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The local government social / community development portfolio
The policy framework that is needed for the Social / Community
Development, is one that has cross-cutting themes within the
Social/Community Development Sector. Therefore:
• Local government should have a common conceptual understanding of
the human development paradigm as a means of poverty eradication at
local government level.
• Local government should define and defend the broad parameters
necessary for municipalities to develop and implement poverty
eradication strategies.
• Local government should, progressively, be assigned the most strategic
intervention areas necessary for poverty eradication.
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Policy deficiencies impacting
on Local Government (Continued)
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Consolidating decentralization
The assignment of poverty eradication functions to local government
should, progressively, be embedded in the constitution.
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Local government accountability and reporting
Local government should adopt a uniform monitoring and evaluation
framework for measurement of human development progress at local
government level in consultation with the national and provincial spheres
of government.
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Remodeling of funding and funding modalities
Funding modalities, including the actual funds, should be aligned to
support the three-sphere system so that local government is funded
directly to eradicate poverty.
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Conclusion
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Each municipality, therefore, needs to develop and adopt policies to ensure that
the communities have access to the package of services included in the Free Basic
Services (FBS) programme as a safety net to the poor.
The pressure from globalization and its austerity places increasing pressure on
local economies and thus local government should lead in capacity to address
economic constraints locally.
Local Government should also take the lead in adopting mature approaches to
responding to poverty, inequality and unemployment by ensuring that an
equilibrium between insight strategy and ability to execute effective local
economic development initiatives in a manner that is progressive.
The Developmental Local Government concept under which the South African
Local Government was formed can be truly realized when policy is twinned with an
equal level implementation at community level.
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Thank you
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presentation - 2013 Commonwealth Local Government