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Andrew Siddle and Tom Koelble Comment on the State of Local Government


In a recent opinion piece for the Mail & Guardian, Dr Andrew Siddle and Professor Tom Koelble call for a review of the role of municipalities in light of the upcoming ANC policy conference. Their book, The Failure of Decentralisation in South African Local Government: Complexity and Unanticipated Consequences, will be published by UCT Press in July this year:

It is policy conference time for the ANC in June and the performance and role of local government will once again be up for discussion and solutions to its problems proposed.

But previous interventions that were supposedly intended to cure local government’s ills have yielded disappointing results.

For example, Project Consolidate was presented as a mechanism aimed at addressing the day-to-day challenges that affect municipalities, but it achieved little. The widely trumpeted Local Government Strategy of 2009, ill designed in its conception and unenthusiastically applied, has all but collapsed. Outcome 9, the local government component of the presidential co-ordinating committee’s project for key work intended “to turn the tide in local government”, seems similarly to have come adrift.

Photo courtesy the Mail & Guardian


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