Local Government Bulletin

Volume 13, Issue 4, November 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Dec 11, 2017
The National Treasury 2011 Local Government Review.
Author: Derek Powell

It is the most rigorous analysis of local government published by government. The 2011 Local Government Budgets and Expenditure Review, released in September, is the National Treasury’s analysis of long-term trends in local government finances and performance. We will have a close look at the wealth of information in this report, in this and forthcoming issues of the Bulletin. We begin with a general introduction to the document, focusing on its purpose and importance as a barometer of local government.

The Policy In The Numbers.
Author: Derek Powell

There is more to the 2011 Local Government Budgets and Expenditure Review than numbers. The review tells a story about the policy behind the numbers. It lays down the policy line, sends clear signals about policy shifts on the way, issues warnings, educates us, and sometimes brings out the big stick or applies the brakes.

Riot Damage: Who Pays?
Author: Tinashe Chigwata

Protest action has become part of South Africa’s political landscape. The extent to which it is increasingly marked by violence is cause for alarm

Implementing the Municipal Systems Amendment Act.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

The Municipal Systems Amendment Act was signed into law by the President on 5 July 2011 and is set to have a major impact on municipal governance. Regulations to give further substance to the Act are on their way.

MDB Reviews Municipal Boundaries For 2016 Local Elections.
Author: Landiwe Mahlangu

Following the delimitation in 2009 and 2010 of wards in which successful local elections were held on 18 May 2011, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has commenced a review of municipal boundaries. It envisages finalising this process in 2013, after which wards will be delimited for the 2016 local elections.

Implications of Non-Compliance With Treasuries Competency Requirements.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

In 2007, in response to the capacity constraints bedevilling local government, the National Treasury issued regulations setting out minimum competency requirements which all municipal financial and supply chain management officials have to meet. The regulations took effect on 1 January 2008, but gave a fiveyear period of grace within which all financial and supply chain management officials throughout the country were required to attain the minimum competency levels. For these officials, the countdown reaches zero on 1 January 2013.

Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Dec 11, 2017
Are We On Track For A Clean Audit in 2014?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

On 16 July 2009 the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) launched an ambitious project dubbed ‘Operation Clean Audit 2014’. This operation is part of a bigger project called ‘Operation Clean Up’, which has three other components: Clean Cities and Towns, Debt Collection, and Public Mobilisation and Revenue Enhancement.

New Preferential Procurement Regulations Released.
Author: Professor Phoebe Bolton

After much anticipation and a lengthy process of review, the new regulations under the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act of 2000 (Procurement Act ) have finally been released. The Preferential Procurement Regulations 2011 will only take effect on 7 December 2011, but clearly hold implications for the way in which municipalities procure goods and services. In this article, the most essential aspects of the regulations are highlighted.

The Municipality's Role In Implementing The Gatherings Act.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

Community protests have become prevalent in South Africa in recent times, with the incidence of violence in these protests rising (see page 10). The ongoing strike by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) provides a classic example of gatherings with a high level of violence.

Service Delivery Protests: Less Frequent, More Violent.
Author: Jelani Karamoko

Community protests have become almost commonplace in South Africa. In 2009 protest activity reached a peak of 17.75 protests every month, on average. This prompted the Community Law Centre to survey data on the frequency of protests and on some of the underlying causes. A report, Community Protests in South Africa: Trends, Analysis and Explanations, was produced in August 2010 (see LGB 12(4), pp 14–16). Jelani Karamoko, an intern from Harvard Law School, recently updated the report to reflect current data on media-reported community protests. While the update produced some new findings, it also confirmed many of the trends that had already been identified.

Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill Update.
Author: Annette May

The proposals contained in the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill (see LGB 13(2), July 2011, pp 13–15) have attracted much attention. The media, the public and estate agents have all critiqued the provisions on the rating of residential properties which are not the primary residence of the property owner: for example, investment properties that have been purchased to let, or holiday residences.

Political Interference In the Spotlight Once Again
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union made allegations of serious financial irregularities and mismanagement of fiduciary duties against the municipal manager of the Greater Taung Local Municipality, Mr Mpho Mofokeng.

Bid Amendments: The Disqualification of Unresponsive Bids.
Author: Prof Phoebe Bolton

The court in this case confirmed that it was unfair for an organ of state to afford one bidder an opportunity to amend its bid after the close of tenders and before evaluation and not allow other bidders to do the same. This is particularly the case where an organ of state indicates in the bid documents that non-compliant bids will be disqualified.

Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Dec 11, 2017
First 100 Days In Office.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

By now, all municipal councils will have held their first council meeting and constituted most of their political structures. This article provides some basic governance information and highlights key issues that will be on the municipal council’s agenda for its first 100 days in office.

Removing Elected Councillors Will Create Chaos.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

Widespread disgruntlement over allegations thatcandidates nominated by communities had been irregularly removed by the ANC led to a promise by President Jacob Zuma that any candidates found to have been nominated in an improper way would be removed after the May polls. This was seen as a desperate attempt to stop aggrieved communities from boycotting the local government elections.

Municipal Property Rates Act Out Of Public Comment.
Author: Conrad Bosire

After a lengthy process of public consultation on amendments to the Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs finally released a Bill on 9 June, giving the public two weeks to comment.

Draft Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

On 6 May this year, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform published a Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill for public comment, with a deadline of 6 June. What follows is a basic outline of the Bill.

KZN Planning and Development Act.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

The KwaZulu-Natal Planning and Development Act came into operation on 1 May 2010 and governs land use planning and development management. KwaZulu-Natal is thus the only province that has put land use legislation into operation since promulgation of the 1996 Constitution.

Volume 13, Issue 1, April 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Dec 11, 2017
Local Elections 2011: The Lay Of The BattleGround.
Author: Derek Powell

The local elections on 18 May 2011 will be among the most important and interesting elections in South Africa since 1994, as the ANC and the DA join battle for control of the country’s municipalities. Enjoying massive support from the electorate, the ANC has been consistently formidable at election time, but recently has been losing some ground in by elections. Across the country, the party also faces growing pressure from communities demanding better service delivery and accountable government. The growing trend in recent years for public protests to turn violent is worrying.

Party Manifestos For The Third Local Government Elections 18 May 2011.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

With the local government elections set for 18 May, political parties are preparing their party policies and manifestos in a bid to woo voters. A survey of the party manifestos and statements ahead of the elections reveals five main themes: local economic development; improving access to municipal service delivery; community safety; community participation and involvement; and curbing corruption and strengthening local governance.

Electing The Last District Councils?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

The question waiting to be answered is whether this will be the last election that features districts as a political institution. Of the three local government structures – metropolitan, local and district municipality – only district municipalities’ value in promoting developmental local government is questioned. Many critics suggest that districts do indeed serve a purpose. Others contend strongly that they should be disestablished.

Professional Administration Crucial For Service Delivery.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

Municipalities cannot deliver on their developmental mandate without suitably qualified and professional staff. However, evidence shows that the lack of good governance of staff matters in many municipalities results in service delivery failures. Local government needs to professionalise and be professionalised – and there are three aspects to this which this article discusses.

Community Participation and Ward Committees
Author: Annette May

While ward committees are known to communities, they continue to attract fierce criticism. Many communities are disillusioned and feel that participation in ward committees does very little to express their voice. In many instances, they rather choose public protests or the withholding of rates and taxes as mechanisms to get their needs on the municipal agenda. The Constitutional Court has on several occasions evaluated municipalities’ efforts to facilitate community participation in respect of key decisions. This indicates that the courts are taking community participation seriously.

Should All Municipal Managers Get The Boot?
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

With the election of new councils on 18 May, many municipal managers are likely to lose their jobs. The same applies to the managers reporting to the municipal managers.

A Single Election For All Three Spheres Would Be A Bad Idea.
Author: Derek Powell

The ANC is debating whether to introduce a single election cycle for all three spheres of government. If this idea goes ahead, it means that in 2014 voters will elect representatives for national, provincial and local governments on the same day. The main arguments for this move are that a single election would reduce the costs of elections, facilitate the deployment of senior politicians to municipalities (which is necessary to boost municipal performance), and improve the alignment of planning and budgeting across the three spheres. None of these arguments has merit. On the contrary, this reform would disrupt municipal governance and service delivery. More importantly, it would reduce local elections to the status of mini-national elections, spelling the end of any prospect of real local democracy in South Africa.

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