Volume 11, Issue 3, August 2009

Vision 2011 and 2014 of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

At the Local Government Bulletin’s tenth anniversary conference, Mr Elroy Africa, the acting director-general of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, outlined the vision of the ministry and the department in the short and long term, emphasising the need to improve the quality of governance and service delivery by local government.

Ward Funding Guidelines: Posing More Questions Than Answers?

The drafting of the framework seems to suggest that the discretion afforded to municipalities in legislation in terms of funding ward committees has not been properly exercised. (Why else would a national department seek to legislate in this matter?) It is also possible, in an era when many municipalities face claims of financial mismanagement and maladministration, that the drafters wanted a clear model for ward funding in order to avoid perceptions of irregularity. Research on ward committees to date does not suggest that either of these issues should have been a priority for DPLG. What is fairly apparent is that for various reasons there has long been pressure to disburse more money to ward committee members and that countrywide the ward committee system seems to have faltered.This article provides a brief overview as well as a critique of the key components of this framework.

The National Land Transport Act

The long-awaited National Land Transport Act was signed into effect by the President on 3 April 2009. It deals comprehensively with all aspects of transport, including the provision, regulation and funding of public transport and the taxi industry. It is the product of numerous efforts over the past decade to outline each sphere of government’s responsibilities. Importantly, it envisages a significant role for municipalities.

The New State Liability Bill.

This article critically assesses the Bill and the proposed constitutional amendment, particularly in respect of their impact on local government. In so-doing, it will examine the case law and legislative developments that preceded these bills.

Know Your Epidemic, Know Your Response.

In June 2009, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) released its third national HIV prevalence survey. The survey presents a contrasting picture of the epidemic in South Africa: it seems that new infections are going down, but one in five South Africans between 15 and 49 years old is HIV-positive. The prevalence differs across South Africa’s provinces, with the highest prevalence in KwaZulu-Natal (15.8%) and Mpumalanga (15.4%).

Coping With Crunch Time: What the Recession Means For Local Government.

Municipalities have already passed their budgets for the 2009/10 municipal financial year, and are beginnin g to finalise financial statements for 2008/09. Both of these processes are driving home to managers and councillors the impact of the global economic crisis on their own operations.

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