Volume 8, Issue 4, September 2006.

The Duty to Involve the Public: The Constitutional Court Speaks.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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