Volume 9, Issue 1, February/March

Municipality's Share of the National Pie: New Grants, More Money in the Fight Against Poverty.

The Division of Revenue Bill 2007, introduced by the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manual, sets out the allocations local government will receive for the 2007/2008 financial year. The Bill not only determines local government's equitable share of revenue raised by the national government, but it also contains a number of innovations. The most important are the new conditional grants- the Neighbourhood Development Partnership grant and the Water Services Bulk Infrastructure grant.

Community Participation: The Cornerstone of Local Participatory Democracy.

Community participation is key to the functioning of local government. One of the constitutional objects of local government is to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in local government. The Landmark Doctors for Life and Matatiele judgments, passed by the Constitutional Court in August 2006, are critical for the interpretation of the law of community participation in local government.

Legal Briefs.

Does Item 12 of the Code of Conduct for Councillors prevent Councillors from acquiring municipal property?

Decentralised Response to HIV & AIDS.

In recent years, many municipalities have started formulating and implementing their HIV and AIDS response strategies and much progress has been made. However, most are still grasping with the issue and responses are often limited in nature, concentrating on some aspects of a comprehensive AIDS response but not yet to the extent of a well-coordinated and integrated HIV and AIDS strategy.

Immunity for Councillors: Testimony Outside Council.

Councillor's immunity from civil liability for anything they say in council is an important cornerstone of constitutional democracy and protects councillors from defamation actions. But the ambit of the immunity is not without limit.

Return to Sender: Municipalities and the Postal Services Act

The Postal Services Act of 1998 stipulates that delivery of all "letters, postcards, printed matter, small parcels..." is a reserved service which may only be performed by a licensed provider. The delivery of Bills, statements of accounts, notices and such documents sent by municipalities to consumers of municipal services falls within the definition of reserved services.

The Winds of Change: Local Government Gaining Momentum

Decentralisation and Local Government are fast becoming buzz words of African governments busy reconfiguring their state structure. This has not always been the case. Centralisation of power has long been considered a solution for African ills. With the increasing shifting of powers to local government, the tight grip of central governments on power is slowly but surely loosening.

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