Webinar: Local Government and Crime in light of the 2021 Local Government Elections [27 October 2021]

The Dullah Omar Institute (Multilevel Government, Law and Development and Africa Criminal Justice Reform) will take a closer look at local government, crime, and the 2021 elections.
  • When Oct 27, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Africa/Johannesburg / UTC200)
  • Where Zoom (Virtual meeting)
  • Contact Name
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The 2021 local government elections (LGE) are scheduled for 1 Nov and the main political party manifestos (ANC, DA and EFF) were released in Sep 2021. The 2021 elections are taking place in an environment where the very importance of elections themselves may be under pressure as trust in state institutions have dwindled to its lowest levels according to Afrobarometer. Indeed, some two-thirds of Afrobarometer respondent states that they would accept a non-elected form of government if such a government can deliver security, housing, and jobs. 

The past 24 months, which will be formative in the opinion and expectations of voters, saw COVID-19 and the devastation it caused for the economy pushing more and more people into unemployment and poverty. The Zondo Commission continued its work on unravelling state capture and the billions of Rands that were looted. In July 2021 large-scale looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal dealt a wounded economy a paralysing body blow, having a knock-on effect on the insurance industry. 

Recent crime statistics paint a picture of a police service that is simply unable to develop and implement systemically meaningful responses. More than two years in to the term of a new National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and much talk about accountability, impactful prosecutions remain few and far between while extreme incidents gender-based violence is happening at a stomach-churning frequency.

The Constitution provides for a unitary state with elements of federalism where national government is largely responsible for security, but not exclusively so. Provincial and local governments are largely tasked with the socio-economic, environmental and health responses for improved safety. From a policy perspective, these are, however, contested spaces with some metros taking on an increasing scope of law enforcement functions, partly in response to national government failure. The fact of the matter is that it is local government that must face on a daily basis residents' frustration about 'security, housing and jobs' and frequently the destructive protest action flowing from these frustrations.

Against this background, two projects of the Dullah Omar Institute (Multilevel Government, Law and Development and Africa Criminal Justice Reform) will take a closer look at local government, crime, and the 2021 elections. Key topics for discussions are:

  • What do party manifestos say about crime and local government?
  • Do crime trends affect local government election results?
  • What is the legal scope for local government policing and law enforcement, and linkages to SAPS and the NPA?
  • What can we realistically expect of local government in addressing crime and safety?
  • What can local government do as medium-term investments in safety?
  • Are local government policies and practices on crime and law enforcement pro-poor?


  • Prof Jaap De Visser (MLG)
  • Dr Jean Redpath (ACJR)
  • Prof Lukas Muntingh (ACJR)
  • Ms Kristen Petersen (ACJR)



Following registration, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We wish to acknowledge the Hanns Seidel Foundation for making this webinar possible.

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