MLGA(Community Law Centre) | Oct 19, 2017

Volume 10, Issue 1, February/March 2008

New Electricity Regulations: Shocking Municipalities Into Action?

Municipalities will play a key role in the government's response to the electricity crisis. In the wake of the recent peak in the ongoing electricity shortages, the Department of Minerals and Energy published draft regulations that aim to minimise electricity load-shedding and blackouts and improve the quality of electricity supply. To this end, a series of measures is proposed. The regulations are directed at licensees which include municipalities that sell electricity with a license from Eskom.

The Strangulation of Local Government: Stifling Innovation, Experimentation and Local Responsiveness

In the past decade, local government has experienced a mass of legislation regulating its functioning. The question is whether the sheer volume, style, nature and scope of this legislative framework is facilitating or obstructing the achievement of local government's mandate of development. This article argues that the overload of laws may be strangulating local government's execution of its mandate. The revision of the White Paper on Local Government should therefore also look at the extent and manner of regulation.

The New Municipal Property Rates Regulations: Mere regulation or Irrational Ratios?

On 19 December 2007 the Minister of Provincial and Local Government published for public comment draft regulations on property rates. The draft regulations set ratios for municipal property rates on different types of property. A key ratio that stirred much controversy was that the rate on state-owned property should be no more than of the rate on residential property. This has been slammed as unconstitutional and a threat to municipalities financial sustainability. Moreover, the draft regulations determine that rates on categories of property may not be increased by more than the Consumer Price Index.

Reflections on Local Government: Creating a More Viable and Relevant Vision for Local Government.

This is article was prepared by Davids Schmidt for the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN) to stimulate debate and discussion in the GGLN as part of their process of preparing submissions for the DPLG's review of local government. However, the views expressed are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the GGLN or its members. This article focuses on three key areas of reform. (1) The need to rethink the current legislative and regulatory requirements regarding participation. (2) The need to simplify and 'unbureaucratise" the specified municipal planning processes. (3) The need for an updated, more dynamic vision for local government that recognises the need for a much more differentiated approach to different kinds of localities.

Subsidiarity in the Constitution.

What is subsidiarity? Subsidiarity is a general principle that says governance should take place as close as possible to the citizens. It translates into the protection of lower levels of government against undue interference by national government. It also translates into a preference for placing functions and powers at lower levels of government where possible.

Designing and implementing HIV and AIDS Initiatives: Local Government's Role.

"In line with the mandate assigned to municipalities as part of the vision of developmental local government, municipalities are expected to be active role players in all efforts to prevent the spread the of HIV and to mitigate the negative consequences of AIDS for communities". The various frameworks and plans guiding the HIV and AIDS response of local government insist on the municipalities role in mainstreaming HIV, and also in coordinating the local responses.

The Challenges of Funding Municipal Infrastructure.

The Key Financial policy objectives for sustainable local government are derived from constitutional obligations. These obligations require municipal organisation, planning and budgeting systems to target the provision of basic services and socio-economic development. Municipal Budgets are the main fiscal policy instruments that direct the revenue and expenditure stance of local government in achieving the service delivery targets.

The Duty To Have Meaningful Engagement Before An Eviction.

On 19 February 2008 the Constitutional Court (CC) considered an appeal by more than 400 occupiers of two buildings in the inner city of Johannesburg against a decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The decisions of the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court are discussed in this article.

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