Bulletin Archives

Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: 11 Dec, 2017
New Preferential Procurement Regulations Released.
Author: Professor Phoebe Bolton

After much anticipation and a lengthy process of review, the new regulations under the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act of 2000 (Procurement Act ) have finally been released. The Preferential Procurement Regulations 2011 will only take effect on 7 December 2011, but clearly hold implications for the way in which municipalities procure goods and services. In this article, the most essential aspects of the regulations are highlighted.

The Municipality's Role In Implementing The Gatherings Act.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

Community protests have become prevalent in South Africa in recent times, with the incidence of violence in these protests rising (see page 10). The ongoing strike by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) provides a classic example of gatherings with a high level of violence.

Service Delivery Protests: Less Frequent, More Violent.
Author: Jelani Karamoko

Community protests have become almost commonplace in South Africa. In 2009 protest activity reached a peak of 17.75 protests every month, on average. This prompted the Community Law Centre to survey data on the frequency of protests and on some of the underlying causes. A report, Community Protests in South Africa: Trends, Analysis and Explanations, was produced in August 2010 (see LGB 12(4), pp 14–16). Jelani Karamoko, an intern from Harvard Law School, recently updated the report to reflect current data on media-reported community protests. While the update produced some new findings, it also confirmed many of the trends that had already been identified.

Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill Update.
Author: Annette May

The proposals contained in the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill (see LGB 13(2), July 2011, pp 13–15) have attracted much attention. The media, the public and estate agents have all critiqued the provisions on the rating of residential properties which are not the primary residence of the property owner: for example, investment properties that have been purchased to let, or holiday residences.

Political Interference In the Spotlight Once Again
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union made allegations of serious financial irregularities and mismanagement of fiduciary duties against the municipal manager of the Greater Taung Local Municipality, Mr Mpho Mofokeng.

Bid Amendments: The Disqualification of Unresponsive Bids.
Author: Prof Phoebe Bolton

The court in this case confirmed that it was unfair for an organ of state to afford one bidder an opportunity to amend its bid after the close of tenders and before evaluation and not allow other bidders to do the same. This is particularly the case where an organ of state indicates in the bid documents that non-compliant bids will be disqualified.

Are We On Track For A Clean Audit in 2014?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

On 16 July 2009 the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) launched an ambitious project dubbed ‘Operation Clean Audit 2014’. This operation is part of a bigger project called ‘Operation Clean Up’, which has three other components: Clean Cities and Towns, Debt Collection, and Public Mobilisation and Revenue Enhancement.

Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: 11 Dec, 2017
First 100 Days In Office.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

By now, all municipal councils will have held their first council meeting and constituted most of their political structures. This article provides some basic governance information and highlights key issues that will be on the municipal council’s agenda for its first 100 days in office.

Removing Elected Councillors Will Create Chaos.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

Widespread disgruntlement over allegations thatcandidates nominated by communities had been irregularly removed by the ANC led to a promise by President Jacob Zuma that any candidates found to have been nominated in an improper way would be removed after the May polls. This was seen as a desperate attempt to stop aggrieved communities from boycotting the local government elections.

Municipal Property Rates Act Out Of Public Comment.
Author: Conrad Bosire

After a lengthy process of public consultation on amendments to the Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs finally released a Bill on 9 June, giving the public two weeks to comment.

Draft Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

On 6 May this year, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform published a Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill for public comment, with a deadline of 6 June. What follows is a basic outline of the Bill.

KZN Planning and Development Act.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

The KwaZulu-Natal Planning and Development Act came into operation on 1 May 2010 and governs land use planning and development management. KwaZulu-Natal is thus the only province that has put land use legislation into operation since promulgation of the 1996 Constitution.

Volume 13, Issue 1, April 2011.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: 11 Dec, 2017
A Single Election For All Three Spheres Would Be A Bad Idea.
Author: Derek Powell

The ANC is debating whether to introduce a single election cycle for all three spheres of government. If this idea goes ahead, it means that in 2014 voters will elect representatives for national, provincial and local governments on the same day. The main arguments for this move are that a single election would reduce the costs of elections, facilitate the deployment of senior politicians to municipalities (which is necessary to boost municipal performance), and improve the alignment of planning and budgeting across the three spheres. None of these arguments has merit. On the contrary, this reform would disrupt municipal governance and service delivery. More importantly, it would reduce local elections to the status of mini-national elections, spelling the end of any prospect of real local democracy in South Africa.

Local Elections 2011: The Lay Of The BattleGround.
Author: Derek Powell

The local elections on 18 May 2011 will be among the most important and interesting elections in South Africa since 1994, as the ANC and the DA join battle for control of the country’s municipalities. Enjoying massive support from the electorate, the ANC has been consistently formidable at election time, but recently has been losing some ground in by elections. Across the country, the party also faces growing pressure from communities demanding better service delivery and accountable government. The growing trend in recent years for public protests to turn violent is worrying.

Party Manifestos For The Third Local Government Elections 18 May 2011.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

With the local government elections set for 18 May, political parties are preparing their party policies and manifestos in a bid to woo voters. A survey of the party manifestos and statements ahead of the elections reveals five main themes: local economic development; improving access to municipal service delivery; community safety; community participation and involvement; and curbing corruption and strengthening local governance.

Electing The Last District Councils?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

The question waiting to be answered is whether this will be the last election that features districts as a political institution. Of the three local government structures – metropolitan, local and district municipality – only district municipalities’ value in promoting developmental local government is questioned. Many critics suggest that districts do indeed serve a purpose. Others contend strongly that they should be disestablished.

Professional Administration Crucial For Service Delivery.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

Municipalities cannot deliver on their developmental mandate without suitably qualified and professional staff. However, evidence shows that the lack of good governance of staff matters in many municipalities results in service delivery failures. Local government needs to professionalise and be professionalised – and there are three aspects to this which this article discusses.

Community Participation and Ward Committees
Author: Annette May

While ward committees are known to communities, they continue to attract fierce criticism. Many communities are disillusioned and feel that participation in ward committees does very little to express their voice. In many instances, they rather choose public protests or the withholding of rates and taxes as mechanisms to get their needs on the municipal agenda. The Constitutional Court has on several occasions evaluated municipalities’ efforts to facilitate community participation in respect of key decisions. This indicates that the courts are taking community participation seriously.

Should All Municipal Managers Get The Boot?
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

With the election of new councils on 18 May, many municipal managers are likely to lose their jobs. The same applies to the managers reporting to the municipal managers.

Volume 12, Issue 4, December 2010
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: 08 Dec, 2017
Consequences of Failing to Adopt a Budget by 30 June.
Author: Prof Jaap de Visser

Political disagreements in a municipal council sometimes lead to stalemates on important matters such as the adoption of a municipal budget. Failure to adopt a budget by 30 June triggers the question: must the provincial government intervene, and, if so, how? This matter was the subject of a recent ruling of the Western Cape High Court. In this case, the High Court for the first time addressed the mandatory provisions of section 139(4) of the Constitution.

Leadership Matters: Professionalising Political Leadership.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana

Moves are afoot to professionalise the administrative arm of local government. First, the National Treasury has prescribed a competency framework for municipal officials at senior and middle management levels. All senior and middle managers must have acquired the prescribed competencies by 1 January 2013, after which no candidate without the requisite competencies can be appointed. These regulations also make it necessary for current employees to attain these competencies by 31 December 2012.

Review of the Local Government Fiscal Framework.
Author: SALGA

In 2009, SALGA recommended to the Local Government Budget Forum that there should be a review of many aspects of fiscal policies in relation to municipal finances. This year SALGA proposed a comprehensive review of the local government fiscal framework (LGFF). While there have been some ad hoc policy changes over the past few years, many remain incomplete or unattended to. In SALGA’s view, the review of the LGFF should address the fundamental structural challenges, rather than introducing minor ad hoc adjustments, if it is to improve operational efficiency in the short and long term.

The Future of Local Government: According To The ANC.
Author: Douglas Singiza

The ANC’s National General Council (NGC) is a forum at which the organisation’s progress and challenges are reviewed between national conferences. It is the highest body of the ANC, after the national congress, and convenes every five years. The third NGC, which sought to review the ANC’s performance against policies adopted by the Polokwane conference, was held in Durban in September. Its important outcome for the local governance sector is that there will soon be a summit on local government.

The Future of Local Government in Zimbabwe: A Policy Dialogue.
Author: Zemelak Ayele

On 30 September 2010, the Community Law Centre launched a book entitled The future of local government in Zimbabwe: A policy dialogue in Harare, Zimbabwe.The launch was attended by the Deputy Minister for Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Sesel Zvidzai, MP; the mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda; and other dignitaries. Zemelak Ayele summarises the book’s content.

Trends in Community Protest: From 2007 to 2010.
Author: Hirsch Jain

The research was undertaken by Hirsh Jain, a Harvard Law School visiting fellow at the Community Law Centre. This article summarises Jain’s findings relating to the frequency of protests, the incidence of violent protests, the impact of the 2008/09 economic recession, the geographical spread of protests per province, and the types of concerns that fuel protests.

The Withholding of Rates and Taxes in Five Municipalities.
Author: Derek Powell

The Community Law Centre, in partnership with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and SALGA, recently completed a research project on the phenomenon of rates withholding in five South African municipalities. ‘Rates withholding’ is the practice by ratepayers of withholding their property rates and, in some cases, fees for municipal services because they believe that municipalities are not delivering. We argue that this practice, though less visible than service delivery protests, is equally destructive.

The Tender Process and Blacklisted Suppliers.
Author: Phoebe Bolton

The courts view the blacklisting of suppliers by the National Treasury in a very serious light and confirm that organs of state are allowed to cancel contracts concluded with suppliers who, when tendering for a contract, knowingly and wrongfully fail to disclose their inclusion on the National Treasury’s database as companies or persons prohibited from doing business with the public sector.

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