Volume 9, Issue 3, June/July 2007

Local Government Under the Spotlight: DPLG's Policy Review Process

On 31 July 2007, the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) initiated a policy review process of provincial and local government. It will ultimately result in a first White Paper on Provinces and a discussion document on local government. The process will be a national debate, comprising a public participation process, research and a review of experience.

Where to Now With District Municipalites? Redefining Their Role and Application.

The debate about district municipalities- their performance and their future is widespread. Some critics question whether districts have served their function. Others contend strongly that they should be disestablished. In the debate. This argument for redefining the role of districts is not based on the current capacity problems or adjustments to the new system, it is more systematic than that.

The Challenges of Urbanisation: Single Tier Local Government For Urban Areas.

The growing importance of cities not only in South Africa but also around the world is well captured in the 2006 Cities Network Report as follows: "Cities are simultaneously the most productive sites in the national economy as well as areas that accommodate the largest number of poor people, cities are strategically important places for meeting the governments growth and development agenda."

The Housing Dilemma: Reviewing Local Governmnt Functions.

An essential part of the current review of government structures is evaluating the success of local government in meetings its constitutional obligations to citizens. Key to the current review of structures is the extent to which powers and functions designated enable it to meet its developmental mandate. This article proposes a model for analysing which functions should be performed by local government and applies this model to housing. It concludes that the location of housing as a national/provincial function competency needs to be revisited.

HIV and AIDS: Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality's Response.

HIV&AIDS is much more than a health problem. It is a developmental challenge that affects local government in various ways. in the last issue, we looked at how municipalities can apply the concept of mainstreaming as a strategic way to address this enormous challenge and Ethekwini Metro shared their experience and lesson learnt.

Name Changing of Towns: Public Participation At the Forefront Once More.

The Supreme Court of Appeal recently examined the processes surrounding the changing of town names and the extent to which they must facilitate public consultation in the case of Chairpersons Association v The Minister of Arts and Culture , the Chairman of the South African Geographical Names Council and the Municipality of Makhado. This is to be distinguished from the changing of names of municipalities in terms of section 16 of the Municipal Systems Act.

Local Government in Nigeria.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, with a population of about 140 million, is not only Africa's most populous state but also one of the largest federations in the world. The history and development of its local government is a direct consequence of British colonial history.

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