Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Southern Africa \ Local government service delivery

Equitable and efficient service delivery is at the heart of local government’s mandate. The resources in this section focus on the management and delivery of key strategic, corporate and technical services, ranging from those for which local government has direct responsibility, to shared service provision, and services for which local government is a partner.

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Local Government Benchmarking

he various facets of “measurement,” “comparison,” “evaluation,” and “monitoring” of government performance stubbornly continue to be topics of international relevance. Within this context, debates focusing on the subnational level of governance have been claiming more and more space in the academic and policy arenas. The extra attention given to the “local” is easier to explain. The decisions and actions of local executives have a very real and immediate impact on people’s lives. Local governments are the closest link to the State for the majority of the world population. They are responsible for crucial policy sectors such as spatial planning, transport, and utility services and are also the enablers of many social and cultural activities (LSE Cities 2016). While most people already lives in cities, urbanization trends will continue to put strain, but also relevance, on local government institutions around the globe. In fact, the decentralization of powers from nation states to local governments can currently be observed across jurisdictions.

Author: Nuno F. da Cruz Publisher: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance Publication year: 2016


Local governance and ICTs in Africa

This volume presents important original research on ICT and local goverance in Africa that must not be ignored by public policymakers – at municipal, regional, national and continental levels – in the respective countries in Africa. It is strongly recommended that this work be used and debated.

Author: Timothy Mwololo Waema and Edith Ofwona Adera Publisher: International Development Research Centre Publication year: 2011


Developmental Local Government in South Africa: Institutional fault lines

This paper provides a brief introduction to the recent history of, as well as the legal and policy framework for, local government in South Africa. It discusses the transformation of local government from a racially configured, illegitimate arm of the apartheid government into a system designed to produce developmentally oriented municipalities. The progress made by South African municipalities towards realising the vision of developmental local government is remarkable and unprecedented. Over the last 13 years, municipalities have embarked on the extension of infrastructure and development, whilst absorbing fundamental changes to their internal governance and management arrangements, financial management systems and intergovernmental responsibilities. The new local government system offers great potential for the realisation of a better life for all citizens, facilitated by a new generation of municipalities. However, the challenges remain huge and some of these can be attributed to institutional fault lines. These include challenges that come with large, inclusive municipalities, new executive systems and the political appointment of senior officials. The paper also identifies the downside of overzealous institutionalisation of community participation. With regard to intergovernmental relations, the paper highlights the need for a clearer definition of local government mandates and a greater recognition of the role of big cities. The current insistence on comprehensive intergovernmental alignment of policies and budgets is questioned, and suggestions are made to substitute this with an approach of selective alignment around key national priorities.

Author: Jaap de Visser Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009


The Commonwealth Local Government Forum: An Overview

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was established in 1994, coinciding with rapid moves towards decentralisation at that time, especially in Commonwealth Africa. It uniquely brings together national associations of local government and individual councils, ministries responsible for local government, and training and research institutes with an interest in local government, on a common platform. This reflects an understanding that local government needs effective central government and vice versa if decentralisation is to be truly successful, and that research, training and practice need to be brought together in a constructive and creative way. CLGF’s developmental work can be divided into three main categories: Promotion and advocacy of local democracy and good governance, Exchange of experience and Capacity building.This article provides a brief overview of the activities and projects which CLGF has underway in respect of these objectives. It will be complemented by more detailed papers on specific programmes and projects in this and future issues of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance.

Author: Lucy Slack Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008


The limits of boundaries. Why city-regions cannot be self-governing.

Andrew Sancton combines his own broad knowledge of global changes with an outline and comparison of the viewpoints of prominent social scientists to argue that city regions in western liberal democracies will not and cannot be self-governing. Self-government requires a territory delineated by official boundaries, but the multiple boundaries of city-regions, unlike the clear and undisputed boundaries of provinces and states, continue to move outward due to the constant growth and expansion of urban populations and services.

Author: Andrew Sancton Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press Publication year: 2008


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