State of Local Governance 2018 publication launch

The theme of the 2018 State of Local Governance (SoLG) publication, Development Local Government: Dream Deferred? centres around three milestones – the 20 year anniversary of the White Paper on Local Government, the 15-year anniversary of the Good Governance Learning network and the 10th State of Local Governance (SoLG) publication.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s vision for local government. The White Paper on Local Government is regarded as a landmark policy, the purpose of which was to create a new vision for local government thereby rectifying apartheid inequities. Within this broad developmental vision, local government is tasked with an ambitious developmental objective of helping to create a better life for all.

The State of Local Governance 2018 builds on the previous nine publications, and was launched on the 27th August 2018 in Cape Town.

To read the full publication click here.

Afesis-corplan presented its research paper titled, ‘Do Ward Committees Assist Municipalities to Achieve Developmental Goals? A Case Study of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’ authored by Nontando Ngamlana and Sikhander Coopoo. The paper illustrates a research project undertaken by Afesis-corplan to assess the effectiveness of the functions of ward committees, outside of the primary function of facilitating inclusive participation in local governance decision making. Using Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality as a case study, the paper specifically investigates the extent to which ward committees contribute to the attainment of the development goals of local government.

The launch was opened by Andries Nel (Deputy Director, COGTA).

View Andries Nel’s speech here.

Afesis-corplan calls for legislative amendments in support of public participation

The Report of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation (HLPKL) and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, published on 22 November 2017, recommends that:

“Parliament should consider identifying and reviewing all legislation that includes a public participation component,… so that where provision is made for the public to be consulted, this consultation is meaningful and effective.” (page 403)

The HLPKL report, drawing on the Afesis-corplan and the Democracy Development Programme’s (DDP) submission to the panel, notes that:

“[t]he original conceptual framework for citizen participation in local government is limiting and robs local government of the opportunity to tap into the capacity, the energy and resources that rests within citizens to drive change. There is a need to rethink the role of active citizens in local governance as co-drivers of change. The existing framework for citizen participation only enables the public to participate as invited guests in local government processes as opposed to partners and co-creators. This argument is derived from the emphasis on the term to ‘encourage and to consult’ in Section 152 (1) of the Constitution, in Sections 1 and 4 of the Municipal Systems Act, and in Section 19 of the Municipal Structures Act” (page 402)

Afes-corplan and DDP would like to engage with the HLPKL, parliament and others in further reviewing current legislation to identify how public participation legislation can be improved.

In particular (as recommended in the Afesis-corplan and DDP submission), opportunities for legislative amendments need to be identified, where municipalities, government departments, parliament and others can be encouraged and supported to pilot and test more innovative public participation methods.

Afesis-corplan has also made comments on the land related recommendations from the HLPKL report.

Integrated Development Planning

The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) is a 5 year plan that shows the municipality’s development objectives, key strategies and projects that will be implemented to achieve these objectives.  It also details which projects will be done in year one, year two, three, four and year five.

The Municipal Systems Act of 2000 says that an IDP is ”…the principal strategic planning instrument which guides and informs all planning and development, and all decisions with regard to planning, management and development in the municipality.”

The Municipal Systems Act also says that “a Municipality must encourage and create conditions for the local community to participate in the affairs of the Municipality”, including in “the preparation, implementation and review of its Integrated Development Plan”.

Integrated Development Planning Videos

IDP Process

IDP Thandi’s Story – English

IDP Thandi’s Story – Xhosa 

Turning housing delivery on its head

Are we seeing a policy shift emerging from the national Department of Human Settlements?  In minister Sisulu’s departmental budget vote speech of 18 May 2017 she states:

We are now concentrating on serviced sites. The HDA

[Housing Development Agency] has identified land for our purpose, ensuring that it is serviced. It will be partitioned and people would be able to move to their own stand and build their own houses, through a monitored PHP [Peoples Housing Process] programme, managed by the Deputy Minister. These are now our urgent interventions for massive roll-out.

This is a radical shift from the present emphasis on the up-front provision of a full RDP housing product that is built by government, to a new focus on building serviced sites and then helping people to build their own houses. This is a fundamental mindset shift; turning on its head how government plans to achieve the progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing.

Up to now government’s argument was that they would progressively build more and more RDP houses until everyone has a house, with those that don’t get a RDP house now having to patiently wait for their turn.  Reality has shown however that it will take much longer then government hoped to house everyone in this way.  Communities have also increasingly become frustrated at patiently waiting, in informal settlements and other inadequate conditions, for government to built them houses.

Afesis-corplan welcomes this change in policy and mindset, and calls on government to rapidly expand the provision of serviced sites through what some are calling the Managed Land Settlement approach to housing and settlement development.  For more information on Managed Land Settlement see here.

It is also good to see that Deputy Minister Kota Fredericks in her budget vote speech continues to emphasise governments commitment to informal settlement upgrading:

Chairperson, the upgrading of informal settlements remains a cornerstone of our delivery programme.  Through the national upgrading support programme (NUSP) we aim amongst others to promote incremental upgrading and strengthen capacity of government and professional practitioners to implement community based upgrading.


Buffalo City Agricultural Strategy (Draft)

In 2012 the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) developed a draft Integrated Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy (IARDS).

As of November 2016 this strategy had not yet been formally adopted by the BCMM.
For an interesting visionary story on a possible agriculturally focused future for Buffalo City see page 27 of this link F-East London: Buffalo City hosts 2032 World Food Security Conference.

parkridge afesis-corplan

Parkridge and Bamford Social Audit 2016

Parkridge and Bamford communities both after suffering an injustice by government not rectifying their dilapidated houses of more than 130 beneficiaries, and those blocked out of the housing system conducted a Social Audit as a means to addressing their housing issue. A social audit is a process that provides a way for communities to build evidence, monitor a service by cross checking what was budgeted or planned for compared to what is physically on the ground. This monitoring tool assist communities to ensure effective and meaningful public participation and allows the community to engage government on processes that affect their livelihoods.