Occasional Paper

Post Apartheid Local Government reforms: A small town perspective

“This CDE Focus confirms many of the shortcomings in South Africa’s small towns. There is a lack of crucial municipal staff, management capacity, and resources necessary to sustain new infrastructure projects. Substantial unresolved issues have arisen
from local government institutional amalgamation. Present strategic development management and planning tools are inadequate for the challenges facing many local municipalities. How municipalities will address the challenges of eliminating backlogs in minimal service delivery and the provision of new levels of service to significantly larger (and more diverse) populations within generally the same, inadequate, revenue and tax base is not at all clear. Finally, there is evidence of ‘unfunded mandates’ and the ‘creeping assignment of functions’ by national and provincial government to the local level that compounds an already grave financial situation.”