Local Municipal transformation as a developmental tool

South Africa adopted the new municipal system after the adoption of the new constitution in 1996. The Municipal Structure and System Acts were legislated around 1998, leading to the first democratic local government elections in 2000.

In line with this new dispensation, 6 Metros and 3 aspirant metros were designated in 2000. The metros and aspirant metros were envisaged as the catalytic nodes for economic growth and social transformation of a new democratic South Africa. Local government’s duty is constitutionally defined as developmental, with that intent fully expressed in the powers and functions assigned in legislation.

Section 152(1) Of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa: Objects of local government are:

  • Provide democratic and accountable government for local communities
  • Ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner
  • Promote social and economic development
  • Promote a safe and healthy environment
  • Encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government

This developmental constitutional objectives is given expression in all municipal legislative provisions contained in acts like Municipal System Act( as amended), Municipal Structures Act(as amended) and Municipal Finance Management Act, and other pieces of legislation

It is common course that giving regard to above, local government is largely failing in its constitutional duties, with few exceeptions.

Mangaung Metro is in this regard a failed municipal administration that should have been dissolved as demanded by communities at least in the last five years.

Mangaung as a Metro has failed to not only fulfil its constitutional mandate but has become a threat to national security. Inability to serve communities, agitated and disgruntled citizens have become entry points for extremists and populists.