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Op-ed: The shocking and sad state of local government should be a national outrage

Nomvula Dlamini, Director of the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA), writes for the Daily Maverick on the state of local government. 

Dlamini argues that "Unless local government, given its proximity to communities, is genuinely seen as the most important tier of government and is accordingly resourced with officials with the requisite competencies, there is no hope that the current crisis in municipalities can be turned around. 

Sitting in the public gallery of Parliament listening to the Minister of CoGTA (Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs) deliver the Budget Vote and hearing the state of municipalities left me shocked and deeply saddened. The image of distressed and dysfunctional municipalities, managed by unaccountable public officials without the requisite competencies, leaves me wondering how little we have learned from the last 24 years of our democracy.

Why is there no national outrage about the state of our municipalities and local government? Why does this country continue to pump resources into municipalities that are dysfunctional and are not able to service the public in a way that is consistent with our human rights framework? Why do we continue to prop up municipalities whose capacities are systematically decimated by political agendas?"

Click here to access the full article, as sourced from Daily Maverick on 30 July 2018. 

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Sharing the common goal of promoting participatory, effective, accountable and pro-poor local governance, the network strives to provide an interface for civil society organisations to network and share information towards strengthening local democracy in South Africa.

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