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The 2018 State of Local Governance publication launch

The 2018 State of Local Governance (SoLG) publication was launched on 29 August 2018 in Cape Town. The event, held at the Park Inn by Radisson in Newlands, was well-attended and received by over 40 representatives from civil society, academia and government concerned with and working on local governance in South Africa.

The day commenced with an introduction to the publication by Tracy Jooste and Monique Damons from the GGLN Secretariat. This was followed by a video address by Deputy Minister of the national Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Andries Nel, focused on the significance and importance of the publication and the current state of developmental local government in South Africa. Official representatives from CoGTA, namely Boitumelo Diale and Zodwa Keto, then took questions from the floor and engaged in rigorous discussion and debate with participants on current local government matters.

The authors of the research papers and case studies constituting SoLG 2018 then presented their work. This involved short PowerPoint presentations from Sikhander Coopoo (Afesis-corplan), Fred Kusambiza (Planact), Jens Horber (Isandla Institute), Tiffany Ebrahim (The Socio-Economic Research Institute of South Africa), Dalli Weyers and Khadija Bawa (Social Justice Coalition), and Kwanda Lande (Community Organisation Resource Centre). The sessions also included questions to authors from the floor and discussion and debate around topics and work presented.

The day was concluded by an external high-level panel discussion. The panel was constituted by City of Cape Town Councillor, Gillion Bosman; South African Local Government Association Executive, Sonwabo Gqegqe; and Director of the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy at the University of the Western Cape, Lisa Thompson. Panellists reflected broadly on SoLG 2018 and the specific topics and work presented by authors within the broader South African local governance context.

Key highlights/insights from the event include acknowledgement of the value of the publication and the diversity of participants at the event. Diverse representation, particularly from across the three spheres and functions of government, contributed to wide range of varied perspectives on and opportunities for rich and rigorous debate around current local government affairs. The event further served to reiterate the importance of the work of local government, the continued urgency of addressing challenges in the sector, and the need for continued and greater (collaborative) action to address these challenges from within and across civil society, academia and government.

Click here to access a copy of Minister Nel’s video address. 

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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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