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Community Law Centre launches Local Government Law of South Africa

The Local Government Project of the Community Law Centre, in association with LexisNexis, launched the Local Government Law of South Africa, a comprehensive new description and critical analysis of local government law. This loose-leaf publication, to be updated annually, was written by two Project members, Nico Steytler and Jaap de Visser and was launched at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town on 29 May 2008.

The launch was preceded by a short panel discussion on whether the volume of local government law serves as an aid or barrier to democracy and development. The panel debated whether municipalities are subjected to too much law and whether that has the unintended consequence of a chase for legal compliance, rather than the meaningful pursuit of the object of the law. Panelists included Advocate Geoff Budlender (Cape Bar), Advocate Jan Koekemoer (former Municipal Manager of Overstrand Municipality), Mr Mbulelo Tshangana (Deputy Director-General of Western Cape Department of Local Government and Housing) and Mr Rodney Africa (Attorney at Webber Wentzel incorporating Mallinicks).

The Honourable Chief Justice Pius Langa’s keynote address focused on the significance of the constitutionalisation of local government from a democratic and development perspective. The launch was attended by, among others, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Alec Erwin, as well as the MEC for Local Government and Housing in the Western Cape, Mr Richard Dyantyi.

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