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GGLN Newsletter - December 2010

 

 

DECEMBER

2010

 

GGLN NEWS
the newsletter of the
good governance learning network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE GGLN SECRETARIAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear colleagues;

 

Welcome to the last edition of the GGLN News for 2010. It has been a busy year for the network and its members. After the very successful launch of the State of Local Governance report, production immediately started on the next report which is due for publication in early 2011. The theme Community Voices and Dissatisfaction was chosen to reflect the current discontent expressed by communities, civil society (and even government) around effective engagement and responding to ongoing challenges, particularly those related to poverty and poor access to services and opportunities.

 

Besides the SoLG, the members of the GGLN have been very busy with their own activities and we are excited to profile the work that members have been involved in over the last period of 2010. It is clear that members play a valuable role in engaging with and contributing towards effective local governance, as the below accounts will show.  On behalf of the network, the Secretariat would like to commend and congratulate members for their work and efforts during the year despite challenges, not made any easier by the difficult financial climate which has affected many of our members. We would like to wish you all the best as you wrap up the year and look forward to our engagements for next year, particularly with the upcoming local government elections.

 

On a final note, we would like to thank Meera Ramjee who performed excellently during her time as the GGLN Coordinator. The GGLN Secretariat and members were sad to see here leave but wish her success in her future endeavors. We are pleased to announce that, following a rigorous selection process, Chantelle de Nobrega has been appointed as the new GGLN Coordinator. She will take up her position in January 2011.

 

Best wishes for the festive season and we look forward to engaging with and seeing you in the new year.

 

OPINION PIECE

 

TALKING TO LECHESA TSENOLI

By Sarah Hetherington, Editor, String Communications

 

Local Government Magazine, Delivery, recently published a special addition publication to celebrate a decade since the first local government elections in 2000. As part of these celebrations, Sarah Hetherington spoke to Lechesa Tsenoli chairperson of Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on Co-ordinated Oversight on Service Delivery to share his reflections on 10 years of progress and problems.  

Read more here

 

THE DAMAGING ASSUMPTIONS

By David Schmidt, Director, Strategies for Change

 

Having spent the past decade working in various capacities within local government and on issues that affect local government, David Schmidt is considered a bit of an expert in this area. In the December 2010 edition of Delivery magazine, he offers some insights into what it means to have had a decade of local democracy. He argues that while much of the idealism and optimism of the White Paper era has gone, we are now faced with the opportunity of tackling its unintended consequences.

Read more here

 

Both these articles appeared in the December 2010 Edition of Delivery Magazine www.sadelivery.co.za

 

FROM THE MEMBERS

 

GGLN ROUNDTABLE: WITHHOLDING OF RATES BY RATEPAYERS IN FIVE LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES

By Annette May, Researcher and Managing Editor (Local Government Bulletin) at  CLC

 

On 12 November 2010 the Community Law Centre(CLC)  together with GTZ and SALGA hosted a roundtable to discuss the findings of a research report by CLC on the withholding of rates by ratepayers in local municipalities. Rates withholding is the practice whereby ratepayers withhold their property rates and, in certain instances, fees for services such as electricity and water on the basis that municipalities are not fulfilling their duties. While perhaps less visible than the service delivery protests that have increased in frequency since 2004, the consequences of rates withholding are, arguably, equally destructive. The number of towns affected by this practice is growing.

 

Read more here

 
 

THE ROOT OF SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS: A CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE

By Cameron Brisbane, Executive Director at BESG

 

The Witness newspaper recently published a feature by Mr Yunus Carrim MP on the service delivery protests that prompted his Department to develop a Turn-Around Strategy for local government performance.  His article suggested that local government alone was not to blame for the protests, and that provincial government and citizen apathy also played their part.  Here is an extract of a response to his article by Cameron Brisbane, Executive Director of BESG, published in the same newspaper.

                                                                                                                                                                              Read more here

 

INVITATION TO BE INVOLVED IN A CIVIL SOCIETY TASK TEAM TO TRACK THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE APRM IN SOUTH AFRICA

By CPS

 

South Africa is one of 29 African states that have voluntarily acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), an African-owned and driven process that assesses governance across a wide range of strengths and weaknesses, and proposes reforms in a National Programme of Action (NPoA). CPS, would like to invite you and your organisation to play a role in monitoring South Africa’s progress in implementing the commitments it has made as part of this process.                                                          

 For more information about  this invitation click here 

 

BUILDING RESILIENT HUMAN SETTLEMENTS IN A TIME OF HIV/AIDS

By Stacey-Leigh Joseph, Policy Researcher at  Isandla Institute

 

There is growing recognition that HIV/AIDS should be everyone’s problem. This recognition is especially important for local governments as they are faced directly with the implications of the epidemic. Yet, the responsibility for taking action on HIV/AIDS is still seen largely as that of the health department and there is a very narrow response from other departments who see it as either an unfunded mandate or not their mandate at all. Isandla Institute recently completed a project in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) Municipality aimed at assisting the Housing and Land Department in the municipality to understand the links between HIV/AIDS and people’s living conditions and to explore ways to view informal settlement upgrading and management in a context of HIV/AIDS.

Read more here 

 

LET’S SEE THE REAL VALUE IN RDP HOUSES

By  SERI

 

One could point to the failure of the current RDP system and the predominant model of providing individual title in peripheral areas, where there are few socioeconomic amenities and limited job opportunities. One could also point to the success of the RDP system in the way it generates new and alternative economies that enable people to sustain their livelihoods amid high unemployment. The latter situation, however, is possible only where people are allowed to make rational choices about their own productive tradeoffs, housing arrangements and income-generation activities

Read more here  

 

WORLD HABITAT DAY

By Daniel Bailey, Researcher at  BESG

 

The Built Environment Support Group (BESG) hosted a mini-summit on the new Housing Subsidy for Farm Residents on Monday 4th October 2010 at the City Royal Hotel in Pietermaritzburg. The event was planned as part of the international celebrations for World Habitat Day, the aim of which was to raise awareness about the current state of human settlements, the basic right to adequate shelter and our collective responsibility for maintaining decent and sustainable settlements.

Read more here

 

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