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GGLN Newsletter - August 2010

 
 
 
AUGUST
2010
 
GGLN NEWS
the newsletter of the
good governance learning network
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FROM THE GGLN SECRETARIAT
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meera Ramjee
GGLN Coordinator
Dear colleagues,
 
Welcome to the first web-based edition of the GGLN News. Once again, the GGLN Secretariat is pleased to bring you this bi-monthly newsletter of the Good Governance Learning Network. A hive of activity is currently underway amongst member organisations of the network, as the articles below demonstrate. The breadth and depth of work that our members engage in also became abundantly clear at the most recent members’ meeting of the network, which was held in Cape Town on 28 July. A constructive spirit of engagement, high energy and a passion for research to address the problems and issues within local governance was palpable throughout the days proceedings. The GGLN’s most recent State of Local Governance report, entitled Ethical Leadership and Political Culture in Local Government, was also launched on the day, and has thus far been well received in the public space. As Sisa Njikelana, Member of Parliament, commented in his address at the launch, “I’m glad these issues [leadership questions] are being provoked. A previous lack of due consideration to develop people politically has led to issues with appointments and deployments. He also added, “I believe civil society organisations have an important role to play in enhancing good governance.” The GGLN has since initiated its work on the third State of Local Governance report on the theme of Community Voices and Dissatisfaction. Member organisations have shown a great deal of enthusiasm for the project and the insights shared by members thus far have been most welcome. I look forward to a process of continued engagement, both with organisations within the network as well as with the growing number of supporters of the GGLN from outside.
To read more about the launch of the State of Local Governance report, click here.
OPINION PIECE
RETHINKING INTERGOVERNMENTAL FISCAL RELATIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT DELIVERY
By Bongani Qwabe and Marece Wenhold, Idasa
 
Local governments have the major responsibility to improve service delivery, say  Bongani Qwabe and Marece Wenhold of Idasa. To carry out the assigned service delivery tasks the Constitution provides for an elaborate and complex set of revenue transfers from national to the sub-national governments. These transfers have the primarily objective of helping the sub-national governments to provide the services and perform the functions assigned to them, taking into account each sphere’s ability to raise its own revenue. To be precise the intergovernmental fiscal relation system is an important aspect of ensuring maximum delivery.                                                       Read more here
FROM THE MEMBERS
WE ARE FACED WITH A CRISIS OF LOCAL DEMOCRACY
By Imraan Buccus, Research Fellow in the School of Politics at UKZN and at DDP.

Recently we heard shocking news about a community in the North West that went about burning schools because they were unhappy with a gravel road that was meant to be tarred. To make matters worse school children were prevented from going to school, in an attempt at getting the local authority to act.  Now, sixteen years into democracy, this is very difficult to understand. Why would a community behave this way? Should government respond by saying that those schools will not be rebuilt? Surely, actions should have consequences, says Imraan Buccus.                                                                                                                                                                         Read more here

FCR BEGINS CIVIC EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN LANGA
By Mandisi Majavu, Researcher at FCR
 
Foundation for Contemporary Research (FCR) recently started an extended leadership and organisational development as well as civic education programme with the branch executive committee of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Langa. This came about after several meetings between FCR, the branch executive and general members where the needs of the organisation and its members were discussed collectively and a comprehensive training programme was subsequently adopted.                                                       Read more here

IDASA’S BAROMETER IS A LIVE WIRE IN MPUMALANGA’S THABA CHWEU LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
By Marece Wenhold, Team Leader & Technical Coordinator: Capacity Delivery for Local Government (CDLG) Project, Idasa
 
Amidst recovering from a major political and governmental crisis, great support and enthusiasm from all stakeholders as well an appreciation of the interim administration is the very positive feedback emanating from the Local Governance Barometer (LGB) workshop in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality in Mpumalanga. As part of a five-year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Idasa implemented the first LGB workshop in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality in Mpumalanga from 10 – 13 August 2010.                     Read more here

STRANDED WOMEN, STRONG WOMEN
An article based on recent research on female-headed households in Pietermaritzburg townships
By Allison Goebel, Nombuso Masinga and Daniel Bailey (BESG)
 
Canadian sociologist, Professor Allison Goebel, in collaboration with a local not-for-profit organization, the Built Environment Support Group, conducted research into female-headed households in three low income communities within Msunduzi Municipality, including France, in order to better understand the social and economic dynamics affecting women left to fend for themselves and their children.                      To read more about their research, click here
 

PARTNERS IN TRANSFORMATION 
By Gwyneth Shezi, DDP
 
For the period 2010 – 2011, DDP has expanded the focus into giving more attention to those areas that are of discomfort to the many but that also need to be urgently addressed. One such focus area is the capacitation of tribal councils to fully or meaningfully engage in municipal processes. For this, it is first necessary to ‘sell’ the idea of inclusion of the traditional councils into the municipal processes, and second it is essential to elicit the ‘buy-in’ into DDP’s flagship programme in rural areas, i.e. the ‘Partners in Transformation’ workshops, where important municipal processes, as well as their implications for traditional communities, are explained in detail.                                                                                                                                                        To read more, click here  

 

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