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Provincial and Local Government policy review

The South African Department of Provincial and Local Government (dplg) has initiated a process to review policies pertaining to the system of provincial and local government in the country. Two separate but interrelated processes are underway: a review of the 1998 White Paper on Local Government; and the formulation of a White Paper on Provincial Government. The two will be the result of an extensive research and consultative process during 2007 and 2008.

According to a notice about the policy process posted on the dplg website, "This policy process follows a Cabinet decision early in 2007 to assess whether the central objective of government to serve the people is being advanced by the current provincial and local government arrangements. This decision is in response to the expectation of all South Africans, like citizens of any other country, to have the right to a more responsive, accountable, efficient, equitable and affordable government and a better quality of service.

The process itself draws on the lessons of practice of more than a decade of our democratic governance, wide public consultation and comprehensive research, geared towards making policy proposals. Its principal purpose is to improve, strengthen and deepen the thrust and impact of existing policies and programmes directed at local government and formulate new policy for provincial government, which has not up to now been existence

There is a need to optimise the impact of our system of provincial and local government system and to improve and strengthen the coordinated actions of national, provincial and local government in key areas of delivery.

The first phase of the three step process is the publication of a set of questions on the system of provincial and local government. See the document on this web page: Policy process on the system of Provincial and Local Government: Background policy questions, process and participation

The public at large, civil formations, universities, organised civil society, and various public institutions are invited to contribute to the questions and identify any other areas that impact on the provincial and local government system. The written responses should be sent to the Department of Provincial and Local Government by 31st October 2007.

In the second phase of this policy process: The feedback received and continued extended research to examine these issues in more detail will culminate in the drafting of a Green Paper on provincial government which will provide possible policy options and a Discussion Document on Local Government. These will be published towards the end of 2007 for comment.

Lastly, by the end of 2008, there will be a new White Paper on Provinces and a Review Report on Local Government, which will be considered by Parliament and Cabinet. Once more the public are encouraged to partake in this importance process."

The GGLN will be making a formal submission to dplg as part of the policy process. Further details about the submission will be posted on the website soon.

A background document on the policy review process can be downloaded from the dplg website by clicking here.

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