• Local government reform is required to restructure South Africa’s socio-economic landscape, ensuring that the development potential of the country is realised.
  • In redrawing the boundaries of local government to maximise state functions, the Municipal Demarcation Board demarcated six metropolitan areas, two of which cross provincial boundaries. There are also 231 local municipalities and 47 district municipalities, referred to as district councils. 17 of these are cross-boundary municipalities.
  • The absence of a common consensual framework within which challenges that confront local government can be addressed, means that the activities of the various actors in the local government sphere have not been properly coordinated.
  • Another major challenge is ensuring the financial viability of the municipal system, and particularly finding a way of funding those areas outside ‘formal’ municipal government.
  • The test of the municipal reform will be whether the cities and towns will actually deliver for all the people who live in them.

Op-ed: Local government reforms – no guarantee of success

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