Key Points:

  • Post-apartheid local government has experienced two full generations of change since the advent of democracy.
  • The first wave of change in local government was guided by the Local Government Transition Act of 1993 that was mainly concerned with political unification of municipalities that had been racially divided under apartheid. The second wave of change centred on the premise that local government should be developmental.
  • The Northern Cape and Free State municipalities pose a huge challenge to the process of administrative amalgamation and effective development administration because of how large the municipalities are geographically.
  • There is a lack of development management capacity within most municipalities. Given challenges of this sort developmental local government will require highly skilled and experienced municipal managers.
  • Difficulties facing municipalities in small towns include a lack of crucial municipal staff, management capacity, and resources necessary to sustain new infrastructure projects. Present strategic development management and planning tools are inadequate for the challenges facing many local municipalities