Key Points:

  • This issue of CDE Focus explores the challenges of local government reform in small towns in the Free State and Northern Cape.
  • It incorporates the insights of other local government experts – among them Alastair McIntosh, Koos Smith, and Jaap de Visser – working in other provinces.
  • In the brief period since 1994, South African local government has experienced two major waves – two full ‘generations’ – of change.
  • The first was guided by the Local Government Transition Act of 1993 and was mainly concerned with the political unification of municipalities that had been racially divided under apartheid.
  • Because this phase was about political change, little attention was given to municipal functioning. Local governments in different parts of the country retained very different styles, and very different levels of capacity.
Download PDF
Download Op-ed
Photo credit: Flickr