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n Journal of Public Administration - Organisational restructuring and structural change : towards area-based metropolitan governance in Durban
The former Durban Metropolitan Council and the six local councils were abolished and replaced by a single unicity metropolitan council following the December 2000 elections. The demarcation process increased the geographical area by 6% and the population by 9 %. The new Ethekiwini City Council consists of 200 councillors and six standing committees. The Mayor is Chairperson of the Executive Committee consisting of nine councillors and the Deputy Mayor is Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee. A Speaker responsible for the efficient management of Council meetings has also been elected.
The Council has to address major challenges in relation to organisational restructuring, service delivery and unifying diverse communities politically, institutionally and socially in the redefined metropolitan area in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998); Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 and Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000). A major challenge is amalgamating six councils into one administrative entity and ensuring equitable and effective service delivery particularly in the rural areas. Area-based local government, coupled with appropriate structures of democratic accountability and co-ordination can facilitate key developmental goals, namely outcomes-based developmental objectives; and co-ordination and integration of service delivery. The area based teams would be closest to the local communities and they would be at the coalface in terms of interacting with the local citizenry. A citizen-driven budgeting process which facilitates direct participation by the local citizenry was implemented for the first time in July 2002. This initiative is an integral part of the area-based management process and seeks to decentralise services and amenities.
A Long Term Development Framework maps out the strategic vision over the next twenty years (2001-2020) and key priorities over the next five years (2001-2006). The Integrated Development Plan will similarly have a five year time scale, but will contain detailed management plans, i.e. programmes, projects, budgets and performance indicators to address key developmental challenges namely, creating economic growth, jobs and income; meeting basic needs; alleviating poverty; developing people; managing the aids pandemic; ensuring a safe and secure environment and sustainability.
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