n Journal of Public Administration - Key challenges of improving intergovernmental relations at local sphere : a capacity building perspective

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Local government is the key role player of service delivery and development and has to fulfill its rightful role in intergovernmental relations. Without the full participation of the local sphere of government the essential contribution of locally articulated preferences namely, municipalities' participatory governance procedures, the role and function of ward committees and the integrated development planning (IDP) processes will be missing. Since 2000 a range of best practice in intergovernmental relations in all three spheres of government has emerged. The intergovernmental relations systems, processes, forums, and joint work had been improved remarkable over the last nine years. Steytler, Fessha and Kirkby, 2005:4 stated in their findings in the report on intergovernmental relations concerning local government that intergovernmental relations are failing to facilitate effective co-operation of district and local municipalities to co-ordinate their constitutional mandates and to achieve effective service delivery.

In this paper the key challenges for improving intergovernmental coordination and relations with specific reference at local sphere will be addressed. A brief overview of intergovernmental relations and legislative requirements is given, intergovernmental relations in practice in the provincial and local sphere followed by a discussion about the challenges and recommendations to improve effectiveness of intergovernmental relations in district and local municipalities.

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