n Journal of Public Administration - The role of local government in mitigating the impact of the recession




The economic recession is, in public administration, recognised as an environmental condition that emanates from the external economic environment within which government institutions operate. Its impact is felt by business, government and communities. The typical impact of the recession on business holds negative implications for government, in particular municipalities and communities. Despite the existing, though limited general research on recession in public administration as a field of study, the recession's impact on communities and the reverse implications such impact has on municipalities remain unacknowledged. In South Africa, much debate, often outlining unclear and questionable strategies, about the recession is evident at the national sphere of government. Notwithstanding the increasing pace of the debate, municipalities have maintained a deafening silence, which leads one to assume that they imagine they are immune. Not a single municipality has acknowledged the impact of the recession on communities or the reverse implications such impact has for them, and therefore they have not developed strategies indicative of their readiness to circumvent it. This silence depicts municipalities not only as dependant extensions of national spheres of government, but also as closed systems that are unresponsive to environmental changes. The impact of the recession is felt in local communities where municipalities have a significant developmental role to play. The recession necessitates local government's power of influence, adaptation processes and sustenance.


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