n Journal of Public Administration - Capacity challenges for local government efficacy for development planning and implementation

Volume 49, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This paper argues that capacity-building interventions by the South African government tend to focus more on the macro-perspective and less on local diverse and complex situations. This has created imbalances among local government responsibilities, their existing capacities and contextual realities. Evidently, in an attempt to capacitate local government, national government encouraged various interventions, including legislative and institutional reforms, project consolidation, integrated development planning, and local government turn-around strategies. The paper shows that despite the application of such measures, there are serious concerns about the capacity of local government to achieve its policy mandates. To illustrate the capacity constraints, this paper presents some of the challenges faced by local municipalities in the Capricorn District, Limpopo Province, towards planning and implementation of development projects. The paper concludes that local capacity building could be further improved by emphasising the balance among local government responsibilities and their existing capacities and contextual realities, especially in the process of identifying and developing the ability of local government.

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