n Journal of Public Administration - Intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance : two sides of the same coin

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The of 1996 brought the unique element of cooperative government, which underpins intergovernmental relations. The principles of cooperative government and intergovernmental relations recognise the interdependence of the three spheres of government in South Africa, which are distinctive and interrelated, and place a duty on these spheres of government to respect each other's powers, functions and institutions and to inform each other of new policies or items of concern. Cooperative governance is a rather unique governance model that embodies the best ideals of the new democracy in South Africa. The article attempts to establish the connection between intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance. These two units support the system of establishing new structures to promote cooperative behaviour among institutional stakeholders. The article concludes that the principles of cooperative governance and intergovernmental relations are primarily based on mutual respect, trust and integrity. The article further recommends that the different spheres of government should actively participate in local government processes in order to contribute to integrated development. Alignment between the relevant national and provincial government policy imperatives and beyond is crucial.

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