n Journal of Public Administration - Intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance in South Africa : challenges and prospects

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Over the past 20 years, South Africa has made important strides in building its intergovernmental fiscal relations, such as general budget and financial management reforms, budget preparation and budget implementation. The current legislative provisions and court decisions referred to in the article confirm the distinctiveness, interdependence, and interrelatedness of the various spheres of government and are also an indication that the national-provincial-local government nexus chain is still holding. There are, however, incidents that reflect some challenges within the system, some of them structural. The incidents of boundary disputes that led to violent protests might be an indication that there are weaknesses/challenges in the government-civil society interface. Incidents of interventions and litigations among the various spheres of government might be an indication that the level of mutual trust and good faith within various spheres of government needs some improvement. It is, however, submitted that the National Council of Provinces, as an oversight body mandated to safeguard the interest of provinces, can play an important role in promoting the government-civil society interface as well as intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance.

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