n South African Law Journal - Defining local government powers and functions

Volume 124, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



The functional areas of provincial and local government competency listed in Schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution are specified in a way that leads, in practice, to an overlap of the powers and functions of these two spheres of government. The aim of this article is threefold: (a) to determine the nature and extent of overlap between provincial and local government powers and functions as well as the problems flowing from such overlap; (b) to examine how the overlap is being dealt with by stakeholders; and (c) to develop a systematic approach to defining provincial and local government powers. The approach developed in this article proposes the creation of a hierarchy of definitions of areas of competency, built on the identification of the key elements of each competency, which should then be elaborated through guiding principles as well as a process for negotiating the practical implementation of the definitions.

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