1887

n Law, Democracy & Development - Contemporary trends in provincial government supervision of local government in South Africa

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Abstract

Since the onset of the current system of local government in South Africa, it has become possible to determine certain trends in respect of the supervision of local government. These trends demonstrate current thinking and approaches concerning the proper relationship between the three spheres of government. Government in the Republic "is constituted as national, provincial and local spheres of government". The structure of government, where powers are distributed among and simultaneously shared by different spheres of government, may pose challenges to the functioning of government. Accordingly, a mechanism is necessary to ensure that all the spheres of government exercise their powers properly for the good of governance in the Republic. Thus, intergovernmental supervision is a necessary but potentially intrusive component of the constitutional relationship between the spheres of government. The purpose of this article is to establish whether the practice of provincial government supervision of local government corresponds to the legal position and whether, perhaps, adjustments are required to bring the practice of supervision in line with the established legal position. The article is based on law as well as empirical studies based on interviews with officials in municipalities in various provinces. This article discusses the practice of supervision of local government in South Africa. The constitutional principle of co-operative government which informs intergovernmental supervision is briefly explained in the first instance. In setting the context for a discussion of the practice of the supervision of local government, the legal framework for the supervision of local government is subsequently discussed, and a conclusion is reached on the trends of supervision of local government in South Africa. For purposes of this article, the cases which deal with both the monitoring and intervention components of supervision of local government are discussed and assessed together. This is so because both the monitoring and intervention in local government reflect the trends of supervision in local government. In KwaZulu-Natal, supervision is examined in the Utrecht Local Municipality, IMbabazane Local Municipality, Abaqulusi Local Municipality, UMvoti Local Municipality and UMgungundlovu District Municipality. In the Western Cape, the trends are discussed regarding the supervision of the Overberg District Municipality and the Langeberg Local Municipality by the provincial government of the Western Cape. In the Eastern Cape, the supervision of Mnquma Local Municipality by the provincial government of the Eastern Cape is examined. These case studies assist in explaining the trends in provincial supervision of local government in South Africa.

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/content/lddev/18/1/EJC164648
2014-01-01
2016-12-02
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