n Local Government Bulletin - The quality of local political leadership is crucial for effective service delivery




The Centre for Policy Studies recently completed a study on the role of elected local councillors, particularly ward councillors, in service delivery in South Africa. Currently the public do not see local councillors playing an active role in service delivery. Much of the commentary on service delivery protests appears to focus on the role of municipal technocrats and administrators, as well as contracted service providers. However, we neglect the role of councillors at our peril, given the importance of local political leaders in shaping citizen perceptions of the efficacy of local institutions of government in meeting their needs. Also, local political leaders have an important role to play in mediating state-citizen relationships around issues of quality of local governance. This is especially important in the context of the recent spate of municipal service delivery failures, which have led to public protests across the country.


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