n Journal of Public Administration - Challenges and opportunities for local government development with reference to the Polokwane municipality in the Limpopo province of South Africa

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The new system of local government introduced in South Africa in 1995 presents municipalities with challenges to address the backlog in services created in the apartheid era. With the transformation of the Pietersburg municipality to the Polokwane local municipality, rural areas in the former homeland of Lebowa were included in the area of jurisdiction and the population increased twelve-fold. A baseline study for the new municipality identified large differences in income levels, employment, housing, education and health services, as well as with the availability of municipal services between the urban and rural areas. The local government legal framework and policy confront the new municipality with five main challenges : to change from an apartheid to a non-racial municipality, to provide a range of services identified as basic human rights, to act as point of delivery for different service and development agencies, to involve stakeholders from civil society, and to act as facilitator for the socio-economic development of communities.

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