Financial and Functional Viability and Sustainability of Municipalities – Beyond the Demarcation Instrument: Mr Bongani Khumalo, Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC)
In 2015 the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) proposed amalgamations of municipalities in order to deal with challenges of financially unviable and dysfunctional municipalities. This paper addresses the following questions: Is there a common understanding or definition of a viable/dysfunctional municipality? Whatever the definition, will the proposed mergers create financially viable municipalities? Is viability a requirement for demarcations and can it be elevated to dominate other factors? Can re-demarcating boundaries eliminate dysfunctionality, and should dysfunctionality be a factor when determining demarcations?
Towards A Comprehensive Municipal Capacity Assessment for Assigning Local Government Powers and Functions: Ms Sheila Hughes, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)
Local government legislation and policies provide for criteria and procedures for capacity assessment procedures for the adjustment process. In spite of these frameworks, questions have still been raised regarding the usefulness of current assessments for municipal boundary adjustments, the adequacy of the prevailing assessment model, and the lack of a sufficiently comprehensive framework for capacity-based adjustments. This paper posits therefore, that no proper governance procedures or regulations have, to date, been enacted to more purposefully guide the functional adjustments and capacity assessments.
Inclusive City Growth: Why Governance and Collaborative Leadership Matters: Mr Andrew Boraine, Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP)
This paper argues that an effective metropolitan system of governance, understood as the formulation and execution of a shared vision and common agenda by multiple public, private and civic stakeholders, is an essential ingredient for successful socio-economic development. The paper also argues that metropolitan growth and inclusion agendas are not mutually exclusive, and that both rely on partnering and collaborative leadership to be successfully implemented.
Ward Delimitation: Impact on Municipal Service Delivery: Professor Modimowabarwa Kanyane, Human Sciences Research Coucil
Critical issues of ward delimitation and its impact on service delivery are pursued. Whilst reminiscing the past, good and bad, the paper compels everyone in the demarcation space to reimagine the future with increased responsibility and commitment to delimit wards without inciting conflicts and violence to ensure effective service delivery. Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) must not be seen as a springboard for broader embattlement for political control but an instrument to similar to Chapter 9 institutions to support and deepen democracy.
The Demarcation Process Review Task Team Recommendations and Lessons learnt from the MDB processes: Ms Nompumelelo Mpofu, former Chairperson of the DPRTT and MDB board member
The Demarcation Process Review Ministerial Task Team (DPRTT) was established by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, specifically to take a critical look at the process of demarcation, its impact and make recommendations for strengthening the process and related matters. Stakeholder engagements were carried out at national, provincial and local spheres (at community level) on experiences of the demarcation process in general and how stakeholders perceive the work of demarcation to affect them in particular and to make recommendations.
Financial viability and Dysfunctionality in terms of the back to Basics Programme: Mr Muthotho Sigidi, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
The Back-to-Basics programme analysed municipalities across the country, and concluded that approximately one-third of all municipalities were dysfunctional and some were not sustainable financially. To address the challenges being experienced by municipalities around sustainability and viability, a range of options were considered, including direct interventions, strengthening district municipalities, or disestablishing and amalgamating some local municipalities. Four indicators were used to determine the sustainability / viability of municipalities: Economic viability; Tax sustainability; Financial viability; and Dependence on inter-governmental transfers.