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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Local Government in the New South Africa
Author:Pycroft, Christopher
Periodical:Public Administration and Development
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:local government reform
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-162X(199608)16:3%3C233::AID-PAD878%3E3.0.CO;2-E
Abstract:On 1 November 1995 elections were held in South Africa to create 686 new local authorities throughout the country. The new councils have been championed by the government as the main delivery mechanism for social and economic redistribution as well as the vehicle for the achievement of the aims and objectives of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). This paper argues that the legislative framework developed for local government has an urban bias that has operated to the detriment of a manageable solution to the problems of rural local government in South Africa. It examines the new structures of local democracy and argues that the need to secure local respresentation may have been achieved at the expense of functional efficiency. The paper also examines the efforts to accommodate the political and economic demands of South Africa's traditional societies and commercial farmers. It argues that the efforts to incorporate these powerful elements into the new dispensation have largely failed. The paper concludes that the creation of a constitutional framework for local government must be seen as the first step in the development of autonomous local government, and that the main task now facing the government is the development of sufficient financial and human resources to ensure improvements in the standard of living of poor South Africans. Bibliogr., sum.