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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Megacities in South Africa: A Solution for the New Millennium?
Author:Cameron, Robert
Periodical:Public Administration and Development
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:municipal government
urban areas
local government reform
Urbanization and Migration
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-162X(200005)20:2<155::AID-PAD120>3.0.CO;2-A
Abstract:The most notable of new local government structures introduced in South Africa since 1994 has been the establishment of metropolitan governments in the major cities. Metropolitan areas are the powerhouse of the economy and their optimal governance is of national importance. This paper looks at the performance of metropolitan government in the three major cities in the country: Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. It focuses on new government policy for these areas and examines the 1996 Constitution, the White Paper on Local Government (1998) and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (1998). Particular attention is given to the impending introduction of unitary-tier structures (megacities) in metropolitan areas. It remains to be seen whether such structures are going to lead to better governance and redistribution of resources. There is no conclusive evidence that either the unitary or the two-tier model is a better system for dealing with metropolitan problems. Two-tier centres are often characterized by duplication, and an inefficient use of resources, whereas a single-tier government should lead to more coordinated planning and greater redistribution. However, the costs of disrupting local government structures that have recently been put in place could well be far greater than any potential savings that can be made through the amalgamation of existing structures into a megacity. But there is also increasing political consensus in the larger metropolitan authorities that the unitary structures should be introduced in a way that will minimize administrative disruption. Bibliogr., notes, sum.