Local government failure impacts economic growth

Premiers reported that the poor performance of local governments is hampering the ability of provinces to carry out urgent economic stimulus initiatives that the country urgently needs.

That’s according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was delivering a keynote address at the South African local government council of mayors event held at the East London International Convention Center on Thursday.

Ramaphosa said there was no longer a need for diagnosis for the problems besetting local government, adding that the challenges are laid bare by reports from the auditor general’s office.

“When local government fails, it’s not just service delivery that fails. It’s not just that our people’s expectations are not being met. The failure of local government has a direct and material impact on economic growth and employment,” the president said.

“The failure of local government is essentially the failure of government as a whole. If the local government succeeds, the whole government becomes a success.

Ramaphosa said an analysis of local government failures shows weak political leadership capacity, weak administrative management, poor financial administration and inability to raise revenue and degenerating infrastructure, among others.

The President reminded the Mayors that the White Paper on Local Government states that developmental local government requires political leadership to be at the forefront.

Mayors must provide community-wide leadership and vision, constantly build the capacity of the council to make political decisions, and be accountable and transparent, Ramaphosa said, adding that municipal political leaders should ensure that taxes are used to the maximum for the local community.

“Based on these leadership requirements, I call on mayors and executive mayors to serve communities with honesty, diligence and selflessness.

“Not only will this place them at the center of addressing the weaknesses identified in the problem statement, but more so will place them at the epicenter of local government leadership that contributes positively to regaining and rebuilding the trust of society. in this area of ​​government.

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Georges Matlala