Placement of municipalities under administration : a comparative case study of Masilonyana and Nala Local Municipalities in the Free State Province in South Africa
Mohale, David Matheakuena
The African National Congress (ANC) led government has, since 1994, adopted and followed the public sector reforms that took place in many parts of the world in the 1990s. In 1996, the Republic of South Africa (RSA) adopted a Constitution that established a system of cooperative governance between the three spheres of government. While local government has the specific objectives that it must pursue in terms of the Constitution, it significantly relies on the support of the other two spheres of government for the fulfilment of its objectives. The drafters of the Constitution appear to have anticipated that local government may possibly fall short on performance. As a result, the Constitution provides for a modality of interventions in municipalities by provinces if a province deems that a municipality is failing to provide one or more services. Such interventions are becoming commonplace given a number of problems that are constraining performance of municipalities. The study found that there are discrepancies between the procedural process provided for and the actual process implemented by the decision makers. This could be attributable to the absence of a dedicated comprehensive legislation that governs the processes for interventions in municipalities. The complexity and dynamism of the local government environment, particularly the party political power relations, do not guarantee that the intervention in a municipality will produce the desired outcomes. Essentially, a similar produces different outcomes depending on the context of the implementation of the policy. The study concludes with broad recommendations that the decision makers could consider in order to improve the effects of the interventions in municipalities.