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20 Revolutionary Years of South African Local Government

Posted: 25 November 2016


The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has, this week, been celebrating its 20th birthday.

SALGA expects to carry the celebratory spirit into the SALGA National Conference 2016 which will take place from 28 November- 1 December 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Established in 1996, SALGA is an autonomous association of municipalities which serves as goal oriented body that represents the voice of local government and inspires service delivery.

The association has seen several challenges since it was first introduced. Although difficult to navigate, these have brought the desire for SALGA to fight towards a more nuanced understanding of the landscape of governance. Such clarity has led to more efficient service delivery mechanisms being implemented across municipalities.

“It has been a difficult institutional journey, fragmented, lots of contestation and difficult issues between provinces themselves. However, a stable institution has been developed despite the three-key systemic and structural key problematic issues namely, strengthening governance and governance institutions; planning economic development that improving the delivery of services; and lastly spatial transformation,” says SALGA Executive Manager, Seana Nkhahle.

SALGA’s mandate is derived from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and its mission is to be a consultative and credible wing of South African governance.

“We have to actively engage, we need to be able to anticipate policy changes before they occur and we should be able to lobby on behalf of local government to foresee negative aspects or side effects of these intended legislative and policy changes,” said SALGA Policy Analyst Justin Steyn.

Following 20 years into SALGA, the association is growing in its mandate to support local government. SALGA looks forward to its national conference to communicate its vision for Sustainable Local Government (2030) which aims to close the gap between current reality and the sustainability that SALGA desires.

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