The complexity of challenges within the social development sector requires collaboration between experienced development partners, to ensure a combination of sound development principles, skills and innovation. Trialogue’s research on CSI spend in social and community development showed that the sector was supported by 74% of companies and received 13% of CSI expenditure in 2022. It has been the second most supported sector since 1998, with the proportion of spend consistent through the years. This article looks at relevant legislation and research that support capacity building at local municipalities as an effective corporate intervention.
These pieces of legislation together provide the framework of the local system of government in South Africa.
- The Constitution of South Africa
The Constitution of South Africa provides for three categories of municipality in South Africa. Chapter 7 of the Constitution deals with local government and outlines the status of municipalities, the objects of local government, the developmental duties and establishment of municipalities, and the powers and functions of municipalities, among other things. The intention was to create a robust local government to ensure that services could be provided to communities in a just, sustainable and accountable manner.
- Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998)
The Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998) defined the structures of local government, determining whether an area should have a category A or metropolitan municipality, a category B or local municipality, or a category C or district municipality. This Act also outlines the functions and powers of municipalities, the internal structures and functionaries of municipalities, the makeup of municipal councils, and the electoral system for metro and local councils as well as district councils. The Act was intended to realise the vision of democratic and developmental local government in the country
- Amendment to the Municipal Structures Act
The 2000 amendment to the Municipal Structures Act made districts responsible for key municipal services but allowed them to devolve responsibility to local municipalities, which created some confusion and uncertainty, including the payment of funding to the wrong tier of government, affecting basic service delivery. Chapter 13 of the National Development Plan has drawn attention to some of the issues with a two-tier system of government, but has also noted that basic logic for the two-tier system remains relevant in parts of the country where local municipalities lack the capacity to carry out key functions or cannot recruit the technical expertise needed.
- Local Government Laws Amendment Act No. 19 of 2008
The Local Government Laws Amendment Act No. 19 of 2008 amended the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000 but also broadly provided for the core principles, mechanisms and processes necessary to enable municipalities to uplift communities in a socioeconomic sense, and ensure universal access to essential services. It set out to regulate the processes of assigning powers and functions to local government. It also amended the Municipal Demarcation Act No. 27 of 1998 to provide for determinations of municipal boundaries. The Municipal Systems Act was originally promulgated in order to empower local government to meet the objectives of the Constitution
- The Municipal Financial Management Bill
The Municipal Financial Management Bill was drafted in order to secure the sound and sustainable management of the financial affairs of municipalities and other institutions, and establish treasury norms and standards, in the sphere of local government.
- Municipal Infrastructure: Roles and Responsibilities of National Sector Departments, Provincial Counterparts and Municipalities This booklet, issued by the Department: Provincial and Local Government in 2006, provided an overview of municipal infrastructure, the responsibilities of different spheres of government, the service delivery life cycle, and who is responsible for monitoring. [Read more]
- Understanding the Dynamics of the Capacity Challenge at Local Government Level Chapter 9 of the 2013/14 Submission for the Division of Revenue Financial and Fiscal Commission provides a useful overview of capacity building in local government, suggesting that the lack of a common definition of capacity building, its outcomes and its impact has led to an uncoordinated, directionless approach to capacity building. It offers long-term strategies for sustained capacity.
- Back to Basics: Serving our Communities
In 2013, the Back to Basics policy documents drawn up by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs noted that local government has become unresponsive to citizens’ needs. They set out a plan of action for taking local government forward and deliver basic services. A Back to Basics workshop was held in 2018 to review progress made by the programme and support provided to municipalities.
- Learning framework for local government This framework supports managers and employees in municipalities to address learning in the workplace – it provides a model that attempts to frame Personal Development Planning (PDP) in relation to effective learning. The framework outlines why the learning needs of employees should be addressed, what their needs are and how they can be addressed, and why the continuous training and development of employees is essential for municipalities to achieve their vision, mission and strategic objectives (including implementing a municipal Integrated Development Plan).
- Capacity building for effective municipal environmental management in South Africa
This paper discusses environmental management capacity building programmes in South Africa, emphasising the fact that better local governance is key to meeting urban challenges in the future. There is growing consensus that national governments cannot manage and control complex cities and towns – only strong, decentralised local governance are in a position to do so, working in partnership with national government.
- An institutional capacity model of municipalities in South Africa
Local government occupies a special place in the architecture of state in South Africa and thee is an increasing realisation that the performance of local government is critical in respect of poverty alleviation and the rendering of services to communities. There is, however, also a need to focus on the capacity of individual municipalities to improve their quality of governance and levels of service delivery. This dissertation presents a Municipal Institutional Capacity Model (MICM), which can be used to facilitate the development of tools for the assessment of the institutional capacity of municipalities in South Africa.
- Capacity building in local government: Department, SALGA and SETA briefing This 2015 briefing hosted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs drew attention to the fact that resources allocated for capacity development have not yielded an impact in terms of providing much-needed capacity and skills – capacity development had not been given the attention it warrants as national or provincial government did not have the same priorities as local government. Limited performance monitoring and evaluation have also been an issue. A capacity building strategy has to undergo a key shift to focus on institutions rather than individuals (especially those who received training but should not have been recruited to begin with).
- Capacity self-assessment as a catalyst for improved municipal service delivery
This research paper illustrates that accurate and truthful capacity assessments are a fundamental phase of any capacity building process, and that capacity assessments play a fundamental role in reaching the necessary performance efficiency.
- Auditor-General sets sights on 26 misusers of taxpayers’ money In 2019, auditor-general Kimi Makwetu identified 26 government institutions perceived to be serial misusers of taxpayers’ money. New legislation empowered him to issue certificates of debt to recoup some of the billions of mismanaged public funds, which were misappropriated during the years of State Capture.
The effect of capacity building training programmes on municipal practitioners in selected municipalities within the Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo Province
The question of capacity building in local government formed a critical part of the transformation of government in South Africa – however, local government has proved largely unequal to the task of providing services, as witnessed by ongoing service delivery programmes. This dissertation explores whether capacity building training programmes are having the desired effect within selected municipalities within the Capricorn District Municipality in Limpopo.
Large mines and sustainable development: towards partnership with government
This paper compares the developmental proposals of 27 municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and four provincial development plans. It compares these proposals with the activities of four South African mines, as reflected in their company reports. At the same time, it compares these proposals and activities with government programmes in a variety of developmental fields.