- Corruption, fraud, poor governance, financial mismanagement and nepotism, have been singled out in a report released today by South African Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka.
The report, released today during a two-day local government indaba has painted a clear picture of the state of the local government in South Africa, and probably give some answers to the ever increasing violent protests for service delivery against local authorities.
The report, however also concedes that there is lack of early warning systems to alert provincial and national departments of impending failure or disaster, while also stating unclear allocation of roles and responsibilities in the top bench of the municipalities.
It goes on to show that, with the confusion caused by lack of clarity on responsibilities, this also opens too many opportunities for fraud and corruption as the accountability structures are left very weak.
The report however also state some good that has been achieved through local government, such as increased basic services in some areas.
Presenting the report, minister Shiceka urged delegates to make recommendations regarding all key aspects which they believe were no longer functioning in local government.
"The era of resisting change is over. As local government, we need to be responsive, effective, efficient and accountable to communities. Local government should be everyone's business," he was quoted by the state online agency, BuaNews.
Mr Shiceka also said the report will help in the development of the local government turn around strategy which will be presented to the cabinet and provincial legislatures soon, adding that government should have its very base at the ward level.
The government of South Africa has recently received an ugly wake up call with numerous violent protests for basic services at local government level. While condemning violence, the country's leadership also conceded that some of the grievances were genuine and needed urgent attention.
The South African President, Jacob Zuma and his senior cabinet members have since been making round visits across the country to hear the grievances first hand and try to come up with remedies where possible.
The South Africa local government elections are scheduled for next year and much of the confusion on the ground has been blamed on the power struggles ahead of the elections, according to the ruling ANC party analysts.
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