Good Governance: An Anchor To Successful Local Government

Future Cities Africa and the Municipal Edge present "Local Government Conversations 2023".

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Speakers

  • Bazil R. Vink, Specialist Advisor: Local Government: Administration; Finance, Governance, Risk and Compliance
  • Dr Ross Harvey, Director of Research and Programmes, Good Governance Africa
  • Moderated by Zolani SS Zonyane, Chief Editor, Municipal Edge

Webinar summary

The webinar explored the frameworks that have been developing in South Africa since 2012 with the goal of improving local governance and achieving successful local government. The Western Cape government and municipalities have achieved substantial success in this area, and the webinar reflects on the impact of those strategies. The speakers highlight the key challenges facing local governments, including distressed municipalities and financial instability. The webinar also emphasizes the importance of building a culture of compliance and accountability, and the need for effective risk management and governance arrangements.

The critical importance of good governance and leadership in local government is addressed. The speakers highlight the role of governance in successful local government, including the collaboration between provincial government and municipalities. The maturity of politics as a key factor in implementing good governance strategies is mentioned. The speaker provides an example of a strategy that was developed over a two-year period and successfully implemented by the new political leadership. The speaker then turns to the South African context, emphasizing the importance of learning from the success of the Western Cape and emulating it across the continent.

The panel emphasize the importance of ethical and capable leadership in ensuring effective service delivery in local government. They argue that while finance is crucial, leadership with integrity, accountability, transparency, and fairness is necessary to build institutions and enable resources to be utilized to deliver public value. They encourage the implementation of these principles to improve governance at the local level, where people feel proud to live in well-managed communities. The webinar also discusses the importance of reflecting on what needs to be done to transform municipalities in the year 2024 and calls for collective efforts to achieve better governance in local governments for a successful future.

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