Presentation on theme: "By Kishore Raga Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University."— Presentation transcript:
By Kishore Raga Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
INTRODUCTION SA - constitutional democracy - three-tier system of government and independent judiciary. National, provincial and local spheres of government have legislative and executive authority in their own spheres - Constitution, 1996. Current debate concerning future role of provincial spheres of government to promote local development in SA is causing significant levels of conflict.
June 2007, ANC Policy Conference 3 options presented. 1. abolish provinces – retain national and local government; 2. possible reconfiguration of provinces; and 3. reduction of provinces. No decision was taken on the future of provinces. September 2010, ANCs National General Council again did not make the final decision on the future of provinces.
In this paper, a brief overview of the provincial system of government in SA prior to and after April 1994 (democracy) is provided. Advantages and disadvantages of the possible retention, abolishment or reconfiguration of provincial spheres of government to promote local development in SA is explored. The paper concludes with recommendations and concluding remarks.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNANCE IN SA: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Development of regional government and administration in SA over past century can be divided into, viz.: Events before Union; Union in 1910; Withdrawal from the British Commonwealth Introduction of the Republican Constitution in 1961; Abolition of the provincial councils in 1986; and Introduction of the Constitution of RSA, 1993; 1996.
South Africa Act, 1909 stipulates each of the 4 provinces of the Union of SA retain a measure of autonomy in specific matters. Provincial councils formulated ordinances on, inter alia: Primary education; Hospital services; Local government; and Trade licensing.
Provincial councils were retained in the RSA Constitution Act, 1961. Early 1980s - system of provincial government featured in the search for a new constitutional structure. 1982, the governments guidelines included provincial and local government. Guidelines added a new dimension - government powers and functions be devolved to provincial and municipal level. This principle was endorsed by Cabinet in 1985.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: 1990-1996 In 1990, the unbanning of the ANC led to negotiations to establish a new democratic state. Compromise of a unitary state with some federal features was adopted (ANC, 2010:4).
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF CREATION OF PROVINCES size of the country necessitated three spheres of government; decentralisation to local and regional governments promotes effective governance; brings government closer to the people and enhances accessibility; and building unity whilst acknowledging diversity and the rights of minority political groupings.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT: CONCERNS be costly - drain scarce human and financial resources; lead to duplication; lack of accountability; competition between levels of government; cumbersome and lead to delays in decision- making and implementation of programmes.
ROLE OF PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN RESPECT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT Provincial structure - vehicle for the co-ordination of provincial line departments with programmes and projects that affect local government. White Paper on Local Government (1998): provinces have roles to play in terms of local government, viz: developmental role - provincial government ensure that integrated development plans of municipalities combine to form a viable development framework across the province;
an intergovernmental role whereby local government is included in provincial decision- making; horizontal co-operation and co-ordination between municipalities and provinces; and play a monitoring role - province monitors local governments execution of matters and performance.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT: CHALLENGES Provinces and local government not functioning in accordance with their founding objectives resulting in inefficient service delivery. Inefficiencies take the form of, inter alia, duplication, lack of capacity, waste of fiscal resources and general non-delivery.
RESPONSE BY GOVERNMENT TO CHALLENGES Introduced new institutional structures, viz.: Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, 2005; Planning models - Local Government Turn Around Strategy; Accountability framework - Government Wide Monitoring and Evaluation System; Oversight and Accountability Model: Asserting Parliaments Oversight Role in Enhancing Democracy.
PROVINCIAL PERFORMANCE MANDATE: CHALLENGES Support and oversight not adequately fulfilled; Poor separation of political and administrative aspects; Departments under-resourced – staffing unsuitable - lack required skills and knowledge; Interaction between local and sectoral departments at national sphere poorly managed leading to conflict / confusion (ANC, 2010:12).
PROPOSED REFORM PROCESS Retain the system as is; Remove the provincial sphere and retain national and local government; A three sphere system with fewer provinces; and, Radically move away from a geographically- based system, to downscaled administrations (ANC, 2010: 24-25).
ANC also proposes local government reforms: Abolish the two tier system of local government (district municipalities and municipalities); Reform the districts; and Remove the districts and reclassify municipalities;
ARGUMENTS TO RETAIN PROVINCES Part of the historical constitutional settlement reached; Key to effective service delivery. Provinces - democratic structures - abolition or undermining impact negatively on the democratic foundations of the country. Reasons for service delivery problems - not constitutional or legal but shortages and lack of skills, training and human resources.
Non-structural challenges like poor service delivery cannot be addressed by structural changes. Benefit of the current system – central government not burdened with responsibilities that provinces carry; and Allows it to focus on strategic planning and policy.
RECOMMENDATIONS Provinces remain as they are, and provide support and service to the local sphere of government to remain viable. Metropolitan and district municipalities serve as centres for long-term development. This will leave the provinces with a more marginal co- coordinating role. Scrap provinces altogether - two-sphere system of government (local and national) but will require constitutional and legislative changes.
Latter could release significant resources and capacity to municipalities. Retain three-tier system with fewer provinces – will mean redrawing provincial boundaries.
CONCLUSION The fundamental reform of the multi-sphere system in South Africa must start with a clarification of what issues and problems are local, regional, and national. Clarification of roles and responsibilities will, in turn, help simplify what is now an over- complicated intergovernmental system.