Published Articles and Opinion Pieces

Date Published By Title
15 Feb 2017Business DayNewEskom debt needs switched-on action
The South African Local Government Association (Salga) plans to escalate its lobbying on behalf of municipalities indebted to Eskom to presidential level should ministerial attention prove fruitless. The issue is being attended to by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen  and Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson....
19 Oct 2016Business DayNew phase of democracy questions the nuts and bolts of how cities are run
While local government’s shifting political landscape has been met with a period of introspection by the ANC the realities and implications of a more pluralistic make-up have already become evident in two local government spaces. The first is Gauteng where the ANC runs provincial government but a DA coalition controls...
02 Sep 2016Business DayMashaba’s promises and plans may clash with Johannesburg’s realities
UNTIL August elections local government was run in a largely technocratic way focusing on ensuring service delivery and sustainability within legislated structures and systems. Political priorities and focus areas were articulated through integrated development plans and budgets but institutional models were fairly standard.The exception was Johannesburg which after facing bankruptcy...
08 Aug 2016Business DayStress tests for political blocs
THE local government elections have ushered in several significant new changes for SA’s democracy with greater plurality and probable instability at the 27 "hung" councils where no political party secured a majority of votes. Although the results have been finalised another nail-biting period of intransigence looms as the country awaits...
01 Aug 2016Business DayAll bets are off at ballot box
If the chattering classes and opinion polls are to be believed the ANC is facing a difficult election battle this week. Significant challenges include the headache of factionalism reputational fallout from ongoing allegations of state capture and a legally delinquent SABC.Ipsos-eNCA polls suggest these issues will cost the ANC dearly;...
02 Jun 2016Business DayThe camera’s eye can be a force for good
Philosopher George Santayana famously suggested that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The spectre of the censorship of violent protests therefore begs an interrogation of our recent history.The SABC recently decided that it "will not show footage of people burning public institutions like schools in...
18 May 2016Business DayProtests show up IEC demarcation board
LOCAL government is in a pickle. It faces not only the important job of getting "back to basics" ensuring that service delivery takes place at an acceptable level in municipalities across the country but also transitioning to a period of new leadership and in several instances new boundaries after August’s...
05 Feb 2016Business DayWill this be a bleak midwinter poll?
LOCAL government elections are to be held within 90 days of May 18 and registration is to take place on March 5 and 6. While mayoral candidates are being announced and electioneering is heating up no one knows exactly when polling will take place.As a result the Treasury has provided...
27 Jan 2016Business DayVan Rooyen’s priorities in tough local elections year
New Co-operative Governance Minister Desmond van Rooyen faces a challenging year. His entrance into the co-operative governance and traditional affairs portfolio late last year was less than ideal necessitating stakeholders being asked to reserve judgment but this year is going to be particularly trying.As steward for local government he has...
30 Nov 2015Business DayMunicipalities beyond numbers
AUDIT outcomes are one of the most readily interrogated indicators of municipal performance. Each year the auditor-general’s assessment of municipalities’ financial governance is scrutinised and either decried as a sign of general malaise in municipalities or as with the last set of results read as a sign of gradual improvement.To...
21 Oct 2015Business DayProtests spur Gauteng into action
Two of the biggest headaches for the African National Congress (ANC) at the moment arguably lie in the rising phenomenon of service delivery protests and deteriorating metro support — with the two coinciding in Gauteng among other areas as is evident in last year’s provincial polls. In the past service...
07 Jul 2015Business DayElection apathy a danger for ANC
While the Democratic Alliance (DA) controls only one of the eight metros and the African National Congress (ANC) the other seven data on voting trends suggest that in next year’s local elections the ANC will be vulnerable in at least two other metros too.Voting results from the 2000 2006 and...
30 Jun 2015Business DayTackle the root causes to kill off protests
GAUTENG premier David Makhura has been praised for his "activist" approach to governance: encouraging office bearers and officials to roll up their sleeves and tackle service delivery challenges in partnership with communities.There is little doubt that more proactive governance is needed to tackle protests. Programmes to rectify service delivery challenges...
15 Apr 2015Business DayPower crisis a crunch time for councils
RESIDENTS in 20 municipalities are anxiously watching Eskom’s plan to pull the plug on the provision of bulk electricity for its worst municipal defaulters.Clearly the threat of Eskom acting on its right to cut off municipal defaulters (for several hours a day) represents a crisis not only for residents but...
14 Apr 2015Business DayBattle of the purse strings grows
THE South African Local Government Association (Salga) is unhappy with the Treasury’s withholding of equitable share allocations to about 60 financially errant municipalities.Salga says while the R5bn in consumer debt owed to local government by other spheres of government will go some way to settling the R9bn owed to Eskom...
02 Mar 2015Business DayBorders to municipal protests
The protracted and increasingly violent Malamulele protest was suspended two weeks ago until August when redemarcation proposals for the area are to be considered. For residents of the Limpopo region the suspension of weeks-long protest activity is clearly good news — services and commercial activity can resume and of crucial...
16 Jan 2015Business DayHumility needed from local leaders to fix towns
There is little doubt that this year will prove to be a challenging one for local government; with elections looming and a continuation of service delivery protests likely focus on service delivery will be heightened. What then are the priorities to fulfil not only the developmental mandate of local government...
17 Dec 2014Business DayMessage clear for local government: fail on basics at your peril
This year will be remembered as a mixed year for local government.It started off with the worst-case scenario for local government — an ugly water protest in Brits that left several residents dead and exposed supply-chain mismanagement and corruption that had left residents profoundly compromised.The event was one of many...
01 Oct 2014Business DayJoburgs water crisis is not just bad luck
As the Gauteng water crisis enters its third week questions are emerging about the role of City Power and Joburg Water in the perplexing inability to resolve the water outages that have affected 100 communities. The first and perhaps most troubling question is about the security of water supplies being...
10 Sep 2014Business DayResidents left out in MTN deal with City Power
MTN has secured a tender from one of the City of Johannesburg’s municipal entities City Power to turn lampposts into cellular base stations. While the only people who seem aware of the initiative — techno-geeks — have welcomed the move as a solution to coverage problems the project poses a...
18 Jul 2014Business DayLocal taxes can prove to be make or break
MARGARET Thatcher’s demise bore a similarity to Al Capone’s — not because of the actions taken during their careers but because they both underestimated the effect tax would one day have on ending their careers.Granted Capone’s downfall related to his messy personal finances but the lesson from Thatcher is that...
01 Jul 2014Business DayAction on weak local councils should be consistent
THE past week has elevated local government to a top news story with the arrest of senior Buffalo City brass for misappropriation of funds and the dismissal of several Limpopo mayors for nonperformance. While decisive action on the abuse of power or dereliction of duty is necessary in local government...
27 May 2014Business DayGordhan will set to work on municipal failings
The much-awaited announcement of President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet had only a few surprises. It was more of a reshuffle than a new team with the most notable exception — Pravin Gordhan’s redeployment from finance minister to co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister — affecting local government.While the move has...
19 May 2014Business DayMapping correlation between votes and protests
With the election results now declared it is pertinent to ask whether some of the results might have been predicted by protest activity as a proxy for dissatisfaction with the ruling party. An overview of the provincial ballot results and service delivery protest trends shows up mixed results although at...
10 Apr 2014Business DayBattle of the streets versus the ballot box in 2014
As election day draws closer the case of Bekkersdal is instructive in highlighting the complex and sometimes competitive relationship between protest action and the ballot box.While protests are a democratic right and proudly rooted in South Africa’s struggle history increasing violence and at times criminality and xenophobia often mean the...
21 Feb 2014Business DayVictims of success argument both true and false
President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address last week was scant on details but provided a clear narrative for the coming elections: life is now better than it was for almost all South Africans and where there are protests these are a consequence of municipalities that are in fact...
14 Feb 2014Business DayPoverty must be tackled as root of municipal protests
Reading last weekend’s newspapers one would be forgiven for suspecting that South Africa had slid into anarchy. Last week alone there were at least five major municipal service delivery protests — in Bronkhorstspruit Hebron Sebokeng Uitenhage and Sir Lowry’s Pass excluding registration intimidation in Bekkersdal. But it would be an...
17 Jan 2014Business DayCity officials must not sideline citizens
This year has started badly. An informal trader was shot at point-blank range after defending his fresh produce from metro police confiscation in Tshwane last week. This week three Brits residents have been killed during and in the aftermath of a service delivery protest and although their deaths lie at...
12 Dec 2013Business DayProtests in Eastern Cape echo those in Gauteng
All is not well in one of South Africa’s most beautiful but poorest provinces. One of the most noteworthy aspects of service delivery protests staged across the country against municipalities this year is the rising prominence of the Eastern Cape; where protests occur not only in the informal settlements of...
06 Nov 2013Business DayService delivery concerns are real but violence is no answer
WITH images of matric pupils from Bekkersdal bused to an undisclosed location to write their final exams amid a situation of anarchy the question for many is what went so terribly wrong with the Westonaria municipality for such drastic action to be necessary and what should be done in this...
12 Aug 2013Business DayHard to get a handle on protest anomalies
Service delivery protests in South Africa tend to evoke a wide range of opinions. Some are conspiratorial while others show irritation or sympathy and with at least one protest recorded most weeks of the year since 2009 it is unsurprising that most South Africans take a position on what has...
06 Jun 2013Business DayBringing errant officials up to standard
Local government is to be managed more closely. Reading between the lines of two ministers’ budget votes and media briefings last week expectations of local government to manage itself autonomously have shifted with talk of a "more integrated co-operative governance" system suggesting closer management of municipalities.It is of little surprise...
20 May 2013Business DayDanger of scoring political points in toilet wars
WITH next year’s election looming the emotive issue of access to sanitation has arisen again. A fortnight ago the Democratic Alliance (DA) labelled the number of houses lacking sanitation a "disgrace" and possibly in a pre-emptive move rolled out several thousand portable toilets in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township where access...
10 Apr 2013Business DayCommunities can make a difference with protest action
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille was quoted last week as arguing that service delivery protests "rarely change anything because making a noise doesn’t change a government". Zille made clear her agenda to persuade in this case the disgruntled residents of Sterkspruit to vote for an opposition party as a...
19 Feb 2013Business DayZamdela protesters merger fears were justified
THERE is little doubt that the causes of last month’s outbreak of violence in the Sasolburg township of Zamdela were complex. An apparent lack of consultation a dismal response to requests for community meetings provincial factionalism (with Zamdela residents opposed to neighbouring Ngwathe’s association with controversial Free State Premier Ace...
14 Dec 2012Business DaySuccess in service delivery worth celebrating
The Census 2011 results were eagerly awaited by analysts and revealed impressive delivery by local government in the key basic services of water electricity sanitation and refuse removal despite popular perceptions of widespread failure and a record number of service delivery protests this year.But there is no time for complacency...
14 Oct 2012City PressHigh Street at a dead end
Paid street parking in Joburg suburbs could prove to be a total buzzkill.Street parking in Joburg is one of those strangely unifying causes akin to e-tolling at a local level. Residents of many of Joburg’s suburbs from the leafy “Parks” to Fordsburg are up in arms against proposals to impose...
11 Oct 2012Business DayHow to get local government working for communities
A few weeks ago President Jacob Zuma claimed that "no country could have produced the delivery we have made in 18 years". While critics of Zuma have questioned this claim Zuma received support from an unlikely source the South African Institute of Race Relations which using aggregate data from between 1996...
08 Oct 2012Business DayMoodys blow to municipal issuers of debt
THERE is little doubt that the Moody’s downgrade of subsovereign debt issuers is significant from practical and conceptual perspectives. The downgrade will imply higher debt costs for local government debt issuers and these could be passed on to residents.But the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) response to the downgrade following a national...
14 Sep 2012Business DayHousing must be made a priority at Marikana
In the wake of the Marikana tragedy there has been surprisingly little attention paid to the role of housing and basic service provision in the area. While the chief demand of miners is for higher salaries despite evidence that the current package of Marikana miners is above the median wage of...
06 Aug 2012Business DayThe high delivery cost of deploying cadres
FORMER co-operative governance minister Sicelo Shiceka as imperfect as he was left perhaps his bravest legacy in the Municipal Systems Amendment Act also known as the "cadre bill". Shiceka seemed to understand how cadre deployment undermined capacity.   Another Shiceka legacy the Local Government Turnaround Strategy linked lagging service delivery inadequate...
29 Jul 2012Sunday IndependentHalf of municipalities hopelessly far off clean audit target
South Africa is understandably horrified by the latest auditor-general report on local government audits. The figures that have been widely circulated are the finding that only 13 or a paltry 5 percent of municipalities received a clean audit for the 2010/11 financial year and unauthorised irregular fruitless and wasteful expenditure...
22 Jun 2012Business DayEngage citizens to stem rise in violent protests
Several months ago the South African Local Government Association lobbied for insurance to protect the property of municipal councillors. Those unsympathetic to unpopular councillors might have argued that as representatives they should have done a better job of engaging with the communities that elected them to mitigate against the risk...
22 May 2012Business DayService delivery protests and their patterns
IT IS a relief that the aggregate number of service delivery protests for last year fell off the highs of 2009 and 2010 but will this trend be sustained? Recent trends in service delivery protests send mixed messages.  One of the encouraging features of last year’s protests was a lull around...
29 Mar 2012Business DaySupport the right to protest in SAs city centres
MARCH has been a busy month for protests; from the usually idyllic Grabouw to the more urbanised settings of Sharpeville Ratanda (Heidelberg) and Kya Sands. With widespread unhappiness about a range of social and economic issues — labour brokers e-tolling unemployment corruption succession debates in the tripartite alliance and of...
27 Feb 2012Business DayPatchy municipal record left Gordhan no choice
THE budget is keenly watched by markets tax practitioners and individuals but it is also a bellwether of inter governmental policy direction. And the 2012-13 budget did prove to be a revealing event for local government in confirming the state of the nation’s omission of local government as a major...
30 Jan 2012Business DayCities can help rather than hurt our planet
As we return to places of work and in South Africa these are as often as not cities the contrast from more bucolic holiday destinations may be striking. With congestion pollution and urbanisation all presenting environmental threats recently highlighted at COP-17 are these places that are good or harmful to our...
08 Dec 2011Business DayBlueprint needed to get rid of municipal inequality
THE National Planning Commission’s comprehensive National Development Plan (NDP) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Development Report both provided unequivocal positions on the pace of urbanisation. The NDP says growing cities need to bolster economic infrastructure while planning for more habitable urban environments that can accommodate fast-growing populations.   It...
06 Oct 2011Business DayBetter solutions to delivery failure than rates boycotts
FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan said last week that it was "totally unacceptable" for ratepayer groups to refuse to pay their rates and put their money in trust accounts . By comparison a few months ago Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said ratepayers should not have to pay taxes or...
26 Sep 2011Business DayOne size does not fit all says review of councils
For local government analysts the release of the Treasury’s Local Government Budgets and Expenditure Review is keenly awaited for its invaluable collation of data and analysis of both financial and nonfinancial trends relating to municipal functions. But this year’s review is particularly important; its significant conclusions pull together shifting policy...
07 Sep 2011Business DaySocial unrest: What have we learnt from protests around the world?
LAST month unclear circumstances surrounding the police killing of a London resident Mark Duggan ignited violent protests that spun off into widespread looting and arson attacks stretching to several other urban centres in the UK (including Birmingham Manchester Bristol and Liverpool).  Unrest a couple of months ago in China’s Xintang district...
28 Aug 2011City PressHas Samwus gamble backfired?
Despite high-profile protests last week the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) strike appears to have run out of steam.With the union urging the South African Local Government Association (Salga) to up its 6% offer its 18% demand has clearly become a gamble that may have backfired.At 18% or R2...
09 Jun 2011Business DayLack of money is not the cause of ailing municipalities
The African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee has after some worrying experiences on the campaign trail and a number of disappointing trends in poll results decided that more funding is required to assist ailing municipalities correctly noting the financial vulnerability of many communities with limited revenue-raising capacity. Unfortunately this...
22 May 2011City PressTen things that need to happen to local government now
Local government has not survived the glare of electioneering very well with unenclosed toilets and ugly service delivery protests seared in the public imagination. South Africans as canvassed by IDASA and other institutions generally have a dim view of local government’s delivery record and correctly so in many instances.So what are...
17 May 2011Mail & GuardianDA claims of Cape Town's delivery success not the full picture
In its electioneering the Democratic Alliance has argued that Cape Town illustrates a superior delivery model (with six local municipalities it controls) especially when compared with Johannesburg. Reviewing financial data for South Africa's largest metros however suggests that Cape Town's delivery record is more ambiguous than the DA implies. A...
18 Feb 2011Business DayAre fiery street protests replacing the vote?
It is interesting to consider the latest service delivery protest in the news — police retaliated with live rounds after an Ermelo community staged what became a particularly violent service delivery protest. The death of one man and an attack on an eNews team are features of the intensity of the...
18 Oct 2010Business DaySatisfied residents protests coexist
Many a journalist reporting on the City of Johannesburg’s recently released customer satisfaction survey has noted with bemusement that the positive results stand in stark contrast with rising numbers of service delivery protests. It is important to drill down into customer satisfaction and service delivery protests to understand why they...
08 Sep 2010Business DayMerged municipalities show bigger is not always better
GLOBAL city regions appeal to politicians and planners alike — large mostly urbanised areas which share infrastructure and resources to create super- efficient conurbations.  But the seminal experiences of London Tokyo and Paris have demonstrated that they are often largely organic processes in their creation and that they carry significant risks...
02 Jul 2010Business DayTransport remains biggest challenge for World Cup
Bafana Bafana’s defeat and the contentious vuvuzela aside, the World Cup is being hosted with great success by South African cities. But the logistical challenges of an event of this size are such that there will always be pressure on different systems in the host cities, and criticism to some...
08 Jun 2010Business DayAre we reading too much into DA's recent Cape wins?
However depressing a reality stereotypical racial voting trends have proved as difficult to change as the racial make-up of SA’s communities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in local elections. Until now that is.    In what is being heralded in the press as one of the most significant watersheds in local...
04 Jun 2010Business DayDelivery protests during Cup are unlikely
The Fifa Soccer World Cup is a daunting event to stage and it has become a central bargaining chip during some of the first few chapters of this year’s strike season. But it can be assumed that central bargaining teams will contain the risk of disruption, to some extent, appealing...
23 Mar 2010Business DayPremier wrong to blame Tshwane whites
It has been a bad few weeks for white South Africans; hot on the heels of the African National Congress (ANC) defending its youth league leader Julius Malema’s singing of “Shoot the boer”, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has blamed Tshwane’s financial problems on white ratepayers.     Mokonyane’s spokesman argued last...
12 Feb 2010Business DayCape Town: best-run metro in SA or a tale of two cities?
There are many Cape Town residents who claim that their city is the best-run metro in the country, and many residents of other metros who lament the fact that they do not have the privilege of former mayor, Helen Zille, and the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) wisdom.        ...
05 Feb 2010Business DayPotholed golden city faces a crisis of accountability
Livid Johannesburg residents, including the editor of this newspaper, have vented frustration with Johannesburg’s road network, which is particularly badly affected by roadworks and upgrading, as well as potholes (many made worse by increased pressure from diverted traffic as well as January’s many downpours).         What is...
12 Nov 2009Business DayEskom hikes could lead to neglect
There couldn’t be a worse time for Eskom’s leadership struggle; not only for the country as a whole, but for an increasingly unpopular local government in particular.         The distribution of electricity is critical to local government for numerous reasons. First, it has provided a valuable source...
30 Oct 2009Business DayApartheid alive in far-flung, marginalised communities
  Local government has faced a gruelling year. Communities have taken to the streets across the country (but most especially in townships in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Mpumalanga) to protest against perceived maladministration, corruption and ineptitude in their local councils.     The national government, led by a vibrant...
09 Oct 2009Business DayAmalgamation will not mend dysfunctional municipalities
  What many have been muttering about in corridors and behind closed doors was put out in the open by Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Yunus Carrim this week: much of local government is simply not functioning.         The analysis, although frank, is increasingly...
10 Sep 2009Business DayTshwane false alarm still a timely wake-up for municipalities
Many were shocked when the typically stable City of Tshwane announced it had to renegotiate payment terms with two of its major creditors — Rand Water (owed R64m) and Eskom (R495m). The city blamed the knock-on effects from the economic downturn on defaulting customers. The Gauteng secretary of the African...
30 Aug 2009Sunday IndependentBurning issues at the core of community protests
24 Aug 2009Business DayReading the figures in the flames to find the future of protests
It is uncontroversial to state that this year has seen the worst wave of service delivery protests since democracy. Municipal IQ’s Municipal Hotspots Monitor recorded a peak of 38 protests to end-July — the highest record of major municipal service delivery protests since 2004. Both the number and nature of the...
16 Jul 2009Business DayUrgent messages in the clattering stones of delivery protests
Week-long protests by residents of Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, over the allocation of housing further heat up an otherwise cold winter plagued by often violent service delivery protests. Protests for the first half of this year already account for 13% of the major service delivery protests since 2004, as recorded...
08 Jul 2009Business DayLooking left and right as SA jumps on BRT bandwagon
One of the few criticisms of SA’s hosting of the recent Confederations Cup was the failure of local government to use almost-completed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems to ferry soccer fans to venues. But BRTs and public transport are complex issues, primarily because of their considerable expense, and whatever systems...
06 May 2009Business DayWhether ANC or DA rules, expect local service protests
The elections a fortnight ago were highly significant in that they reconfigured the political landscape. But what do they mean for local government? Local government is in the unusual position of already being familiar with its likely minister, Sicelo Shiceka. Of course, provincial MECs for local government are all likely...
20 Apr 2009Business DayWhy allegations of Johannesburgs insolvency are bankrupt
KAREN HEESE, KEVIN ALLAN and PAUL ALLAN         Last week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) alleged that the city of Johannesburg was technically insolvent. Even in the inevitably heated run-up to the elections, the claim was a dramatic one, not least because Johannesburg really did face financial bankruptcy...
27 Mar 2009Mail & GuardianGetting the LED out
Getting the LED out Local Economic Development might just save the country with its innovative initiatives. But only if we get our basic services in order first. By Karen Heese and Kevin Allan   The concept of LED is in poor shape in local government circles. There are champions to...
03 Feb 2009Business DayHow municipalities fail SAs poor in the time of cholera
Few would have imagined that the dreaded disease cholera would ever ravage communities in SA as it did Caribbean countries in the late 19th century, providing the setting for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s famous novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. But it has, and the tragedy is no less profound....
05 Dec 2008Mail & GuardianM&G Municipal Week
17 Oct 2008IOLJoburg SA's best city
Johannesburg was found to be the most productive place to live, work and invest in, according to data company Municipal IQ. This was according to the company's Municipal Productivity Index (MPI), its economist Karen Heese said on Friday. MPI measures five factors, which reflect the productivity of a municipality relating...
13 Oct 2008Business DayAsk the right questions to prevent further tragedies
Two significant reports were released by the government in recent weeks: Towards a Fifteen-Year Review; and a damning task team report on the investigation of the deaths of 140 Eastern Cape infants during the first three months of this year. The babies’ deaths were attributed to a combination of poor...
29 Aug 2008Business DayPublic spending and the goals of the World Cup
Local government used to buzz with the term “unfunded mandate” (especially in relation to provincial functions such as health or housing that local government, especially in cities, started to take on). But perhaps the most serious current example is the 2010 World Cup, where local government is embroiled in an...
04 Aug 2008Business DayWhy mayors of SA metros are in premier position
  Duma Nkosi, the executive mayor of the Ekurhuleni metro, was recently replaced by Helen Mekgwe, the speaker, in what is widely understood as a change in politically aligned (African National Congress) ANC leadership in the metro. There is also speculation that the regional ANC had grown tired of Nkosi’s...
20 May 2008Business DayService delivery failures and xenophobic attacks
An orgy of xenophobic violence erupted in Alexandra just over a week ago, spreading to many parts of Gauteng. The incidents bear similarities to municipal service delivery protests, which Municipal IQ monitors. With analysts and politicians grasping for answers to the cause of the recent violence, we ask this: is there...
07 Apr 2008Business DayGoing down in the flood of rate reforms for Joburg
The City of Johannesburg has released its rates policy and assessment rates, as well as tariffs for utility charges for the 2008/09 tax year over the last fortnight, raising some concern, especially in the media, of the prospect of shock increases in rates and user charges for Johannesburg residents. In...
29 Jan 2008Business DayWhat ANC shake-up means for SAs city bosses
LOCAL government in SA is incongruous. On the one hand, it is empowered by the constitution as an autonomous sphere (a devolution of power intended to bring municipalities closer to communities). On the other, there is a de facto centralisation of leadership, through the selection of political representatives at a...
13 Dec 2007Business DayLocal government after Polokwane
While South Africa holds its breath to see what the outcomes of the ANC’s December Conference, to be held in Polokwane, yield in terms of leadership of not only the ANC, but also the South African government, local government needs to continue with its day-to-day running. Where then do the...
23 Oct 2007Business DayGetting a gauge on which municipalities work
Kevin Allan and Karen Heese CITIES in industrialised countries have ranked themselves against each other, in much the same way that business schools do, for many years. A strong motivator for this has been the provision of a tool for businesses and the very wealthy wanting to weigh up different...
21 Oct 2007Sunday TribuneWhy Durban can't always be tops
eThekwini is the darling of local government finance. Well managed, with historically the best books in the business, the city faces no difficulties in securing loans from the financial services sector, and at extremely competitive rates. Witness, for instance, the recent R2.9 billion loan granted by the Development Bank of...
21 Oct 2007Sunday ArgusWhy Cape Town is the most productive South African City
Kevin Allan and Karen Heese   On the 17th October, Municipal IQ, at its launch in Johannesburg, released rankings on its Municipal Productivity Index (MPI)™, ranking Cape Town as South Africa’s most productive city.   The MPI™ calculates productivity by measuring five factors: the extent of poverty in a municipality...