Blogs

How local government elections work

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Make your Mark: do you know what you are voting for?

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On 3 August, millions of voters will exercise their right to vote and decide who controls South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The stakes are high because municipalities deal with basic services and parties are competing for control of powerful cities, such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini. At the same time, local elections are complicated. Most voters will have three votes to cast, there are wards, party lists, independents, local councils, district councils, metropolitan...
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Nelspruit township goes weeks without water

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By Cynthia Maseko As the country continues to weather a severe drought, parts of Nelspruit’s KaBokweni townships have been without water for three weeks after government departments scrambled to secure the water supplies of Themba Hospital and the local clinic. Families without water report paying R30 per 20 litres of water from local water truck owners (File photo) Illegal water connections, leaks and even theft are allegedly to blame for the...
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'Every time I need the toilet, I have to crawl to the nearby bushes'

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By Ndivhuwo Mukwevho For at least 19 000 South Africans living with disabilities, daily indignities are just part of their normal life as disabled people remain largely left behind in the country’s quest for sanitation and water. Since childhood, Shonisani Makhado has depended on crutches to assist him to walk and – like almost seven percent of disabled South Africans – Shonisani has no toilet. When nature calls, he must crawl out into the bush surrounding his home...
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New Limpopo dam to quench villagers’ thirst

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by Suprise Nemalale  A new dam is set to provide 10 Limpopo villages with access to clean, reliable water after years of complaints by local residents. A new dam in Limpopo is set to bring clean, reliable water to 10 villages in the province’s Vhembe District. For years, Thingahangwi Muleba has had to Villagers have to walk far distances to get water from rivers and streams. Health-e file photo. struggle to get water daily in his village...
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Mayor de Lille, here's your evidence. It's time for action.

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By Axolile Notywala Nomama Xesibe fetches water for her household in Mfuleni. Photo by Masixole Feni.  When Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille tabled the 2015/2016 draft budget last week, she said, “In my years as Mayor, not once has any substantive proof to counter our evidence of pro-poor spending ever been offered.” Download City of Cape Town draft budget. I would suggest that the burden of proof lies with the Mayor....
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Dirty water deliveries for Limpopo villages

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By Suprise Nemalale  At least two villages in Limpopo’s Mutale Local Municipality depend on municipal water trucks to survive but now villagers are claiming the trucks are delivering dirty water. The Limpopo villages of Helula and Tshikondeni depend on municipal water trucks for safe, clean water but now villagers claim that trucks are delivering filthy water from a nearby river.  Some Limpopo villagers claim that trucks are delivering filthy...
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Good municipalities are about more than good financial management

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Every year without fail, the release of the Auditor-General results on municipalities and municipal entities is the only time that local government is consistently in the news. We are bombarded with news about the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ performing municipalities, but this is done in a manner that separates municipal financial management from the core business of local government- service delivery. Local government is the sphere of governance that is closest to the people...
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Negotiating the RDP rules and regulations

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“We will take back those houses if you sell them for profit, because we build them for a purpose. Put it away safely.” The Corruption Watch reporter who was allocated an RDP house without his knowledge, is receiving help in sorting out the matter. Image: Network (in the built environment). This was reportedly said earlier this year to a group of residents of the Sol Plaatjie municipality, who had gathered to witness the handing over of title...
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Breaking the myth of ‘demobilised’ communities

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"Community leaders are seen as the opposition - we are labelled, attacked and criminalised", says General Moyo, a Makause resident facing various charges including intimidation following a community protest against police brutality. Moyo was speaking at a workshop on the findings of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) research into four informal settlements, the Community Practice Notes: Informal Settlements Series. The series, a research output of SERI documents the socio-...
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