Local Government and Delivery

Service delivery is local government’s primary responsibility. Sanitation, refuse removal, electrification, road and transport maintenance, upgrading informal settlements, and the provision of clean water and a healthy environment are all supposed to be provided by local government (municipalities). This has become probably the greatest flashpoint and source of contestation in South Africa. Every day, all across the country, people march and protest, demanding that local government does a better job. Often, these protests turn violent. In this atmosphere, new organizations and protest movements have mushroomed. National government has committed itself to help municipalities to improve their capacity for service delivery but, with municipal elections due to take place in 2016, the growing dissatisfaction of poorer communities could see some towns and cities being taken over by opposition parties. This project interrogates these issues, particularly the questions of policy and implementation.


  1. Local Government Structure and Elections
  2. Municipal Capacity and Delivery
  3. Community Movements and Social Protest
  4. Subsidiarity and Participation: School governing bodies / policing forums / city improvement districts