Community affairsCommunity affairs focuses on issues that have a direct impact on the community’s health and safety, including issues on municipal level. This is done through a network of AfriForum branches across South Africa – by people, for people.
Local Government Affairs
What is local government affairs?
Local government affairs focus on the local governmental level – that level of government closest to the people and which comprise 257 country-wide municipalities. The country is divided into nine provinces, while these provinces are all divided into eight metropolitan, 44 local and 205 district municipalities. These 257 municipalities are all group together under the term local government.
Why is AfriForum involved in affairs of local government?
It goes without saying that municipalities are the level of government closest to the people, and it therefore matters a lot what happens on local governmental level. The Constitution granted a range of powers and authority to municipalities to deliver important services to their residents, such as the provision of water and electricity, and the maintenance of roads. Although their responsibility, many municipalities across the country cannot or don’t want to fulfil their duties or comply with mandates. AfriForum’s Local Government Affairs division therefore play the important part of civil institution that helps communities to solve problems on local level and hold municipalities responsible.
How is AfriForum involved?
AfriForum follows a double strategy regarding local government and in fact all community services: Pressure and self-management. Communities country wide are dependent on municipal infrastructure (such as water pipes and electricity networks), but these infrastructures are generally poorly managed. AfriForum therefore pressurises municipalities in many ways, for example to curb municipal corruption, to repair water leaks and supply, to repair potholes in streets and to ensure that residents’ electricity supply and process are correct and fair.
In addition, AfriForum’s long-term strategy is that communities be self-reliant in terms of services. Even if the State is willing to render services to residents, there is a clear lack of ability to do just this – especially in the country, but increasingly so in metros. Alternative to state-driven service delivery should therefore be a long-term priority.
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