Contributing to Knowledge on Good Governance a Priority for UKZN Academics
School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academics were among local government experts who participated in the 20 Years of Local Democracy in South Africa: Quo Vadis? Towards Good Local Governance, Conference, hosted by the Democracy Development Programme (DDP) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Durban.
The academics were Professor Purshottama Reddy, Dr Fayth Ruffin, Dr Maurice Dassah and Dr Thokozani Nzimakwe.
The Conference was attended by high-ranking officials in local, provincial and national government; senior politicians, representatives from Non-Government Organisations involved in local government, senior academics, researchers and the leadership of national and international development agencies.
They addressed issues critical to ensuring the success and sustainability of the local government system in the third decade of democracy through the sharing of knowledge and best practices in good governance.
Programme Co-ordinator Reddy said the Conference provided an excellent forum for key role players and stakeholders to exchange ideas, information and dialogue on the current state of local government post 1994.
‘The DDP and KAF both have a successful story to tell in this regard as they have been part of this process since the early 1990s and all of their activities and initiatives have been documented - be it workshops, conferences, publications or even advocacy.
‘The “back to basics strategy” which has become a popular and powerful mantra in local governance in South Africa has to be backed by the required political and management will. There has to be firm and decisive leadership, especially when working with local communities,’ said Reddy.
City Insights founder and former eThekwini Municipal Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe, and the Head of Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Kwazulu-Natal, Ms Nonhlanhla Qhobosheane, were the keynote speakers at the event.
Sutcliffe’s address focused on the ‘Back to Basics Strategy’ introduced by the Government which highlighted responsibility, public accountability and ensuring delivery as key elements of a good municipality, while Qhobosheane provided an overview of the Government’s Back to Basics Strategy, highlighting some of the challenges currently being faced by municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mr Sbu Zikode, the leader of Abahlali basemjondolo -a social movement of shack dwellers, delivered a presentation titled: "Twenty Years of Hell in Shacks".
Thandiwe Jumo and Purshottama Reddy