07 August 2015 Volume :3 Issue :36

UKZN Academic presents paper at conference in Paris

UKZN Academic presents paper at conference in Paris
Professor PS Reddy (R) with Professor M de Vries, President of IASIA.

Professor Purshottama Sivanarain Reddy of UKZN’s Discipline of Governance chaired sessions and presented a paper at the 2015 annual International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) Conference in Paris, France.

The general theme of the conference, held in close collaboration with the Centre National de la Fonction Publique Territoriale (CNFPT) of France, was: “Alternative Service Delivery Arrangements in a Public Administration Context.”

Commenting on the conference, Reddy said the issue of basic service delivery was a major challenge, particularly in developing countries and South Africa was no exception. ‘The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were introduced by the United Nations in 2000, however, accessible, efficient and effective service delivery is still a major challenge for the developing countries globally. Hence, the need for the post 2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will be approved by the UN General Assembly in September this year.

‘The general conference theme was interrogated in keynote addresses, international panels and the 10 working groups which are generally the heart and soul of the IASIA conferences.’

Reddy, who is the Project Director of the Working Group on Subnational Governance and Development, chaired three sessions of the Working Group and presented a paper titled: “Traditional Leadership in Local Governance in South Africa: A Case Study of the eThekwini City Council.”

The co-author of the paper was masters graduate, Mr Sbu Shembe, a former School Principal and ANC Councillor in eThekwini City Council and a member of the Shembe Clan in Durban.

The paper critiqued the participation of traditional leadership in the eThekwini City Council.

Said Reddy: ‘Until three months ago, it was clear that within the eThekwini Municipality, the Amakhosi were playing ceremonial roles when it came to service delivery. Their role was relegated to officiating in sod turning ceremonies without playing a role in the actual planning and provision of municipal services. 

‘The Local Government Municipal Structures Act, 1998 provided for 20% representation of Amakhosi in a municipal council, and unfortunately that was not implemented in eThekwini City Council. However, the situation has since changed as Council decided about three months ago that the traditional leaders would henceforth be full members of the Council, Executive and Standing committees. It is envisaged that this watershed decision will have a very positive impact on co-operative governance, service delivery and ultimately the quality of life of rural communities in Durban.’

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