UKZN Academics at Conference in Peru
Three senior UKZN academics attended the 2018 joint annual IASIA/LAGPA Conference in Lima, Peru.
They were Professor Purshottama Reddy, Professor Henry Wissink and Professor Thokozani Nzimakwe.
The theme of the conference was Globalisation, Territories and Integration and proved relevant and topical as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)and the territorial dimension necessitate institutional and intersectoral co-ordination; the basis of which is dialogue and complementarity at the local, national and international level as well as collaboration with the public, private and civil society sectors.
The conference was attend by about 200 delegates from 48 countries, including a large South African contingent.
Reddy presented a paper titled: Metropolitan Financing and Revenue Management Development, which he co-authored with Dr Krish Kumar, Chief Financial Officer at the eThekwini Municipality.
The paper examined policies that impact on metropolitan revenue sources, more specifically revenue generation and collection and the key principles used to inform user charges. It was revealed that the main sources of revenue for metropolitan municipalities were service changes (51%) and property tax (20%). Grants accounted for a mere 14% of total income, implying that they were becoming more self-reliant and financially viable which augers well for the post 1994 local government system.
Reddy, who is the Vice-President of Programmes, Project Director of the Working Group on Subnational Governance and Development and Board Member of IASIA representing the African Region, also chaired a session on the Role of Subnational Government in the SDGs. He also chaired two sessions of the Working Group on Subnational Governance and Development which had the largest number of papers and sessions at the conference.
Wissink presented a paper titled: Global and Local Policy Challenges in Managing Disruptive and Innovative Technologies of the Future - Towards Responsible Management and Governance.
The paper raised awareness about the need to be responsible and responsive to the challenges that innovations pose as not all inventions or innovations serve the interest of the public at large. The paper proposed a framework to guide policy-makers in addressing these issues. Wissink also served as the co-chair of the Working Group for Public Policy, Public Decision-Making and Policy Implementation at the Conference.
Nzimakwe presented a paper on Sustainable Capacity Building for Improving Municipal Service Delivery in South Africa. The paper interrogated capacity building in the broader context of sound developmental local governance, taking due cognisance of financial viability, integrated development planning, local economic development, project management and building a culture of collective civic responsibility. The paper made it clear that appropriately skilled and qualified municipal staff were key to enhancing performance and service delivery - a major challenge in South African local government.