Management of District-Local Relations through the District Intergovernmental Forum in Mopani District Municipality, South Africa

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Arthur Moraka Shopola

Abstract

Service delivery that is driven by cooperative governance between municipalities in the district-local space is generally commendable, but it is often bedevilled by serious collective action problems. Also, it is true that in the absence of participation by local municipalities in the district policy-making processes, cooperative governance will be lacking and the functionality of Intergovernmental Relations Forums will be compromised. This paper used the Mopani District Municipality (MDM) as its contextual setting, and the aim was to investigate the appropriateness and the capacity of the District Intergovernmental Forum (DIF) as a platform to deal with multi-governance issues within the two-tier district system. Qualitative methods were applied, and interviews were conducted with relevant members of the DIF within the MDM. As the paper found, the DIF in the MDM exists in name only. The extent to which it cannot deal with policy and other multi-governance issues is compounded by numerous factors, including a poorly defined mandate of the forum and lack of coerciveness in legislation. A major recommendation is that the DIF’s legislative role and functions need to be redefined in order to distinguish between relevant district governance matters that need to be dealt with by district councils, which in turn should prevent unnecessary deliberations, duplication of agenda issues and waste of time. Also, coercion must be featured in legislation to regulate the participation of relevant stakeholders in the DIF. 

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How to Cite
Shopola, A. (2022). Management of District-Local Relations through the District Intergovernmental Forum in Mopani District Municipality, South Africa. African Journal of Governance & Development, 11(1.1.), 25-46. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/jgd/article/view/2665
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