Tag Archives: Local government

Matching reforms to institutional realities

Social service delivery is weak across the developing world. While there is substantial heterogeneity across regions and countries, the picture of failing services is a familiar one. Challenges such as systematically high levels of absenteeism among teachers, doctors and nurses, persistent rates of drug stock outs — particularly in rural health clinics, rates of leakage…

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Marikana a marker of profound dissatisfaction countrywide

The explosion that at Marikana mine left 10 dead to union violence and 34 dead to police gunfire oddly caught the government by surprise. It was as if social discontent is not a seething issue in South Africa, surging constantly against the breakwaters of complacency. But it seems that neither the government’s intelligence networks nor…

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The rainbow’s back

Mark August 14 2012 as a significant day in South African history because at a most remarkable meeting held in Botrivier on that day, the institutional process of Theewaterskloof (TWK) local government truly engaged, for the first time ever, with the Botrivier community process of democratic participation in the practical matters of local government. After…

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An anatomy of the recent small town riots

When I posted “Is it time for a South African Spring?” on May 3, I never thought that three weeks later the people of my own little town of Botrivier would explode into a furious, day-long demonstration against the Theewaterskloof (TWK) local government. By 5am on May 28 picketers had closed-off the town and tyres…

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Is hierarchical democracy an oxymoron?

I sometimes wonder if the constitutional notion of “participative democracy” is not just an impossible, idealistic dream. We are eighteen years down the road since our 1994 elections and the only hard evidence I have of my participation in our new democracy has been making my mark on a few ballot papers. The countless thousands…

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