An overview of the usage and content of socio-economic, geographic and demographic information on Thohoyandou-Malamulele
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South Africans recently voted their local representatives into power. The local government elections held in December 2000 earmarked the beginning of the final stage of a lengthy process of transforming local government. The transformation process aims to establish a local government structure, which will ensure democratic local governance and development of local communities. The enactment of this developmental orientated mandate coincided with the demarcation of municipal1 boundaries. The number of municipalities in the country has been reduced to less than 300, which means a reduction of about two-thirds. Municipalities now cover larger and more diverse areas than they did ever before.
The institutional change, in terms of the mandate of local government to promote development and democracy as well as to represent and serve enlarged areas, confronts them with serious challenges. A strong need for guidance and building the capacity of local government has been identified. In response to this, the South African Government has developed the Local Government Transformation Program (LGTP) in order to assist local government in overcoming the existing challenges. The Capacity Building for Local Governance (CBLG) program, which is a collaborative initiative of the Government and the United Nations, supports the LGTP in its endeavor to establish the new local government system.
As part of the CBLG program, a series of situational analyses are being conducted in two provinces of South Africa. Here will be reported upon findings of the analysis of the first municipality that has been taken under the loop: Thohoyandou-Malamulele Local Municipality. The Thohoyandou-Malamulele municipal boundary embraces a population of approximately half a million people living in predominantly tribal rural areas in the northeastern part of the Northern Province in South Africa. The newly established Local Municipality of Thohoyandou-Malamulele has to improve its capacity to perform. This report aims to provide an overview of the current situation of the municipality and to suggest practical recommendations for integrated capacity building.