Are South African cities becoming ungovernable again?

SOURCE: State of the Nation South Africa 2016: who is in charge?: mandates, accountability and contestations in the South African state
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Turok
SOURCE EDITOR(S): D.Plaatjies, M.Chitiga-Mabugu, C.Hongoro, T.Meyiwa, M.Nkondo, F.Nyamnjoh
KEYWORDS: CITIES, GOVERNANCE
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9083

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Abstract

This chapter explores the paradox of strong metros and popular disaffection by examining some of the underlying governance challenges facing South African cities. It seeks to distinguish between external factors largely beyond the control of city authorities and factors over which they have greater agency and influence. The argument put forwards is that both are relevant, the metros carry a heavy historical burden, for example, but they could also have done more to improve local conditions. One of several constraints faced has been an emphasis from national government on imposing techocratic reforms from above, including rigid legal procedures, codified operating rules and intricate reporting requirments that are intended to prescribe how municipalities make decisions and allocate resources.