Local government through municipalities is expected to have public hearings so that the people are able to participate in giving inputs that will be considered for the development of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Increasingly, public participation in Mzansi is being viewed as a dialogue between the various levels of government and the people. However, more is needed to deepen democracy to promote participatory governance between the electorate and their representatives in Parliament, provincial legislatures and local councils.
Local governments in Mzansi are faced with a massive task of delivering services to the poor. And they have to do this by meeting legislative requirements as they deliver essential services. We know that these local governments are low on capacity and struggle to include people in decision making.
It is no secret that Mzansi’s policy system is broken, and it does not make it better that, even when “the good guys” are running the show, our people still have no sense of ownership. On the ground and on the law books, we have the resources to build a participative, learning state. If we don’t start to use them – now – then neither next month nor 2019 will matter very much.
A great example of this is evident in Ivory Park. Despite the communities’ need for roads, better sanitation and housing, the local authorities have prioritised the building of a pool. This can be attributed to the fact that presently, legislation in Mzansi requires local governments to spend at least a billion rand a year (5% of their infrastructure grants) on sports and recreation facilities according to the division of revenue bill.
Despite the good intentions behind this legislation, it opens up many opportunities for corruption to thrive, even at the local level with small-medium suppliers. Something needs to be done to discourage local governments to do what looks the easiest way to clear the threshold- to build big, expensive projects on pieces of land they own.
Dear Des Van Rooyen, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
We, the undersigned, call on you to release standards on the public consultation for IDPs. Government institutions are duty bound by the laws of Mzansi to engage communities on policies, programmes, projects and any decisions which might affect such communities either positively or negatively. Public participation is an essential tool for soliciting the views of communities on all development initiatives in a manner that would minimize or avoid unnecessary conflict.
This campaign is in collaboration with Grassroot and Right 2 Know
 Division of Revenue Bill. http://www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/bills/2017/b%204-2017%20(division%20of%20revenue).pdf
 Participation Rules: Our crisis, and our hope, runs deeper than December, Luke Jordan for The Daily Maverick. Nov 14, 2017.