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Local Democracy Peace and Human Security


IEC working session: Gauteng Derek Powell CLC 24 February 2011 Local Democracy Peace and Human Security www.ldphs.org.za – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Local Democracy Peace and Human Security

The state of our local democracy
IEC working session Gauteng
Derek Powell CLC
24 February 2011
What is wrong with SA local democracy?
  • Some narratives doing the rounds about the state
    of local government
  • Local government is dysfunctional due to
    corruption, incompetence, lack of accountability,
    and poor service delivery
  • Violent service delivery protests are a symptom
    of this collapse
  • Service delivery protests are a socio-economic
    phenomenon driven by extreme poverty and
  • The protests challenge the legitimacy of local
    democracy, which is excluding rather than
    including poor communities in particular
  • National intervention is needed to fix service
    delivery and public participation
  • Protests are a symptom that SA is sliding
    towards a a failed state (watch out for Tunisia

What do we know and say about these protests? What do we know and say about these protests?
Municipal service delivery protests What is the relationship between different protests over different issues in different parts of the country?
Why then do most of the service-delivery related grievances seem to relate to housing (a provincial function)?
The term is not defined, loosely used, and analytically imprecise
Protests are now a socio-economic phenomenon What does that mean exactly?
What is the start line for this new phenomenon?
How does it differ from historical forms of the phenomenon?
Protests are driven by inequality What does driven mean? What is the causal link?
Why are there fewer protests in rural areas where inequality is highest?
Isnt rate-payers withholding rates another form of protest?
National intervention needed? What part does national policy failure play in this?
Why not more local self-government?
Failed/fragile states
  • Predictive measurements of the riskiest countries
    vis-a-vis three main threats
  • Deadly internal conflict
  • Humanitarian disaster
  • Threat to global security
  • Fragility is a condition of collapsing central
  • There are 2 failed states Haiti, Somalia
  • On what analytical basis are collapsed
    states/authoritarian states compared with open
    liberal constitutional democracies

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How do we measure the quality of local democracy?
  • Voice and accountability
  • World Bank Governance Matters VI
  • Afro-barometer (Idasa local barometer)
  • Institutional features of our local democracy
  • Local citizens elect political parties (PR) and
    individuals (ward based) to represent them in
    council (representative democracy)
  • Major national parties are also major local
  • Citizens have right to participate in local
    affairs (participatory democracy)
  • Councils are held accountable in elections
    (Consolidation of democracy)
  • LG must overcome historical exclusion
    (Transformative or inclusive democracy)

  • Citizens satisfaction with local democracy
  • Registration and turnout rates on election day
  • Growth in number of parties participating
  • Citizen participation (?) in participatory
  • Other forms of Voice and their impact on
    democratic accountability Violent protests
  • Inter-communal cooperation between elections

Developmental local government
  • Provide democratic accountable government
  • Provide services to meet basic needs
  • Promote social economic development
  • Involve citizens in the governance of local
  • Promote a safe and healthy environment

General trends in participation and confidence General trends in participation and confidence
Low but stable voter turnout 1995/96 (49) 2000 (49) 2006 (48)
Increased representation of women 1995/96 (18.5) 2000 (28.2) 2006 (39.7)
Increased party participation 2000 (79) 2006 (97) 56 parties represented
Declining public confidence 2006 (44) 2007 (34) HSRC. Are municipalities well managed? 2004 (49) 2007 (41) Ipsos Markinor
Low public awareness 3 aware of participatory measures
Sources IEC, CGTA, HSC, Ipsos- Markinor
Important life domains (for elites and public)
Values Elite Elite rank Public Public rank
Family 96.7 1 95.6 1
Work 82.8 2 77.4 1
Religion 55.4 (47) 4 69.9 3
Politics 54.8 3 21.7 6
Friends 53.8 5 33.9 5
Leisure time 42.4 6 37.1 4
Source Kotze values and democracy in South
Africa comparing elite and public values
Participatory governance Setting the scene
aided awareness of people, structures,
organisations, initiatives
  • More than a third of Tshwanes citizens is
    aidedly unaware of their councillor. It appears
    that more affluent people are less aware of the
    above than less affluent people. This could be a
    function of three issues
  • Apathy amongst this group
  • Limited opportunity to be involved (e.g. meetings
    not held in area or at inconvenient times)
  • Limited time

Source Q.9a (aided)
ParticipationActual involvement attendance of
Meeting Attendance (n1300)
Ward meeting 27
School governing body meetings 15
Street committee or neighbourhood meeting 13
Residents' association meeting 7
Community development forums 6
Community policing forums 3
Mayoral imbizos 3
IDP meetings 1
None of the above/Never 52
Source Q.10a (aided) Read 27 of the Tshwane
citizens have attended a ward meeting
ParticipationActual involvement attendance of
meetings (continued)
Citizens more likely to be engaged Higher engagement1
Voted 45
Informal 45
5 people 44
Black 41
Primary school or less 41
R1-R2000 41
R2001-R5000 41
LSM (1-4) 40
LSM (5-6) 40
Unemployed 40
Average of total pop. 31 (n1300)
Again, we see that less affluent people are more
likely to be engaged with the City of Tshwane
  • Source Q.10a (aided)
  • A citizen is deemed to be engaged if he/she has
    attended a ward meeting, mayoral imbizo,
    community development forum and/or an IDP meeting

Current state of research on protests
  • Little academic research (generally case studies)
  • Almost all media analysis is based on media
    reports and speculation
  • Caution in use of statistics is needed
  • Take citizen grievances as such?

  • Many outstanding questions about protests
  • How representative are protests (ward, across
    wards, across municipality)?
  • Who are the protesters What is their average
    age? Are they voting age?
  • How are protests organized?
  • How do protesters see the relationship between
    protests and voting?
  • Why are some protests violent, and others not?

Increasing in frequency and violence
  • Violent protest ( of total)
  • 2007 41.6
  • 2008 38
  • 2009 43.6
  • 2010 54
  • Protests generally do not correlate with voters
    punishing parties in elections (Booysen)

The rage, violence and destructiveness vented
in some protests is a symptom of a more
fundamental alienation of people from our
democracy and an acute sense of marginalization
and social exclusion. (DM CGTA, Yunus Carrim,
speech to NCOP 2010)
Source CLC research 2010
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  • Highly urbanized provinces (informal settlements
    in metros) worst affected
  • Areas with highest poverty are not the main
  • Relative poverty a facilitating factor
    (competition for jobs and resources)

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The relationship between protests and elections
(research by Professor Booysen Wits)
  • Consolidation of democracy voters punish parties
    that dont perform and reward those that do or
  • Three waves of protest
  • Before 2006 elections (local grievances growing
  • Between 2007-2008 (locals blamed for system wide
  • Post 2008 (frustration attacks on foreign
  • Protests supplement not substitute elections as a
  • Voter turnout rate is stable despite protests
  • Same parties are often returned

A new form of protest in more affluent
communities ?
Impacts Impacts
Financial Negligible (2-11 withheld)
Social/political Erodes social cohesion
A spark for other forms of protest
Undermines local confidence
Undermines rule of law
Response to actual service delivery failure
Sewage/sanitation Raw sewage flowing into
rivers, dams and water supply threatening
public health
Potable water Lack of potable water supply to
town due to inadequate maintenance of
Fast facts Fast facts
Total withheld R10 mill (35 towns)
R3 mill (1 municipality)
- 50 (2 municipalities)
No. disputes decl. 70 (335 on NTU list)
Business sector? No involvement
Who withholds Not all RAs
Not all members of RA
Repayment? In some cases
Duration of dispute Between 2-5 years (10 yrs)
Electricity cut-offs Eskom threats to cut off
municipalities electricity due to non-payment of
Governance problems capacity,
maladministration, corruption, poor communication
and accountability
Source CLC research 2010
State of Local Government Report (Oct 2009)
  • Huge service delivery challenges
  • Poor communication with communities
  • Problems with the political-administrative
  • Fraud and corruption
  • Inter and intra-party issues negatively affecting

Turnaround strategy/ outcome 9 (2010)
  • Responsive, accountable, effective efficient
    local government
  • Sets out 7 outputs that form the basis of the
    Minister of CGTAs performance contract with the
    President and service delivery agreements with

Review separate election for local government?
  • CGTA raises idea of single election in 2010
  • Three main reasons for idea
  • The high costs of running separate elections,
  • Would improve coordination of policy and
  • Would facilitate deployment of senior politicians
    to LG
  • Major criticisms of the idea
  • Single election would destroy local democracy
  • Would require major adjustment to financial
    year, infrastructure planning and auditing
  • Confusing reports on outcome of Summit
  • Idea was rejected?
  • Idea was not discussed?

  • In conclusion some thoughts and questions
  • We need media debate and public policy that is
    better informed by rigorous research, and greater
    care is needed in making sweeping statements
    given the gaps in data
  • Is there a real local politics and how well do we
    understand the forces shaping it?
  • Is local politics and self-government simply a
    reflex of national politics?
  • Have protests become institutionalized as a form
    of extracting accountability, and if so what
    impact does this have on the legitimacy of our
    local democracy?
  • If political and economic power still track
    historical cleavages, have we experimented enough
    with local democracy to incentivize a politics
    of over-coming cleavages?
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