CONSTITUTIONS OPT
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ARTICLE: MAJORITY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN BREACH OF THE CONSTITUTION

CONSTITUTIONS OPT

Section 152 of the Constitution describes the objectives of local government as providing democratic and accountable government, ensuring the provision of services, promoting social and economic development, and promoting a safe and healthy environment. Section 195 offers a set of basic values and principles governing public administration, amongst these a high standard of professional ethics, the effective use of resources, and accountability.

The most recently-released Report by the Auditor-General (AG) on the local government sector paints a bleak, and in many instances, deteriorating picture of the state of financial management and oversight, one that is wholly inconsistent with the laudable and enforceable principles of the Constitution. This comes after 23 years of democratic government and repeated appeals by the AG to local politicians and officials to get their house in order. Local government is the lens through which ordinary South Africans experience constitutional guarantees – and failure of local government erodes public trust in the constitutional state.

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