Full decentralisation of powers, resources and functions in the Kingdom of Lesotho : an evaluation from a developmental local government perspective

Naha, Ignatius Matete (2015-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Local government in Lesotho was established in 2005 with 128 Community Councils, 1 Municipal Council and 10 District Councils. In 2011, Community Councils were reduced to a total of 64 with one Maseru Municipality, 11 urban councils and 10 District councils. The Lesotho local government is enshrined in the 1993 National Constitution which spells out through section 106 that “parliament shall establish such local authorities as it deems necessary to enable urban and rural communities to determine their affairs and develop themselves. Such authorities shall perform functions as may be conferred by an act of parliament”. Decentralisation in Lesotho is embedded in the operationalisation of the Local Government Act (LGA) and the legislation that supports it. LGA serves as the guiding legislation for decentralisation of powers, resources and functions. Decentralisation within the Kingdom of Lesotho is partial. This study evaluates whether LGA is effectively utilized, decentralisation well comprehended, conceptualised and fully implemented. Decentralisation within the Kingdom of Lesotho evolved from the developmental context hence lofty, normatively inspired, national and internationally advocated goals are linked to successful implementation of local government. The goals in point include the Vision 2020, Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), Local Economic Development (LED), HIV and AIDS, Public Sector Improvement Reform Programme (PSIRP) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). It is the objective of this study to enhance the understanding of decentralisation, evaluate decentralisation and local government in Lesotho from a developmental perspective. This study aims to add to a body of knowledge by providing an ethical, managerial, decisional, educational and motivational purpose because decentralisation and local government are at the centre of development in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Various concepts, approaches, strategies, theories, models and processes of decentralisation are described and explained along with the benefits and the type of decentralisation pursued by Lesotho. The evaluation methodology of the study covers the selection and verification or refutation of all value claims and the data is synthesized. Readiness, knowledge, understanding and attitudes of personnel from line ministries, political and public officials from Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship (MoLGC), local authorities, the electorate and social media are determined. This is done through individual interviews and personal contact and insight whereby the researcher has personal interaction with research participants. The structured questionnaire is also used. Councils in Lesotho are determined by their autonomy in having decentralised powers, functions and resources and ability to contribute to the overall development and goals of the local populace and the nation. Legislation, policies, and guidelines of reform are evaluated and analysed though content analysis. The mixed method and qualitative approach is used to focus on processes that occurred with the implementation and establishment of local government. Overt versus covert method, observation and participation are used as well as the Fourth Generation Evaluation. Non-probability sampling has been used in the form of snowball, quota, accidental and purposive structure. The findings indicated that local government is a gateway to fighting HIV/AIDS and bringing about development in Lesotho, however decentralisation and citizen participation are just a formality. There is centralisation within decentralisation within which power is concentrated in District Council and MoLGC. The study established that local governments have a limited political, administrative and fiscal mandate. There are no local government associations to advocate the interests and development of local authorities. Local governments are yet to given a mandate to manage natural resources, local economies and revenues while on the other hand there is an under-consumption of natural resources to alleviate poverty, create employment and bring about prosperity. There is no clear LED approach and other national policies are not implemented. LGA and the supporting legislation are not effectively used. The inter-governmental relations on the other hand are yet to be addressed. There has been limited conceptual clarity on policy, the type of decentralisation to be pursued and political direction of the decentralisation reform. This has resulted in the resistance from the line ministries to devolve functions. Resistance is further fuelled by political opponents and chiefs who feel threatened that they have no role to play in local governance. The twelve-year decentralisation action plan which has a two–year transition phase 2004-2005, second phase (2006-2011) in which additional functions were expected to be decentralised and third phase (2012-2016) which is a consolidation phase in which operations were to be refined and which has failed. The findings and analysis lead to the conclusion that the Kingdom of Lesotho is highly centralised and that public and elected office-bearers have a limited knowledge about decentralisation and local government. The study concluded by putting forward recommendations to address the problems that besiege the KoL. The recommendations correspond with the findings namely, the current reality, resources, governance, audit, monitoring and evaluation. This study has achieved its objectives because it provides literature on decentralisation and local government within both international and local context while gaps have been identified and analysis provided along with recommendations necessary to address loopholes in decentralisation and Developmental Local Government in Lesotho.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Plaaslike regering met 128 gemeenskapsrade, 1 munisipale raad en 10 distriksrade is in 2005 in Lesotho ingestel. In 2011 is die gemeenskaprade tot 64 in totaal ingekort, met een munisipaliteit, in Maseru, 11 stedelike rade en 10 distriksrade. Plaaslike regering in Lesotho is in 1993 in die Nasionale Grondwet opgeneem en word in artikel 106 uitgespel in "die parlement sal plaaslike owerhede soos dit nodig ag, vestig, om stedelike en landelike gemeenskappe in staat te stel om hul sake self te bepaal en te ontwikkel. Sodanige owerhede sal funksies uitvoer soos deur ‘n wet van die parlement aan hulle toegeken”. Desentralisasie in Lesotho is in die uitvoering van die Wet op Plaaslike Regering, en die wetgewing waardeur dit ondersteun word, ingesluit. Die Wet op Plaaslike Regering dien as rigtinggewende wetgewing vir die desentralisering van mag, hulpbronne en funksies. Desentralisasie binne die Koninkryk van Lesotho is egter gedeeltelik. Hierdie studie verteenwoordig ‘n poging om te bepaal of die Wet op Plaaslike Regering effektief benut word, en desentralisasie goed begryp, gekonseptualiseer en ten volle geïmplementeer word. Desentralisasie binne die Koninkryk van Lesotho het uit die ontwikkelingskonteks tot stand gekom, dus is verhewe, normatief geïnspireerde doelwitte wat nasionaal en internasionaal aanbeveel word, aan die suksesvolle implementering van plaaslike regering gekoppel, insluitend Visie 2020, die Armoedeverligtingstrategie, Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling en MIV en VIGS, die Verbetering van die Openbare Sektor Hervormingsplan en die Millennium Ontwikkelingsdoelwitte. Met hierdie studie is beoog om begrip van desentralisasie te verbeter, en desentralisasie en plaaslike regering in Lesotho vanuit 'n ontwikkelingsperspektief te evalueer. Die studie het ten doel om ‘n bydrae to die korpus van kennis te lewer deur die daarstelling van 'n etiese, bestuurs-, beslissende, opvoedkundige en motiverende doelwit omdat desentralisasie en plaaslike regering die kern van ontwikkeling in die Koninkryk van Lesotho is. Verskeie konsepte, benaderings, strategieë, teorieë, modelle en prosesse rondom desentralisasie, tesame met die voordele daarvan en die tipe desentralisasie wat deur Lesotho nagestreef word, word beskryf en verduidelik. Die evalueringsmetodologie van die studie dek die keuring en toetsing of weerlegging van alle waarde-eise en die data is in sintese saamgevoeg. Die gereedheid, kennis, begrip en houdings van personeel in hoof ministeries, politieke en openbare amptenare van die Ministerie van Plaaslike Regering en Hoofmanskap, plaaslike owerhede, die kiesers en sosiale media word bepaal. Dit is gedoen deur middel van individuele onderhoude en persoonlike kontak en insig waardeur die navorser persoonlike interaksie met deelnemers aan die navorsing gehad het. Daar is ook gebruik gemaak van ’n gestruktureerde vraelys. Rade in Lesotho word volgens hul outonomie met betrekking tot gedesentraliseerde mag, funksies en hulpbronne en hul vermoë om ‘n bydrae tot die algehele ontwikkeling en doelwitte van die plaaslike bevolking en die nasie te lewer, bepaal. Wetgewing, beleid en hervormings riglyne word geëvalueer en deur middel van inhoudsanalise ontleed. Gemengde metodes en kwalitatiewe benaderings is gebruik om op die prosesse wat die implementering en vestiging van plaaslike regering begelei het, te fokus. Verder is openlike teenoor bedekte metodes, waarneming en deelname, sowel as Vierde-Generasie Evaluering gebruik. Nie-waarskynlikheidsteekproefneming met behulp van sneeubal-, kwota-, toevallige en doelbewuste strukture is gebruik. Die bevindinge het aangedui dat die plaaslike regering 'n weg na die stryd teen MIV / VIGS en die totstandkoming van ontwikkeling in Lesotho bied, maar desentralisering en burgerlike deelname is 'n blote formaliteit. Daar is sentralisering binne desentralisasie waarbinne die mag steeds in Distriksrade en die Ministerie van Plaaslike Regering en Hoofmanskap gekonsentreer bly. Die studie het vasgestel dat plaaslike regering slegs oor 'n beperkte politieke, administratiewe en fiskale mandaat beskik. Daar is geen plaaslike regering verenigings om die belange en ontwikkeling van plaaslike owerhede te bepleit nie. Plaaslike regerings het nog nie 'n mandaat verkry om natuurlike hulpbronne, plaaslike ekonomieë en inkomste te bestuur nie, terwyl daar aan die ander kant onderverbruik voorkom van natuurlike hulpbronne om armoede te verlig, werk te skep en welvaart te bewerkstellig. Daar is geen duidelike Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkelingsbenadering nie en ander aspekte van nasionale beleid is nie geïmplementeer nie. Die Wet op Plaaslike Regering en die ondersteunende wetgewing word nie doeltreffend gebruik nie. Aan die ander kant moet die interregeringsverhoudings ook nog aangespreek word. Daar is beperkte konseptuele duidelikheid oor beleid, die tipe van desentralisasie wat nagevolg moet word en die politieke rigting van die desentralisasiehervorming. Dit is wat tot die weerstand van die hoof ministeries teen die afwenteling van funksies aanleiding gegee het. Weerstand word verder aangevuur deur politieke opponente en hoofmanne wat bedreig voel omdat daar vir hulle geen rol is om in die plaaslike regering te speel nie. Die twaalf-jaar aksieplan vir desentralisasie met 'n twee-jaar oorgangsfase vanaf 2004 tot 2005, ‘n tweede fase (2006 tot 2011) waarin addisionele funksies na verwagting gedesentraliseer sou word, en ‘n derde fase (2012 tot 2016) wat as 'n konsolidasiefase waarin bedrywighede verfyn sou word, voorgestel is, het gefaal. Die bevindinge en ontleding lei tot die gevolgtrekking dat die Koninkryk van Lesotho hoogs gesentraliseerd bly en dat die openbare en verkose ampsdraers beperkte kennis van desentralisasie en plaaslike regering het. Die studie is afgesluit met die daarstelling van aanbevelings om die probleme waardeur die Koninkryk van Lesotho beleër word, aan te spreek. Die aanbevelings stem ooreen met die bevindinge oor die huidige werklikheid, hulpbronne, bestuur, ouditering, monitering en evaluering. Die doelwitte van hierdie studie is bereik, daar uitgebreide literatuur oor desentralisasie en plaaslike regering in beide internasionale en plaaslike konteks aangebied is, gapings geïdentifiseer is en ontleding tesame met die nodige aanbevelings om skuiwergate in desentralisasie en Ontwikkelende Plaaslike Regering in Lesotho aan te spreek, verskaf is.

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