Public participation in the budget process of the City of Cape Town (2004-2006)

Mfundisi, Nontsikelelo Elizabeth
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African system of local government has been significantly altered since the democratic local government elections held in November 1995 and July 1996. Soon after taking office in the newly established democratic local authorities, councillors came face to face with the reality of community demands, needs and expectations on the one hand and the limited resources to fulfil these needs on the other hand. Within this challenging context, councillors and officials had to ensure sustainable service delivery and the promotion of good local governance in general. In the South African context, the delivery of sustainable municipal services and good local governance within the constraints of limited financial resources is even more challenging given the constitutional and legal requirement that communities must participate in municipal affairs – including planning and budgeting processes. The research for this study was carried out using a literature review, individual interviews with senior City of Cape Town officials and the personal experience of the researcher. This study examines public participation in the budget process of the City of Cape Town during the period 2004–2006. The Western Cape did not previously have a ward participatory (committee) system like that used in the rest of the country. In contrast, the City of Cape Town set up a metro participation forum called subcouncils with area co-ordinators and ward forums. At the time of the study, the main vehicle for public participation in the city had been the Mayoral Listening Campaign that was embarked upon in 2003. The key focus of this campaign was to invite comments from residents and other stakeholders on governance and development issues facing the city. Comments were submitted via fax, e-mail, workshops and telephone. This study concludes with a number of recommendations on capacity building, the development of ward committees, improving communication systems as well as the implementation of effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. These recommendations should be implemented to enhance public participation in the budget process of the City of Cape Town.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse stelsel van plaaslike regering het beduidend verander sedert die plaaslike demokratiese regeringsverkiesings in November 1995 en Julie 1996. Raadslede het kort ná die vestiging van die nuut gestigte plaaslike owerhede bewus geword van die gemeenskap se nood en die beperkte hulpbronne om daardie nood te verlig. In Suid-Afrika is die lewering van volhoubare munisipale dienste en goeie plaaslike regering binne die konteks van beperkte finansiële hulpbronne selfs meer uitdagend gegewe die grondwetlike en wetlike vereiste dat gemeenskappe aan munisipale bedrywighede moet deelneem; insluitend munisipale beplanning- en begrotingsprosesse. Hierdie studie kyk na openbare deelname aan die begrotingsproses van die Stad Kaapstad vanaf 2004 tot 2006. Die Wes-Kaap het nie voorheen ’n wykskomiteestelsel in plek gehad soos die res van die land nie. Die Stad Kaapstad het wel ’n Metro deelnameforum (sub-rade) met areakoördineerders en wyksforums gehad. In die studietydperk was die hoofmeganisme vir openbare deelname in die Stad Kaapstad die “Mayoral Listening Campaign” wat in 2003 begin het. Die hoofdoel van die veldtog was om terugvoering van die gemeenskap en rolspelers te kry aangaande die ontwikkeling van die Stad Kaapstad. Terugvoering is hoofsaaklik deur middel van e-pos, faks, telefoon en werksessies ontvang. Die studie sluit af met ’n aantal voorstelle vir kapasiteitsontwikkeling, die ontwikkeling van wykskomitees en die verbetering van kommunikasiestelsels sowel as die implementering van doeltreffende monitering- en evalueringmeganismes. Hierdie voorstelle behoort aangewend te word om openbare deelname in die Stad Kaapstad se begrotingsproses te verbeter.
Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Budget process -- South Africa -- Cape Town -- Public participation, Theses -- Public management and planning, Dissertations -- Public and development management