Promoting intergovernmental relations through KwaNaloga games : a case study of selected municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
Nhlabathi, Zandile Florence.
MetadataShow full item record
Worldwide all multi-level governance systems face the challenges of co-ordination and the alignment of scarce resources for the common good while maintaining their distinctiveness and independence. South Africa is no exception. Since 1994 when decentralisation became government policy in South Africa, intergovernmental relations have evolved at both the formal and informal levels. While each level of government has a specific mandate prescribed by the Constitution, the challenges of poverty, inequality and marginalisation of vulnerable communities are best addressed through a concerted effort by all spheres of government. Held annually for the past thirteen years, under the aegis of the KwaZulu-Natal Local Government Association (KwaNaloga), the KwaNaloga Games have successfully been staged as a collaborative effort between South Africa’s three spheres of government: national, provincial and local (municipal). This dissertation argues that if the various spheres of government can align their objectives, processes and resources around a specific outcome like the KwaNaloga Games, then it should be possible for the same spheres of government to align objectives, processes and resources for the provision of housing, water, electricity, safety, security and other critical developmental local government outcomes. In exploring this argument, qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with a range of stakeholders (Technical Sport Planning Committee, sport federation representatives, district and municipal officials) involved in the organisation and delivery of the KwaNaloga Games. The study followed the theoretical framework of co-operative government, intergovernmental relations and multi-level governance. ‘Co-operative government’ suggests a partnership between the three spheres of government where each sphere is distinctive and has a specific role to fulfil. ‘Intergovernmental relations’ are concerned with the political, financial and institutional arrangements regarding interactions between different spheres of government and organs of the state within each sphere. ‘Multi-level governance’ has vertical and horizontal dimensions where the emphasis is on the linkages between higher and lower levels of government, and on co-operation arrangements between regions and local government where agreements are the means by which to improve the effectiveness of local public service and implementation of development strategies. The findings indicate that the partnerships and relationships established by government and non-government actors during the Games are crucial to accomplish governmental objectives, be they social or economic, and enhancing service delivery in the three spheres of government. The relevant committees and structures for execution of the Games provide good platforms and fora for networking and promoting IGR, which facilitate team-work in other functions of service delivery. The study concludes that KwaNaloga Games provide and present the spheres of government with a unique opportunity to forge new relationships and partnerships in the internal and external environments that shape local government. These relationships and partnerships further strengthen existing parameters in order for the spheres of government to be more effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of communities. This study recommends that the co-operation and collaboration among the three spheres of government should be strengthened through agreed service level agreements, viable communication channels and functional oversight structures (such as co-ordinating fora of senior management, political leaders and office bearers) to meet the set goals of service delivery programmes and projects. The study further recommends that monitoring and evaluation systems should be incorporated into the KwaNaloga Games and that through reviewing the binding implementation of agreements and protocols these systems are further extended to indicate progress in various spheres of government in the pursuit of local government developmental objectives.