The managers of various municipalities in the Northern Cape gathered in Upington on Thursday, 19 April.This was to reflect on many of the burning issues in local government, some of which affect service delivery and the image of local government. The gathering was part of the events of the Municipal Managers Forum. The forum was established by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) as a formal platform for municipal managers to meet and discuss matters of influence in local government, share best practices for the acceleration of service delivery mechanisms in the Northern Cape and to interchange policy-making discussions on matters impacting local government.Key issues discussed include Salga’s Municipal Audit Support Programme (Masp), municipal debt owed to Eskom and water boards, the application of section 139 interventions, the assessment of senior managers through Salga’s Municipal Leadership Competency Assessment Centre and the devolution of municipal health services in the Northern Cape. As part of Masp, which was established in 2014, municipalities that were identified as being in the red zone, based on unfavourable audit outcomes by the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), had to be improved to ensure their sustainability.The local municipalities of Ga-Segonyana, Magareng, Dikgatlong and Kgatelopele, as well as the old Mier and !Kheis municipalities, have been assisted. For the current financial year, based on the 2016-’17 MFMA audit outcomes, the municipalities of Joe Morolong, Phokwane, Siyathemba and Ubuntu have been identified as red-zone municipalities.These municipalities will be prioritised by Masp for the 2018-’19 financial year. Other municipalities will not be excluded from Salga’s constitutional mandates of municipal support and capacity building. This is to ensure that municipalities deliver sustainable and equitable services to communities; lobbying for, among others things, funding and sectoral support. It also advocates on behalf of member municipalities in terms of obligations to statutory and legislative processes that threaten sustainability, and even existence, and have an impact on service delivery.