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ANALYSIS | Local government vs communities: Reclaiming the people's power through the courts

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The sewage plant in Swartruggens, built in 2012, which is in a state of disrepair. It is estimated it will cost R6 million to repair. (James de Villiers, News24)
The sewage plant in Swartruggens, built in 2012, which is in a state of disrepair. It is estimated it will cost R6 million to repair. (James de Villiers, News24)

State authority can be challenged, giving civil movements the power to circumvent limitations and failures of state institutions, moving closer to the idea of co-existence and co-dependency between the state and society when it comes to accountability, writes Thina Nzo.

The local government, as a sphere of government that is closest to communities, has a constitutional obligation to ensure that local municipalities duly deliver local services, ranging from housing, water and sanitation, refuse collection, construction and the maintenance of municipal roads and storm water infrastructure, to local revenue collection and the passing of municipal by-laws.

However, 26 years later, most local government institutions have failed to meet their constitutional obligations.

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