PODCAST | Ballot Box: Why is local government so bad?

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News24 political editor Qaanitah Hunter spoke to the newly-appointed deputy minister in Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng.
News24 political editor Qaanitah Hunter spoke to the newly-appointed deputy minister in Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng.
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    • In this week's episode of the Ballot Box, News24's Qaanitah Hunter chats to Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng.
    • Hunter and Simelane-Nkadimeng discuss what it takes to achieve good clean governance as the municipal elections approaches.
    • Join Hunter as she tries to get to the root cause behind bad performing municipalities.


    It is no secret that a third of South Africa's municipalities are dysfunctional - and those that are functional, on paper, barely deliver adequate services.

    As South Africans gear up to vote for their preferred mayoral candidates in the upcoming municipal elections, political parties and their leaders are out and about canvassing for votes, with promises of better, sustainable local governments.

    But are parties addressing the root of the problem, or are they simply making promises for a future that seems too good to be true?

    In this week's episode of the Ballot Box, a new podcast by News24, political editor Qaanitah Hunter spoke to the newly-appointed Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng.

    Simelane-Nkadimeng, 48, is one of the youngest members of President Cyril Ramaphosa's ageing national executive. 

    She boasts years of experience in public service, having held various leadership positions in the Limpopo ANC before being elected Polokwane mayor in 2014.

    Hunter wanted to know why local governments were performing so badly and what could be done to fix the problems.

    "The biggest challenge, as government generally, is that we are still operating in silos and this has a negative impact on our government holistically, and it impacts negatively and directly on our communities," Simelane-Nkadimeng said.

    She said this leads to a lack of coherence, planning and implementation, adding that Cogta and municipalities have been lacking in the area of accountability.  

    "Much as we need to support them, we need to hold them accountable when the support has been given." 

    Hunter and Simelane-Nkadimeng also discuss some of the core problems directly affecting good, clean governance and the potential solutions on the table. 

    Subscribe to our newsletter The Ballot Box for even more information on the upcoming municipal elections.

    Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

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