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There is little doubt that 2019 will be an important year for SA and its municipalities. General elections will likely alter the political landscape in many provinces, either within or between party representation, and this might filter into councils’ political factions. Communities are also likely to use elections as leverage —consider protests during the voter registration weekend in late January. In addition, municipalities face pressing financial priorities: to settle debt and raise revenue. There are five core priorities that will need to be attended to if local delivery is not to be overly compromised, namely: Stability and delivery This will be local government’s biggest challenge over the course of 2019. It is critically important that politicians embark on their respective election campaigns without hampering local service delivery programmes, and provide support for programmes already under way in a nonpartisan spirit. Early financial indicators for the 2018/2019 financial...

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