As SA prepares for municipal elections on October 27 the contested nature of local government will be highlighted. The next few months will provide the electorate with an opportunity to assess governance effectiveness at local level, where it matters most.

Governance is essentially about the authoritative allocation of resources — who gets what, when and how. This definition helps us understand and evaluate the contours of how public goods are provided. As renowned governance scholar Daniel Kaufmann and co-authors note, government effectiveness entails “perceptions of the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to such policies”...

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