Perhaps the biggest frustration among the SA public is that nothing is being done to change local government. This perception is not true; there is action by provincial and national government, as well as by local communities. The problem is that much of this action is failing, or in the case of communities is being misdirected.

The go-to tool for the government to intervene in the worst-performing municipalities has been for a provincial government to place a municipality under section 139 administration and appoint an administrator. This has had mixed results, and though it can bring about positive change, for the most part it does not. Municipal IQ’s monitor of section 139 interventions shows 31 municipalities are under administration, and that most of these have been repeatedly, over multiple years. Some, like Umzinyathi and Ngaka Modiri, have been under administration in some form or another for more than a decade. ..

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