An evaluation of the developmental role of local government in fighting poverty in the Free State
Mahlatsi, Lehlohonolo Kennedy
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Three hundred years of colonialism, and fifty of internal colonialism, had hardwired a duality into the system, whereby two domains coexisted: on one hand, a globally integrated world of production, exchange and consumption, and on the other, a constrained world of informality, poverty and marginalization. The visions and missions for municipalities in South Africa are outlined in the White Paper on Local Government. The White Paper further calls for the review of the existing legislation which impedes Local Economic Development. Municipalities in, the Free State Province are accordingly faced with the mammoth task of delivering basic services to the communities. Poverty alleviation is crucial in realising this objective. This study aims to show the challenge which faces municipalities in the Free State and their mammoth task of delivering basic services to the communities. Poverty alleviation is crucial in realisation is objective. 'Through all researches and studies conducted it has been clear that there are impediments in this developmental mandate of the municipalities. 'These emanate from the capacity of the municipalities and the theoretical foundation of the Local Economic Development (LED) as one of the strategies for development. The internal validity of the problem stated does not depend on whether or not that the Local Economic Development strategies of the national and provincial spheres of government are very good, the critical part that this study deals with is whether the local and district municipalities have linked their strategies with those of national and provincial spheres. The Constitution of South Africa mandates local government to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner and to encourage the involvement of communities and communities’ organizations in matters of local government. In line with the constitutional mandate, the white paper on Local Government establishes the basis for a new developmental local government system, one which is committed to working with citizens, groups and communities in meeting the social, economic and material needs of communities in a holistic way. The findings indicate that IDPs (Integrated Development Plans) and LED lack detail on SlYME (Small Medium Macro Economic) development. Formal and Informal business are not captured accurately in the IDPs and LED. The importance of infrastructure not adequately located within the LED strategy. It was also found that most of the municipalities in the Free State do not have LED strategy. Proposals for further study on poverty eradication strategies by the municipalities are made.