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Public Participation Dialogue





Posted: 04 March 2021

SALGA Mpumalanga hosted a Public Participation Dialogue on the 2nd of March 2021 in order to share knowledge and expertise on innovative mechanisms for inclusive governance and public participation, through various means and use of ICT. Guided by the vision of the White Paper on Local Government, SALGA, organises Provincial Dialogues for municipalities of all categories, other spheres of government, legislatures, parliament and civil society organisations.

The dialogues call on the experts in the field and municipalities that have performed better to share with others in the sector their good work, an approach which is line with SALGA’s strategy on information exchange, knowledge sharing, and creation of leading and learning spaces.

All municipalities across the country, accordingly to the White Paper on Local Government, have a common purpose, and that is, “to find local solutions for increased sustainability, as individual municipalities, and as a collectives, through various forms of collaborations, partnerships and networking”.

Presentations were received from SALGA (Purpose of the Dialogue and SALGA Public Participation Guidelines), the Mpumalanga Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Status of Public Participation in MP), and Seya-Setona (Use of ICT Innovation to Enhance Public Participation in Municipalities – Let’s Talk Demonstration).  Thembisile Hani Local Municipality presented on a good practice case on public participation.

The local Government in South Africa has a constitutional obligation to “encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government”.This responsibility is further emphasised in section 195 of the Constitution of South Africa, (1)(e), which instructs that: “People’s needs must be responded to, and the public must beencouraged to participate in policy-making”.

These constitutional ideals have receivedadequate resonance in the local government sector through policy and legislation. The WhitePaper on Local Government set a vision for the sector when it envisioned municipalities that “work together with local citizens in their various forms, as voters, as citizens, as customers and as organised partners, with specific responsibilities to make the sector work better”.

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