Why South African decentralization has failed
“Decentralization was introduced to the South African constitution for all the right reasons,” Thomas Koelble and Andrew Siddle write in their commentary in the July issue of Governance. But “decentralization has not fulfilled its promise. Municipal governance in South Africa is in a state of paralysis, service delivery failure, and dysfunction.”
What went wrong? The major culprit, Koelbe and Siddle argue, is a failure of institutional design. “The system . . . is highly complex and based on a set of underlying assumptions that are simply not applicable to the South African case.”
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