27 Mar 2015

The Public Administration and Management Bill or the so-called Single Public Service Bill will be introduced into parliament this year, which will have far-reaching consequences and implications for provincial and local government. The bill in question is deemed to be controversial as it erodes the autonomy of local government as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, (108 of 1996). Furthermore, the institutions and actions of provincial and local government will change dramatically as both spheres will be regarded as one sphere from a practical service delivery perspective. The national government has continuously expressed its concern at the slow progress in the provision of essential and emergency services in a sustainable manner to all communities and in delivery on the social and economic development agenda. Furthermore, the National Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, argues that a developmental state requires a strong centre which is an important vehicle for defeating poverty within the concept of co-operative governance. The purpose of this article is to question the motivation and desired intention of the above national department to introduce this bill. The article will also attempt to explore the consequences for local government and question the assumption that no development has taken place. The approach adopted to achieve this purpose will be to provide the theoretical context with regard to the various forms of government, detail the national government?s motivation, and provide an evaluation of the development trends and backlogs as well as the consequences for local government in terms of the following elements: ? constitutional principles; ? inter-government relations; and ? municipal systems.