Municipal international relations in South African local government

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 11
  • SDG 9
  • Abstract:

    Global change is particularly apparent in urban areas and has reinforced a movement towards co-ordination and progressive strategic management practices at the municipal and regional level across the world. 21st Century imperatives require municipalities across the world, to fundamentally re-assess their bureaucratic processes to remain relevant and effective. In South Africa, these universal challenges are accompanied by the additional challenges of transition and democratization. Much emphasis is placed on the need for an effective process of sharing ideas and innovations among municipalities and urban practitioners in order to deepen their understanding regarding the complexity of urban problems and opportunities. The range and scope of municipal international relations has expanded rapidly over the past decades. In this regard, co-operation and networks-building form integral parts of municipalities’ development strategies. Co-operation has become more systematic and less ad hoc. There has been a movement away from simple to complex linkages. The character of co-operation projects and networks has also changed. They have become less ceremonial and more substantial and project focused. The activities have become more targeted with measurable objectives and tangible results. This article investigates the public administrative yield of municipal international relations by reflecting on a case of an existing partnership in a selected South African municipality.