The upcoming local elections put municipal performance under the spotlight. Researchers at the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) identified several cross-cutting problems within South Africa’s local government sphere. This includes high vacancy rates, lack of competent staff, political influence, poor maintenance of key infrastructure and low levels of capital spend. Without the infrastructure and basic services that municipalities should provide, local economic development is likely to remain constrained. This makes it mor

e difficult to broaden economic participation and reverse South Africa’s unemployment trend.

In related articles GroundUp asks is Vereeniging the worst run municipality in South Africa?, and the Daily Maverick shared the Ground Level Report: It’s miserable ‘Carols by candlelight every night’ for some residents of neglected Vrygrond in Cape TownAlso, The Conversation published this article today – ‘Municipalities can play a key role in South Africa’s economic development. Here’s how.