/ 20 December 2022

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Grade D)

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Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Key Goals

  1. Ensure all municipalities perform their basic responsibilities and functions: Failed
  2. Support the delivery of municipal services to an acceptable standard: Failed
  3. Promote good governance, transparency and accountability: Progress
  4. Streamline and improve services at municipal level through the district development model: Progress


With 42 of South Africa’s municipalities having collapsed, and another 151 teetering on the brink, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faces almost as severe a challenge as she did with the nation’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dlamini-Zuma has spearheaded key interventions to try to improve governance and transparency at municipal level, where maintenance backlogs, corruption and a lack of financial controls has exacerbated a collapse in basic services.

Political tensions in the hung municipalities that emerged last November — in particular, Gauteng — has not helped attempts to bed down a number of reforms being driven by Dlamini-Zuma. 

According to the auditor general, only 16% of South Africa’s 257 municipalities achieved a clean audit, while Dlamini-Zuma’s department incurred irregular expenditure of R3 billion in its community work programme.

The department has amended the Municipal Infrastructure Grant framework to ensure that 5% is allocated for asset management and 10% for repairs and maintenance to ensure councils have plans — and funds — to maintain their assets and infrastructure.

Amendments gazetted to the Municipal Structures Act, aimed at preventing corruption, will force councillors to declare all gifts of R1 000 and above and are accompanied by new regulations compelling them to attend council meetings or face penalties.

Minister Says

Municipal leadership in an ideal municipality promotes a culture of ethical business practices. In an ideal municipality, there is a culture of accountability and political will to realise change to create a conducive environment for effective oversight. There is zero tolerance for poor performance and transgressions.


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