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Local Government Pays Attention to All Voices

Source: Commonwealth Local Government Forum

If the objective of leaving no one behind as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be achieved, local government must be empowered to effectively engage all people at the local level, according to CLGF’s Chairperson Cllr. Rev. Mpho Moruakgomo.

Speaking on the first day of the 2016 South African Local Government Association (SALGA) annual conference in Johannesburg, Rev. Moruakgomo said that inclusion means paying attention to all voices including women, youth, the poor, the displaced, and local government is the sphere of government that is best placed to do this.

Strengthening local democracy and governance is essential if the SDGs are going to be achieved.

He went on to say that to achieve the transformative agendas such as Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and other global agendas, there is a widely-recognized need to support and empower local and regional governments to play their part in implementation.

“For effective development to be realized, the collective needs of people have to be collectively and clearly defined locally,” said Rev Moruakgomo. “Decentralization, and the empowerment of local and regional authorities is critical in realizing the vision of a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future for all. Local and regional governments are being recognized as key partners for national government to implement their development and economic programmes.”

Congratulating SALGA on its 20th anniversary, Cllr Rev Moruakgomo said:

“I am honoured to address this National Conference particularly as SALGA and South Africa celebrate 20 years of local government. CLGF cherishes its long partnership with SALGA, which has enabled other CLGF members to learn from the unique South African local government system and experiences.  CLGF has also worked with SALGA to promote the exchange of experiences between South African municipalities and municipalities from India and the UK, which has resulted in the implementation of successful projects and programmes to strengthen local democracy and local governance.”

Among those in the audience at the 2016 SALGA annual conference were Hon Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Hon Des Van Rooyen, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cllr Parks Tau, President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Mayor Khalifa Sall ,President of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) and Thabo Manyoni outgoing SALGA Chairperson.