detail - South Africa Office
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According to the conveners, the conference brought together Municipalities, academics, Civil Society and Government to critically examine the state of local government in South Africa as defined by the National Development Plan (NDP) and to explore any progress made since 1994, as well as explore the role of higher education institutions and NGOs in disseminating information and conducting research on the implementation of Vision 2030.
The conference opened with welcoming remarks from DDP’s funder and partner, the Kondrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany represented by Miss Michaela Braun.
Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at UKZN, delivered the keynote address on the first day of the conference and highlighted the importance of conducting relevant research, adding that South African universities should be producing graduates that are fit for purpose and contributing to socio – economic improvement. Prof. Ramjugernath emphasized the need for partnerships between universities and the users of researchers, namely Government and broader society. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are key to responding to the pressing socio – economic challenges at the local level”, he added.
Whilst the Head of Department from KZN COGTA (Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs), Thando Tubane’s keynote address focused active participation of citizens meaning that people feel a sense of commitment towards their communities and are actively involved in activities to improve their societies.
The conference had more than 9 sessions which were all chaired by different stakeholders and focused on several topics that later engaged the delegates.
These sessions were:
• The NDP Vision 2030-Sub National Governance and Sustainable Development
• Intergovernmental Relations and the NDP Vision: The Role of IDP’s and PGDS
• Sustainability of Basic Services, Civil Society and the NDP.
• Capacity Development and Women Empowerment at Subnational Level for the NDP
• Round Table Diner Discussion: Problems and Prospects facing SA Municipalities.
• Political Management interface at Sub-national level of government
• Regional and Local Economic Development and NDP vision
• Traditional leadership and the NDP
• Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management and the NDP
This conference ended with a very high note from the conveners, speakers as well as delegates, that all societies have a role to play in promoting good governance and sustainable development.
According to the conveners, the conference will resume in 2019.