UKZN Academics Co-Edit Book on Local Government Policy Responses to COVID-19

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Two senior academics in the School of Management, IT and Governance Professor Purshottama Reddy and Professor Henry Wissink have co-edited a book on COVID-19 with Dr Paul Kariuki, the Executive Director of the Democracy Development Programme (DDP).

The book, which is titled: The Covid-19 Pandemic in South Africa: A Review of Selected Local Governance and Policy Responsesevaluates local government policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Globally, local governments continue to face governance challenges despite progressive legal frameworks in place and significant financial and technical investment by national governments. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 constrained local governments throughout the world.

In South Africa, most municipalities experienced revenue losses due to the pandemic, further exacerbating the ongoing financial shortfalls resulting in poor public service delivery. The demand for public services to cushion the citizenry from the effects of the pandemic has continued to grow.

The DDP, a Durban-based NGO, and part of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Germany, recently published the two-part book which argues that to remedy the situation in South Africa, there is a need for local government to revisit its various policies and align their interventions appropriately in response to the challenges caused by COVID-19.

The advice is to fast track recovery in the short term, while providing insights to shape policies for the future.

Through the knowledge generated, the book will enable students, academics, researchers and municipal functionaries to gain knowledge on how to charter a way forward for local pandemic governance.

Contributors to the book included senior national and international academics; high-ranking municipal functionaries and executive functionaries of non–governmental organisations who shared their experiences and insights.

UKZN contributors included Professors Stephen Mutula, Sybert Mutereko, Thokozani Nzimakwe and Sagie Narsiah and Dr Sakhile Zondi.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga

Photographs: Supplied