The legal duty of local government to facilitate development


Local government in South Africa is not only facing challenges normally associated with a process of development or transformation, but needs to adjust its focus according to the new development paradigm unfolding in South Africa. Developmental local government has to accomplish this task according to the mandate issued in the Constitution and within a specific legal-institutional and value framework The legal-institutional framework is based on a set of development law principles contained in new generation legislation. The value framework consists of community values as well as constitutional values reflecting individual and community values, norms and principles. This framework imposes a legal and moral duty as well as corresponding obligations on municipalities to plan and implement future socio-economic development of the areas for which they are responsible according to a new set of development principles and values. These principles make it incumbent upon municipalities to manage development through a people-centred and community-driven process. This article briefly deals with the nature and content of the duties and responsibilities of municipalities emanating from a new development paradigm when facilitating the development process within their areas of jurisdiction.