Financial Performance of Local Government in Limpopo Province, 2010-2012

by Majuta Judas Mamogale


Governance problems mar local government in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, especially in relation to financial management. The province received the highest rate of unsatisfactory audit outcomes between 2010 and 2012 of any province in South Africa. This paper examines the various explanations for this situation and uses the datasets from the Afrobarometer and the audit outcome reports to compare the financial performance of the Limpopo local government and its municipalities with that of other South African provinces. One key finding is that employment recruitment patterns have a major influence on financial performance of the municipalities. In particular, an “informal” cadre recruitment approach has a negative impact on local government’s financial performance. The paper thus concludes that the governing African National Congress has used a strategy that disregards competitive recruitment practices and rewards party members and those affiliated with the party with access to employment, especially in local government, which has detrimental effects on financial management of municipalities.

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Majuta J. Mamogale is a Researcher at the Limpopo Provincial Legislature and a PhD candidate at the Wits Graduate School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand. He previously worked for as a researcher for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and other scientific research institutions. His research interests include local government, public administration, development economics, security studies, and public-­private partnerships.