[ADVOCACY] SERI hosts a two-day local governance convening (12 April 2023).
On the 15th and 16th March 2023, SERI hosted a two-day Local Governance Convening entitled "A Civil Society Agenda for Change Dialogue". The event was organised by four organisations: Afesis-Corplan, Planact, Isandla Institute, and SERI, who joined forces to explore engagements that could lead to a realistic agenda for change in the local governance sphere.
The convening was attended by 25 individuals selected from community-based and civil society organisations. Dr. Jessie Turton facilitated the event. The objectives of the convening were to create a meaningful space for reflection and dialogue on the state of local governance in South Africa, develop a joint diagnosis of the systemic drivers of the crisis in local government, develop a civil society agenda for change in local government, and discuss possible modalities for collective action, including resourcing.
On the first day, participants deliberated and grappled with the definition of "system change," identified the root causes of the local government crisis, and areas of intervention. Dr. David Sutcliffe and Sue Bannister presented on the state of local government municipalities over the past decades. On the second day, participants identified three key areas of intervention. Finally, the convening concluded with interim structures that will lead the initiative and collective broad-stroke action plans. The action plans aim to ensure that this convening goes beyond dialogue but systematically transforms the local governance sphere. The convening envisions further networking and collaboration with other individuals, community-based organisations, and civil society organisations to form part of this agenda for change.