Nothing less than the best

The spotlight this week appropriately falls on the local government indaba, which started in Midrand yesterday and which is being attended by mayors and councillors from throughout the country.

The spotlight this week appropriately falls on the local government indaba, which started in Midrand yesterday and which is being attended by mayors and councillors from throughout the country.

The public expects nothing less than an honest and candid assessment of the failures and rare successes of municipalities in fulfilling their mandate. That mandate includes accelerating service delivery where it is needed most.

Especially significant is that the week-long conference takes place after President Thabo Mbeki's recent warning that he would not tolerate councillors who fail to perform.

His message set as much an apt tone for conference deliberations as it relayed impatience with incapacity, corruption and other obstacles impeding delivery.

It is encouraging that the theme will revolve around the strengthening of local government, the eradication of poverty and the creation of jobs through service delivery.

This mission, however, can only be accomplished if all councillors commit themselves to excellence. There is no room for incompetence or municipalities that fail to spend their budgets.

We hope the indaba will not degenerate into a mere talkshop. We hope it will produce clear resolutions followed by plans of action for which mayors and councillors should be held strictly accountable.

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