Inequality and Economic Inclusion

Friday, 17 April 2009

Governance and Governability: What are the Challenges for an Inclusive City?

  • Year: 2008
  • Organisation: Urban LandMark
  • Author(s): Monty Narsoo
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

In discussing the relationship between governance and inclusivity this paper’s central argument is that unless there is an ability to build a responsive government at all spheres than there is no connection between the two. The ability of the state to respond to the citizenry requires that it can match the supply of goods and services to their political, social, and economic demands. The demand supply paradigm is interpreted in its broadest sense in that markets and its accompanying transactions are always present, the debate is how they are organised. The nature and aptness of the supply has to be based on a more nuanced understanding of demand. This understanding has to take into account the various markets that operate, particularly within the urban context and more often than not are spatially defined. Although demand and supply mechanisms range over a continuum from the formal to the informal, the need to put in place rules and (urban) management arrangements that have a sufficient consensus both within and outside of government is essential and must be based on public, private and civil society partnerships. This means while it is essential to have responsive mechanisms to ensure governance, i.e. the maximum participation possible, it is also imperative that there is governability which means the ability to ensure that rules that are agreed to are implemented. It must also be pointed out that the state has limits in its ability to respond, manage, fund, or control. It does have the responsibility to manage the myriad risks associated co-ordination, capacity, and corruption. Therefore the ability to make development work requires the development of social cohesion through the support of the organisations of civil society, not only as voices of advocacy, but partners in development and governance. This partnership, however, must have a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities.

In making this case this polemic deals with following issue: 

  • The Nature of the State 
  • Formality and Informality 
  • Governance and Governability
  • Which has the sub themes of: 
    • Managing the risk in housing 
    • Managing supply and demand