Start main page content

Why students love our Leadership in Municipal Governance programme

- Kemantha Govender

Recent Leadership in Municipal Governance graduates share their experience at the Wits School of Governance (WSG).

The WSG and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) have been partnering to offer an executive course in Leadership in Municipal Governance over the past three years. The aim of the course is to empower participants to share, collate and analyse municipal information as the basis of strategic decision-making. Since its inception, 207 students have graduated from this comprehensive programme.

Mmatsutsa Ledwaba one of the most recent graduates said the course has given her a lot of understanding and she is now able to implement correct resolutions in terms of the council proceeding and administrations.

This course targets executive mayors, mayors, members of mayoral committees, oversight committees and senior administrative leadership in municipalities.

Neil Diamond, another graduate said it was an amazing experience having the opportunity to work and study with the other colleagues within the local government sector.

“The course was fabulously relevant and topical and contributed lots to my ability to do what I do on a day-to-day basis. Some of the modules especially finance and economics also allowed me to better grasp the concept of public value and the overall goals and objective of local government.

“As officials, we take every technocratic approach and the School's really assisted me greatly to get a broader understanding of the scope of local government as well as the total comfort that we need to have as officials and leaders in local government.

“To empower through knowledge and training is unmeasurable and it contributes to us running more effective and efficient local government in South Africa. It is dovetailing which still does meet the overall objective to improve the local government sector within South Africa,” said Diamond.

Rio Nolutshugu, Executive Director: Municipal Institutional Development at  SALGA, said Wits University is a recognised brand from a higher education point of view and it is highly invested in promoting public institutions.

 “We want to have a well capacitated local government system and the first foundation of doing so is to make sure that we capacitate the practitioners of local government. It's also important because it also serves our objectives of ensuring that municipalities are learning organisations.

“I think it's important for everyone in the municipality levels to have a big picture of what governance is like in a municipal environment, and what it is that municipalities as organs of state need to be doing to be effective machineries of a developmental local state for the National Development Plan,” said Nolutshugu.

Many students including Lebohang Moletsane spoke about how challenging this offering is but how it was worth it at the end of the day.

“It dealt with day-to-day activities that we are doing at the workplace so it was quite formative. We learnt about emotional intelligence and that thought me how to deal with a lot of different situations. Meeting people from different sectors was quite interesting and as a woman you have to make sure you work twice as hard so this course has created more confidence in me,” she said.

Thembisile Nkadimeng, President of SALGA inspired students during her address saying that “when leaders build their capacities, they make better decisions; they engage better with their communities and differently; they collate with their peers more confidently; they solve problems differently”.

The course is delivered in block release mode where participants attend class four days a week, once a month, over a five-month period.

If you are interested in this course please email: