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Posted: 17 August 2020

SALGA is hosting an online Masterclass series on the 26th -27th August 2020 under the theme “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”. The Master class (es) will be held in parallel on each day for 2 hours

SALGA is implementing a Local Government Women in Leadership Development Programme (LGWLDP) since 2018.  The programme is based on a realisation that while South Africa has some of the most progressive policies aimed at advancing women empowerment and gender equality, the challenge remains translating and implementing these policies into practice in order to effect real and material change to women’s lives, and those around them. At the core of developing women leaders at local government level is the recognition that:

  • Women have an important role to play in efforts aimed at improving the quality of life for all South Africans and addressing the triple ills of poverty, inequality and unemployment, and
  • A specific focus on women’s leadership will enhance the capacity of local government to deliver on its constitutional and legislative obligations of service delivery and a more effective and compassionate interface with ordinary citizens who rely on the state for public goods such as health, welfare, education, justice and security.

These high level objectives will be addressed through adopting a focus on building participant’s agency, capacity, resilience and solidarity.  In addition, the programme seeks to Facilitate the space for a safe and nurturing and powerful support network.

About the Master class series

As part of the LGWLDP, SALGA conducted a need assessment aimed at establishing the development needs of women in the sector.   A wide range of issues were identified and are themed under the following areas:  Leading self and Driving Developmental Local Government. 
The master class series will have the following objectives:

  • To introduce women leaders to the topic;
  • To conduct an interactive session which is aimed at developing the women leaders’ understanding of the pertinent issues on the subject;
  • To build a knowledge base to strengthen and enhance effectiveness in the participants’ leadership roles;
  • To build on the participants’ existing skills and experience on the topic.
The following are sessions that will take place parallel on the second day through the sub-theme “Leading Self”

Emotional and Social Intelligence
The primary responsibility of leaders is to improve performance thus achieve results through people. It stands to reason therefore leadership is about the ability to influence. Being a powerful leader is not about the positional power one has but it is about character – the space one is coming from as they engage in the leadership process.  
The session will explore concepts such as self-awareness, self-management and social intelligence in a manner that equips participants with a skills set to effectively lead.

Building Relationships and Networks
Networking, the art of building alliances is a critical skill for leaders in any position.  There is an accepted maxim that says “It is not what you know, but who you know” has an element of truth in it if a leader wants to influence positions or outcomes in any given environment.
This master class will explore concepts like establishing and maintaining supportive networks, relationship nurturing and building, enlisting the services and advice from others etc. so that participants can effectively lead in the municipal space.
Managing personal stress and burnout
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. (Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Lawrence Robinson in accessed on 10 August 2020)

The master class will be focusing on elements such as dealing with burnout, managing stress, building resilience, practising mindful and others.  The aim will be to assist leaders to cope better with work challenges.


The following are sessions that will take place parallel on the last day through the sub-theme “Driving Developmental Local Government”

The ABC of Municipal Finances
Management of municipal finances in a sound and accountable manner is core to developmental local government.   The need to understand principles of budgeting, aligning it to service delivery whilst ensuring accountability and prudent management of municipal finances is a skill that every municipal leader should master.  The Auditor General is advocating for a culture change which inculcates accountability and consequence management as strong tenets of the system
This master class will be focusing on budgeting, sound financial management, inculcating a culture of accountability, separation of powers, ethics and integrity and oversight on the management of municipal finances.
Building sustainable local economies
The constitution enjoins municipalities to promote social and economic development at a local level.  This requires them as part of their integrated development plans development local economic development plans. “LED is an approach towards economic development which allows and encourages local people to work together to achieve sustainable economic growth and development thereby bringing economic benefits and improved quality of life for all residents in a local municipal areas” . ( accessed on 10 August 2020).

The mater class will explore issues and approaches on how to build viable and sustainable local economies.  It will seek to provide the leaders with the requisite skills to understand the local economic development agenda.

Managing and involving stakeholders
The SALGA Leadership Competency identifies “engaging stakeholders” as one of the competencies required to be effective in local government.   Local government leaders need to be able to identify and communicate with stakeholders, build partnerships and lead change through people.

This master class will amongst others, explore the concepts of communication, collaboration, political astuteness as managing local stakeholders.

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