The impetus that informs the drive for a developmental state that promotes growth and development hinges on the capacity of the local sphere of government to effectively discharge its responsibilities. The thrust of this article is to examine the current state of local government in respect to its developmental mandate, service delivery and institutional capacity. Further, the
article reflects on the cardinal elements integral for the viability, sustenance and
excellence pertinent to the local sphere of government in South Africa. The assertion adopted in this article is that local government is expected to effectively attain its mandatory mission of delivering services that are adequate
and responsive to the needs of the community. Hence, the point of departure is that the local sphere of government should successfully shift from mediocrity to excellence in as far as service delivery is concerned. Thus, salient strategies needed to fulfill this mammoth task are elucidated.