Although significant progress has been made since democratisation in 1994, much
still needs to be done before all local, district and metropolitan municipalities in
South Africa are fully functional, sustainable, and developmental. In response to
general municipal dysfunctionalism with inadequate service delivery levels and
rising levels of public protest, the South African Government has a statutory and
moral obligation to intervene in the affairs of municipalities. The nature, scope,
and intensions of such interventions are, however, not always clear. It is evident
though that Government increasingly views interventionism as a viable approach.
Embracing such an interventionist paradigm in government requires scholars to
more closely scrutinise municipal interventions, not as loose-standing and isolated
occurrences, but as part of an emergent strategy in South African governance.
The purpose of this article is to make a contextual and conceptual contribution to
the analysis of interventionism by developing a theoretical construct in the form
of a typology. This typology could stimulate further scholarly perspectives into the
phenomenon of government interventionism in South African municipalities.