Latest Bulletin

Volume 18, Issue 4, November/December 2023
Author: Tinashe
Published: 05 Oct, 2023
Financial interests of councillors: do municipalities make them public?
Author: Wouter Smulders & Jaap de Visser

Item 8 of the Code of Conduct for Councillors provides that each councillor must, within 60 days of his or her election (or appointment as a local representative to the district council), declare to the municipal manager, in writing, interests and gifts.

The Spanish local government system: A model designed for stability
Author: Carmen Navarro

With the advent of the new democratic system in 1978, after 40 years of authoritarian regime, the concern of decision-makers designing local political institutions was to prevent the local arena from becoming a focus of political destabilisation, as it had been in the pre-dictatorship period.

Towards professionalising local government: The Crisis of undue political interference in municipalities
Author: Jennica Beukes

The importance of political parties to representative democracy is well documented. In South Africa’s municipal councils, a majority of councillors serve at the behest of their political parties. Councillors, especially those who serve in the municipal executive, work closely with the municipal manager (MM) who is responsible for ensuring an effective, efficient, and accountable administration.

Court rules on effect of councillor walk-out on district elections
Author: Jaap de Visser

In Electoral Commission of South Africa and Another v Speaker of the uMhlathuze Local Council and Others, the Electoral Court had to deal with what happens when a contingent of councillors refuses to participate in the election of district representatives. The two major questions underlying this judgment are: (1) Must the composition of a local municipality’s delegation to the district reflect the size of the local municipality? Or must it reflect the diversity of parties that voted for the delegation? Or must it reflect both? (2) What are the consequences for the election of district representatives, when a party walks out, and refuses to participate in the election?

The role of municipalities in protecting communities against possible harmful mining
Author: Xavia Poswa

Mining in South Africa often takes place in rural areas, where the main source of the livelihood and subsistence of rural residents is derived from their land and livestock. Mining activities often force people to leave the land they use for subsistence farming and grazing. It results in communities no longer having enough land for farming, therefore severely compromising their ability to make a living.

The misunderstanding of SPLUMA by traditional leaders
Author: Xavia Poswa

This article is the second in a series of articles that unpack the five major reasons why traditional leaders rejected the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management of 2013 (SPLUMA) in their areas of jurisdiction. The previous article analysed the first reason, namely, the lack of meaningful engagement.