Local Government Bulletin

Volume 8, Issue 3, July 2006
Author: MLGA (Community Law Centre)
Published: Sep 27, 2017
Local Government: A Key Player in the Build-Up to 2010.
Author: Reuben Baatjies

With the FIFA World Cup in Germany now over, four billion eyes will turn to South Africa and its cities to judge their readiness to host the prestigious event in 2010. Over 350 000 visitors are expected to descend to on the country to join 2.7 million local spectators for 43 days to watch some of the best national soccer teams in the world.

Managing Expectations While Commiting to Improved Service.
Author: Zenobia Africa

The writing of the Buffalo City Service Charter was an iterative process that involved a cross-section of officials in the municipality. During the sessions, the measurability of the promises and pledges on quality was hotly debated. Officials agreed that in the case of some services, like water and sanitation, there are national standards with which they have to comply.

Tying Municipal Manager's Pay to Performance.
Author: Yonatan Tesfaye Fessha

Municipal managers are well paid-too well, it has sometimes been argued. Many wonder why the head public servants of local government should earn more than mayors, or in some cases even the President. The remuneration of managers became a hot issue in the run-up to the recent local government elections. the Department of Provincial and Government recently gazetted new regulations on the performance and remuneration of municipal managers.

Legal Briefs: Proportional Leadership?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

Let's say that in a collective executive system, Party A has 37 councillors, Party B has 13 and Party C has one. The Executive Committee has 10 Members and five standing committees. Is Party B entitled to chair a standing committee on the basis of proportionality.

District Intergovernmental Forums: Best Practices From the Past
Author: Coel Kirkby

By August 2006, all district municipalities must have established district intergovernmental forums. The intergovernmental Relation Framework Act of 2005 prescribed these forums to provide a framework for co-operation and co-ordination between districts and their locals.

From the Courts: Extending Municipal Managers Contracts
Author: Professor Nico Steytler

The Change of government in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Council has also seen a change in the office of the municipal manager. Although the decision of the Cape High Court in Mgoqi v City of Cape Town dealt with a number of issues, at the core of the dispute was whether the the outgoing mayor could have extended the contract of the then municipal manager, Wallace Mgoqi.

Commonwealth Local Government Meets.
Author: Reuben Baatjies

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum is the voice of local government in the commonwealth, representing local authorities, local government ministries, local government associations, NGO's and other local government stakeholders.

Volume 8, Issue 2, May 2006.
Author: MLGI(Community Law Centre)
Published: Sep 27, 2017
Edging Toward 50/50: The Final Score
Author: Reuben Baatjies

This year's elections marked a step forward for woman's representation in local government, but it stopped short of the goal of equal gender representation set out in the White Paper for local government. That said, However, the number of woman councillors elected has increased significantly from 29% in 2000 to 40% in this year's election.

Salaries Scale Upwards For Mayors, Managers and Councillors.
Author: Yonatan Tesfaye Fessha

National government recently gazetted new and bigger remuneration packages for municipal councillors. The proposal sees a big jump in salaries for all office-bearers, especially part-time councillors. However, some dangers lurk in the changes for rural councils and voters in poorer communities.

Tackling Silositis: The Division Disease.
Author: Anja Benseler

When examining failure of local government to deliver services, a lack of funds and lack of capacity, the failure to spend allocated budgets and lagging repairs and maintenance are found to be the usual culprits for poor municipal performance and accumulating backlogs.

The District Health System: Place and Role of Local Government.
Author: Dr Wendy Hall

The National Health Act 61 of 2003 ushered in a new era in the development of South Africa's health system. Health sector reforms in South Africa are geared towards a comprehensive and integrated national health system, based on the primary health care approach and delivered thorough the a district health system. The Act envisages a municipality based district health system and thus has significant implications for local government.

Keep It Local
Author: Dr Jaap de Visser

Local democracy is a cornerstone of the new South African State. The Constitution says that local government will provide democratic and accountable government for local communities. Municipalities will build local democracy, which means that the municipal community has the opportunity to elect representatives into office and hold them accountable for their performance. A few examples of recent political party decisions are discussed and compared with the ideals of strong local government.

Managing District-Local Municipal Relations.
Author: Professor Nico Steytler

The Relationship between district and local municipalities varies from cordial and cooperative to conflictual and unproductive. What causes this conflict and ultimately poor service delivery? Can it be managed? The new intergovernmental Relations Framework tries to solve this problem by establishing district intergovernmental forums.

Legal Briefs: When Does A Councillor Take Office?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler

Does a candidate become a councillor on the day of the election or on the day that he or she is sworn in? This matter is important in relation to matters such as remuneration. It also arise during the council's term when a vacancy in the council is filled.

Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2006.
Author: MLGA (Community Law Centre)
Published: Sep 22, 2017
Challenges for the New Councils
Author: Professor Nico Steytler

The election on 5 December 2000 was the formal beginning of the new local government dispensation, Local government was established as the primary site for service delivery and development in the country. This article outlines some of the challenges facing the new councils.

State of the Municipalities: More Money, More Skills
Author: Xavia Poswa

In his 2006 State of the Nation Address on 3 February , President Thabo Mbeki focused on the troubles and goals of local government. While he noted that three quarters of South Africans approve of the government's service delivery efforts, only 45% believe that local government is performing well. The President then set out his plan to rescue local government.

Making Headlines: Dismissal of Councillors ini Gauteng
Author: Coel Kirkby

More than 100 municipal councillors and officials have been dismissed or forced to resign over the past five years in Gauteng's municipalities following investigations into fraud, corruption and absenteeism. The most common offences discovered by the office of the Auditor General and its investigative units were maladministration, fraud and corruption.

Agenda For The First Council Meeting.
Author: Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi

The first meeting of the newly elected councils must take place at the seat of the municipality within 14 days of the council being declared elected. If it is a district council, the meeting must be held within 14 days of the appointment of all members who are to be appointed by local councils. At the first meeting, a number of issues must be decided and key office bearers must be elected.

Rooting Out Corruption: Code of Conduct and Disclosures of Financial Interests.
Author: Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi

Councillors are elected to represent local communities on municipal councils, to ensure that municipalities are accountable to their communities. In fulfilling this mandate, councillors must abide by the Code of Conduct as set out in Schedule 5 of the Municipal Structures Act, which requires them, among other things, to disclose their financial interests and refrain from using their positions as councillors for personal gain.

Councillors Can Have Their Say: Immunity in Council.
Author: Dr Jaap de Visser

For a democracy to be vibrant, councillors must have the freedom to speak their minds in council. This freedom is protected by the Constitution and the Municipal Structures Act, which grants councillors immunity against civil and criminal liability for anything they say in council.

End of Cross-Boundary Municipalities.
Author: Robert Willemse

Prior to the December 5 elections, the Constitution was amended and other legislation was enacted, to provide for the demarcation and establishment of cross-boundary municipalities, i.e. municipalities straddling provincial boundaries. Sixteen cross-boundary municipalities were established affecting five provinces in South Africa. The creation of such municipalities was necessary to bring interdependent people and economies on different sides of a provincial boundary together in one municipality.

From the Courts: Sewerage Charges Based on Property Value and Usage
Author: Gladys Mawoneke

At the end of 2005, the Supreme Court of Appeal made a ruling on the question of whether sewerage charges should be based on the value of the property or on the amount of water used. The matter had been brought by the Rates Action Group against a High Court judgment, which ruled that the City of Cape Town was permitted to impose property rates for services in addition to general property rates, in conjunction with a tariff based on water usage.

Volume 7, Issue 5, November 2005
Author: MLGA (Community Law Centre)
Published: Sep 21, 2017
Electing Woman Councillors: 50/50 Representation?
Author: Yonatan Fessha

With the upcoming local government election drawing closer, gender representation has become an issue once again. The use of a quota policy to address the problem of under representation of woman has been the subject of heated debate. This debate has brought to the fore the role of parties policies on gender representation within the context of the current electoral system.

Expanded Public Works Programme: Role of the Municipalities.
Author: Coel Kirby

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) will spend R15 to 20 billion on labour-intensive projects by 2009. The short-term goal is to create a million temporary jobs to alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas. This article discusses the four sectors of the EPWP.

Section 62 Appeals: A tender process.
Author: Achmat Toefy

Many people aggrieved by decisions made by municipalities have latched on to the fact that they have a right to appeal in terms of section 62 of the Municipal Systems Act. Municipalities have recently experienced a significant increase in the number of appeals lodged in terms of section 62. This has led to municipalities having to grapple with the parameters and practical implications of section 62. This article highlights a few difficulties in this regard.

Community Development Workers.
Author: Reuben Baatjies

In his 2003 State of the Nation Address, President Thabo Mbeki announced that "government will create a public service echelon of mutli-skilled community development workers". The community development worker programme is an effort to deepen democracy at the local level and is intended to give citizens direct access to government in a people-centred way.

Communities Providing Services.
Author: Reuben Baatjies

The Constitution mandates local government to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner and to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.

Powers of the Speaker?
Author: Lehlohonolo Kennedy Mahlatsi

The Speaker of the Lejweleputswa District Municipality convened a council meeting on 15 July 2003 in which he purported to appoint a commission of enquiry to investigate alleged irregularities at that district municipality. The issue before the Free State High Court was whether the speaker of a district had the power to appoint a commission of enquiry.