Bulletin Archives

Volume 19, Issue 2, June 2024
Author: Tinashe
Published: 03 Jun, 2024
The PAIA barrier to access municipal records: Is this right?
Author: Johandri Wright

Municipalities are required to share an assortment of records and information with the public. There are multiple reasons behind this mandate, but the most important one is to promote transparency and, by implication, public participation in governance.

The conduct of men: The biggest barrier for women leadership in local government
Author: LGSETA

The success of local government depends on, among other good governance principles, ethical and accountable political and administrative leadership. Research conducted by the University of the Free State (2024), on behalf of the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA), assessed the competencies and constraints on optimal performance of appointed and elected women leaders in the local government.

Enhancing evidenced based human resource development implementation capabilities in local government
Author: LGSETA

The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) commissioned the University of the Free State (2024) to assess the applicability of evidenced based human resource development (HRD) practices for local government. The study concluded that HRD is not being effectively measured and managed despite the 26-year-old enabling HRD legislative framework comprising of the Skills Development Act of 1998 and the Employment Equity Act of 1998.

The Supreme Court reaffirms municipalities' power to cut electricity supply to combat non-payment
Author: Curtly Stevens

The problem of non-payment for municipal services, such as water and electricity, and the termination of those services due to non-payment has once again gained the spotlight. In  City of Tshwane v Vresthena Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had to determine whether a municipality could be interdicted from implementing its credit control by-laws, which provides for the termination of electricity supply in the event of non-payment.

The role of municipal leadership in accelerating transformation and service delivery
Author: LGSETA

Municipal leadership is a driver of transformation and an agent of improved service delivery in South African municipalities. A study commissioned by the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) established that, despite various efforts to transform municipalities and enhance service delivery through effective leadership, evidence suggests that local government leadership faces many challenges that impede its efforts to transform and improve service delivery.

Volume 19, Issue 1, March 2024
Author: Tinashe
Published: 13 Mar, 2024
The value of political party constitutions in managing conflict within political parties: Heradien v Meshoa and Others
Author: Jennica Beukes

This article discusses the significance of the Heradien v Meshoa and Others (768/024) [2024] ZAWCHC 37 (13 February 2024) judgment. In this matter, Mr Heradien approached the High Court to, among other things, review and set aside his termination and interdict the IEC from filling the vacancy in the municipal council with Mr Nel as the ICOSA proportional representation (PR) councillor.

Resistance to SPLUMA: Traditional leaders' lack of trust in SPLUMA instruments and processes
Author: Xavia Poswa

The article forms part of a series of articles which examines the five major reasons traditional leaders opposed the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013 (SPLUMA) in the areas they govern. The previous article unpacked the third reason, namely, the exclusion of traditional leaders from the Municipal Planning Tribunals (MPTs). This article analyses the fourth reason, namely traditional leaders’ lack of trust in SPLUMA instruments.

Resistance to SPLUMA: Traditional leaders' lack of trust in municipalities
Author: Xavia Poswa

This is the final article of a series of articles which examines the five major reasons why traditional leaders rejected the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act of 2013 (SPLUMA) in their areas of jurisdiction. The previous article unpacked the fourth reason, namely, traditional leaders’ lack of trust in SPLUMA instruments. This article analyses the fifth reason, namely, traditional leader’s lack of trust in municipalities.

Do municipalities have the exclusive right to administer refuse removal services and to impose relevant fees in their areas?
Author: Tinashe Carlton Chigwata

Time and again, the place and role of local government under the new constitutional dispensation is brought under the microscope. What are municipalities responsible for? What kind of decisions can they make? Can national and provincial governments veto municipal decisions? Can they decide where a metro can exercise a municipal function in its area? These are some of the questions that emerge.

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.

Volume 18, Issue 3, September 2023
Author: Tinashe
Published: 07 Aug, 2023
What happens when government fails to listen to rural voices: Constitutional Court declares Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act unconstitutional
Author: Xavia Poswa

In a victory for rural communities, the Constitutional Court declared the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act (TKLA) unconstitutional. The Act came into force shortly before the 2019 national general elections but has now been set aside. The Act regulated aspects of the institution of traditional leadership including the functions of traditional and khoisan leaders, customary law and rural local governance. Why was it declared unconstitutional, and what does this mean going forward?

Constitutional Court gives AARTO the go-ahead: What does the judgment mean for municipalities?
Author: Thabile Chonco-Spambo

On 12 July 2023 the Constitutional Court overturned an order of constitutional invalidity made by the Pretoria High Court (High Court), and instead declared the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) to be consistent with the Constitution. The AARTO will thus regulate the administration, collection and settlement of fines related to road traffic offences, irrespective of whether the offence is committed on a municipal, provincial or national road.

DDM: Beating the silos, or adding bureaucracy?
Author: Johandri Wright

In his Presidency Budget Speech in 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa pointed out that government often operates in silos, and lacks coherence in planning and implementation, and that this makes monitoring and oversight of government action difficult.

Local government, crime, by-laws, and law enforcement
Author: David Bruce

This article discusses some of the highlights of the preliminary report on "The state of local government law enforcement” prepared by the Institute for Security Studies for the South African Local Government Association.

Rules for the sometimes unruly
Author: Johandri Wright

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs published a Code of Conduct for Councillors on 14 June 2023 (the new code of conduct). This Code of Conduct was made under section 92 of the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998. The new Code of Conduct acts as a supplement to the one in Schedule 7 of the Municipal Structures Act.

Court prohibits a traditional leader from allocating municipal land
Author: Xavia Poswa

In November 2022, an article which examined the implications of the Lepelle Nkumpi Local Municipality v The Bakgaga Ba Ga-Mphalele Traditional Authority and Others judgment was published in the Bulletin. In that judgment, the Limpopo High Court ruled that the Bakgaga Traditional Authority may not allocate municipal land and issue PTOs without the approval of the municipality.

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