Establishment, demarcation & elections

One step forward, two steps back: 2021 local government elections resulted in lower women’s representation than the last few elections
Author: Michelle R Maziwisa
Published: Jun 24, 2022

In our previous article on women’s representation in local government, we reported that the numbers of women elected into office for proportional representation (PR) seats was significantly higher than that for ward seats due to a large part because of the policies of political parties such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) which facilitate women’s inclusion in party lists through the ANC’s use of a zebra list – one man, one woman and the EFFs gender equality policy. Looking at the 2021 elections, it is unfortunate that we have taken one step forward, and two steps back.

Local Government in South Africa: Responses to urban-rural challenges
Author: Michelle Maziwisa
Published: Mar 28, 2022

The Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) is one of 18 international partners of the LoGov project titled ‘Local Government and the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay’. The project seeks to establish an international and intersectoral training and research network to identify, and evaluate best-fit practices for local governments in order to address the changing urban-rural interplay and manage its impacts. It is funded by the European Commission as part of the EU-Rise Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

Court orders City of Cape Town not to remove political banners of the EFF
Author: Shehaam Jonhstone
Published: Nov 25, 2021

In the Economic Freedom Fighters v City of Cape Town and Another, the court dealt with a case brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) against the City of Cape Town. The EFF challenged the constitutionality of the City’s By-law that regulates the general display of posters and banners. The By-law prohibited the display of banners for the purpose of electioneering. The Court ruled that the City should not remove the EFF’s political banners even though their display contravened the City’s by-law. The Court reached this decision based on the value that our constitutional democracy places on the freedom of political parties to campaign for an election.

Can public servants stand as candidates in municipal elections?
Author: Curtly Stevens
Published: Oct 31, 2021

This article explores the law on councillor candidacy, particularly as it relates to municipal, provincial and national employees. Officials employed by the government may stand as councillor candidates, in the fifth democratic local government elections, to be held on 1 November 2021. However, there are certain rules that apply.

Women’s representation in the upcoming Local Government Elections
Author: Shehaam Johnstone
Published: Oct 27, 2021

After celebrating 20 years of democratic local government, we stand on the cusp of our sixth municipal elections on 1 November 2021. Once again local councillors will be elected for the 257 municipalities across the country. The burning question is, what will this election hold for women’s representation and how will this impact women’s access to improved service delivery. The article explores how women are faring in their representation and participation at the local level.

What happens to interventions after the local government elections?
Author: Michelle R Maziwisa & Tinashe C Chigwata
Published: Sep 30, 2021

Too many municipalities are not functioning as they should. The Auditor General has repeatedly reported municipalities’ poor financial management (see 2019/2020 Report). When a municipality fails to provide basic services, the provincial government may, and sometimes must invoke section 139 of the Constitution to address municipal failures.

Why coalition agreements should be public
Author: Jennica Beukes
Published: Aug 06, 2021

In the previous articles of the coalition series in the Local Government Bulletin, it was argued that the proportional representation (PR) electoral system of local government and the absence of electoral thresholds creates the possibility for hung councils to recur in municipalities, making the formation of coalition governments necessary.

Local government elections: to delay or not to delay?
Author: Michelle R Maziwisa
Published: Jul 23, 2021

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), finds itself in a conundrum. On the one hand, the terms of municipal councils are fixed to a five year term according to section 159(1) of the Constitution and section 24(1) of the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, while section 159(2) of the Constitution requires that municipal elections must be held within 90 days from the day when the 5-year term ends.

Stepping aside, But then What? How the ANC's Resolution affects councillors
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published: May 18, 2021

The African National Congress (ANC) is implementing a resolution, which provides that members who face criminal charges for corruption, must ‘step aside’. It means, amongst other things, that these members may no longer represent the ANC on any public body. How does this affect ANC members who represent the party as councillors? And what does it mean for the municipality in which they serve?

What you need to know about the Municipal Demarcation Bill of 2020
Author: Melissa Ziswa
Published: Dec 01, 2020

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs invited members of the public to submit written comments on the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation (Draft) Bill (the Bill) before it is introduced to the National Assembly. The deadline for the submission of comments was the 29th of July 2020. Once adopted into law, the Bill will replace the current Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998 which, among other things, regulates the demarcation of municipal boundaries and provides for the establishment and functions of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB). This article summarises key provisions of the Bill, particularly those which seek to make significant changes to the Municipal Demarcation Act.

MDB Reviews Municipal Boundaries For 2016 Local Elections.
Author: Landiwe Mahlangu
Published:

Following the delimitation in 2009 and 2010 of wards in which successful local elections were held on 18 May 2011, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has commenced a review of municipal boundaries. It envisages finalising this process in 2013, after which wards will be delimited for the 2016 local elections.

A Single Election For All Three Spheres Would Be A Bad Idea.
Author: Derek Powell
Published:

The ANC is debating whether to introduce a single election cycle for all three spheres of government. If this idea goes ahead, it means that in 2014 voters will elect representatives for national, provincial and local governments on the same day. The main arguments for this move are that a single election would reduce the costs of elections, facilitate the deployment of senior politicians to municipalities (which is necessary to boost municipal performance), and improve the alignment of planning and budgeting across the three spheres. None of these arguments has merit. On the contrary, this reform would disrupt municipal governance and service delivery. More importantly, it would reduce local elections to the status of mini-national elections, spelling the end of any prospect of real local democracy in South Africa.

Electing The Last District Councils?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler
Published:

The question waiting to be answered is whether this will be the last election that features districts as a political institution. Of the three local government structures – metropolitan, local and district municipality – only district municipalities’ value in promoting developmental local government is questioned. Many critics suggest that districts do indeed serve a purpose. Others contend strongly that they should be disestablished.

Party Manifestos For The Third Local Government Elections 18 May 2011.
Author: Phindile Ntlizwiyana
Published:

With the local government elections set for 18 May, political parties are preparing their party policies and manifestos in a bid to woo voters. A survey of the party manifestos and statements ahead of the elections reveals five main themes: local economic development; improving access to municipal service delivery; community safety; community participation and involvement; and curbing corruption and strengthening local governance.

Local Elections 2011: The Lay Of The BattleGround.
Author: Derek Powell
Published:

The local elections on 18 May 2011 will be among the most important and interesting elections in South Africa since 1994, as the ANC and the DA join battle for control of the country’s municipalities. Enjoying massive support from the electorate, the ANC has been consistently formidable at election time, but recently has been losing some ground in by elections. Across the country, the party also faces growing pressure from communities demanding better service delivery and accountable government. The growing trend in recent years for public protests to turn violent is worrying.

Post Demarcation Challenges
Author: Dr Michael Sutcliffe
Published:

The municipal elections on 5 December will allow us to begin to set in place a new, democratic, non-racial municipal order.

Toward Transformation
Author: Johan Leibbrand
Published:

On 26 July 2000, Minister Mufamadi established a Special Task Team for the Establishment of Municipalities (STT) to assist provinces in dealing with problem areas pertaining to the establishment process.

SALGA's Election strategy
Author: SALGA
Published:

The SALGA Elections Strategy comprises two main focus areas. Part one of the strategy relates to the Record of Understanding that SALGA entered into with the IEC. Part two represents SALGA specific issues regarding the elections and the period immediately after elections.

Update from the Municipal Demarcation Board
Author: Dr Michael Sutcliffe
Published:

The Board will continue to consider boundary changes but for purposes of the elections the Board is only considering submissions which should clearly be made now.

Electing Representatives to the District Council
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

A district municipality covers the same area as the local municipalities within its district. In other words, a number of local municipalities together make up a district municipality.

The Challenges of Urbanisation: Single Tier Local Government For Urban Areas.
Author: Nico Steytler
Published:

The growing importance of cities not only in South Africa but also around the world is well captured in the 2006 Cities Network Report as follows: "Cities are simultaneously the most productive sites in the national economy as well as areas that accommodate the largest number of poor people, cities are strategically important places for meeting the governments growth and development agenda."

Cross-Boundary Municipalities to Dissapear: New Provincial Borders.
Author: Prof Nico Steytler
Published:

Cross-boundary municipalities are set to disappear on the date of the forthcoming elections local government election. On that date, provincial borders and the current cross boundary municipalities will be incorporated in one or other province. Five provinces are affected by the disappearances of 16 cross border municipalities. In addition, there will be a shift of municipalities between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Who Can Dismiss a Municipal Manager?
Author: Prof Nico Steytler
Published:

The recent controversy surrounding the municipal manager of the Central Karoo District Municipality raised important questions regarding which sphere of government is responsible for the conduct of a municipal manager. Ultimately , who has the power to dismiss a municipal manager?

District Management Areas: Municipal Demarcation Board Changes Policy.
Author: Dr Vuyo Mlokoti
Published:

The Municipal Structures Act of 1998 mandates the Municipal Demarcation Board to declare part of an area that must have both district and local municipalities as a district management area, if the establishment of a category B municipality in that part of the area will not be conducive to fulfilling the objectives of section 24 of the Demarcation Act.

Salga's New Constitution.
Author: Nico Steytler
Published:

At its National Conference in September 2004, Salga adopted a new constitution that makes fundamental changes in how organised local government functions in South Africa.

Salary Increases For Councillors.
Author: Reuben Baatjies
Published:

Councillors may see an increase of 7% in their salaries, benefits and allowances. This was the recommendation to the President by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.

From the Courts: Notifying the IEC of a Floor-Crossing.
Author: Lehlohonolo-Kennedy Mahlatsi
Published:

The Constitution of South Africa Amendment Act 18 of 2002 and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act 20 of 2002 contain provisions designed to allow defection by an elected representative from one political party to another.

From the Courts:
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

Does a Town Clerk have the Authority to Institute Legal Proceedings on Behalf of the Municipality?

The Municipal Council
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

The Municipal Council receives ample attention in the Municipal Structures Act. The Act contains provisions on issues such as the election and removal from office of councillors, and the internal proceedings in, and the dissolution of the council. The Act also contains a Code of Conduct. This third part of our series on the structures Act summarises chapter three of the Act that deals with the municipal council, discusses the Code of Conduct as well as the ward committees and the role of traditional leaders in municipal councils.

From the Courts: Elections for, and Voting in, the Council: Recent decisions.
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

In less than two years time, South African citizens will for the first time elect their municipal councils in a fully democratic manner. At present, local government is in a transitional period and so is the law on elections for, and voting in, the municipal council. Many disputes, relating to this topic, found their way to court. it is important to look at how the courts see this transition and how they resolved thorny issues such as the role of minority parties in executive committees, traditional leaders in the council and the problem of councillors who the municipality money. This article deals with some of the questions on this topic that were raised in court.

Municipal Structures Act: The Birth of a New Generation of Municipalities.
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

The second pillar of new local government has been erected: on 18 December 1998 the President signed signed the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 into law. This Act, which provides for the establishment of a new generation of municipalities, came into operation on 1 February 1999.

Local government elections
Author: Johann Metler
Published:

Recent amendments to the Constitution, read with certain provisions of the Municipal Structures Act, have the effect that the elections for local government, which were due to take place after October 1999, will now take place approximately one year later.

Michael Sutcliffe - Municipal Demarcation Board
Author: Michael Sutcliffe
Published:

Over the past two months the Municipal Demarcation Board has focused on the following: Developing a framework within which the demarcation process would occur before the 2000 elections: Building an institutional base for the board: Finally, developing relationships with stakeholders and role-players. This report briefly outlines key aspects each of these.

Crossing the floor: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has published a proposal to amend Constitutional provisions for municipal elections. The new provisions would, among other things, allow councillors to cross the floor without losing their seats.

Aspirant Metropolitan Municipalities: Prospects, Problems and Requirements
Author: Dr K Smith
Published:

When the Municipal Demarcation Board demarcated the boundaries of municipalities in 1999/2000, it identified some areas in the country as aspirant metropolitan areas. These are areas that are at that point in time substantially complied with s significant number of the prescribed criteria for metropolitan areas, but not to the extent that they could have been declared metropolitan areas.

Municipal Elections: Where PR and Ward Representation Meet.
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

The new electoral system for local government represents a novel and intricate combination of party representation and ward representation. The system is outlined in the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 (MSA) and in the forthcoming Local Government: Municipal Electorate Act.

Cross-Border Municipalities: A Cross to Bear?
Author: Nico Steytler
Published:

Sixteen cross-border municipalities at district, metropolitan and local level, will be established come the municipal elections in November. This is a bold experiment which is not without its political and administrative difficulties.

Section 12 Notices: Preparing Municipal Constitutions.
Author: Nico Steytler
Published:

The establishment of 285 new municipalities is to come into effect on the day the forthcoming elections are held. The six metropolitan municipalities, 47 district municipalities and the 232 local municipalities are to be established in terms of the section 12 notices.

The Role of the IEC in the upcoming Local Government Elections
Author: Michael Hendrickse
Published:

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is an institution established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution and mandated to manage elections at all spheres of government, including local government. The IEC is a permanent body, unlike its predecessor, with its Head Office in Pretoria, 9 provincial offices and Local Electorate Officers at municipal level.

Facilitating the Transition: Section 14 (5) Committees
Author: Nico Steytler
Published:

The formation of interim forums, commissions or committees is one of the key measures MEC's are taking to facilitate the transition to the new dispensation. Such a structure has already been established for the Cape Metropolitan area and transformation forums for the new district municipalities in the Western Cape are to be established this month. Similar processes are under way in other provinces as well.

Getting the Numbers Right: Wards and Councillors
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

The Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, in accordance with section 157 (4) of the Constitution, instructs the Municipal Demarcation Board to delimit all metropolitan municipalities and all local municipalities that should have wards into wards, after consultation with the Electoral Commission.

Municipal Demarcation Board Circular
Author: Michael Sutcliffe
Published:

To: the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Government Departments, MEC's responsible for Local Government, SALGA and Affiliates, all municipalities, magistrates, houses of traditional leaders, IEC, media and demarcation stakeholders.

Provinces vs Structures Act: Demarcartion Board Walks off with the Spoils.
Author: Jaap de Visser
Published:

On 15 October 1999, the Constitutional Court laid down judgments on a range of constitutional challenges to the Structures Act 117 of 1998 that had been brought forward b the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provincial executives. Most of the complaints levelled against the Act had to do with the constitutional scheme of the division of powers between the three spheres of government in relation to local government.

Woman's Role in India's Village Councils
Author: George Mathew
Published:

India was one of the first countries to introduce a mandatory quota system to enhance woman's representation in government. What is unique about the Indian system is that the quota is also applicable to top positions in government, and a third of all mayors in India today are woman. South Africa can learn from India's experience in order to create a more equitable environment for woman.

Securing Woman's Participation in Local Government
Author: Geraldine Mettler
Published:

Local Government is the sphere of government that is regarded as being closest to the people. Municipalities are instrumental in providing basic services to communities. Woman are often the main consumers of these services due to the caregiver role they play and are thus likely to feel the impact of local government the most.

Guidelines For Ward Committees: Strengthening Participatory Governance
Author: Geralidine Mettler
Published:

Following a national conference on ward committees in June 2003, the Department of Provincial and Local Government published its long awaited Draft Guidelinies for the Establishment and Operation of Municipal Ward Committees for comment. The Guidelines aim to streamline the process of establishing ward committees and their internal operations and are a product of comments and suggestions received at the conference.

End of Cross-Boundary Municipalities.
Author: Robert Willemse
Published:

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.

Electing Woman Councillors: 50/50 Representation?
Author: Yonatan Fessha
Published:

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.

Ward Delimitations for the 2005/2006 Local Elections
Author: Robert Willemse
Published:

South Africa is gearing up for the next local elections, which are to be held between December 2005 and March 2006. It is expected that the election date will be announced by the Minister of Provincial and Local Government in the second half of 2005.

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