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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Chapter 10 - Local Government

174 Establishment and status of local government

(1) Local government shall be established for the residents of areas demarcated by law of a competent authority.

(2) A law referred to in subsection (1) may make provision for categories of metropolitan, urban and rural local governments with differentiated powers, functions and structures according to considerations of demography, economy, physical and environmental conditions and other factors which justify or necessitate such categories.

(3) A local government shall be autonomous and, within the limits prescribed by or under law, shall be entitled to regulate its affairs.

(4) Parliament or a provincial legislature shall not encroach on the powers, functions and structure of a local government to such an extent as to compromise the fundamental status, purpose and character of local government.

(5) Proposed legislation which materially affects the status, powers or functions of local governments or the boundaries of their jurisdictional areas, shall not be introduced in Parliament or a provincial legislature unless it has been published for comment in the Gazette or the Provincial Gazette, as the case may be, and local governments and interested persons, including organised local government, have been given a reasonable opportunity to make written representations in regard thereto.

175 Powers and functions of local government

(1) The powers, functions and structures of local government shall be determined by law of a competent authority.

(2) A local government shall be assigned such powers and functions as may be necessary to provide services for the maintenance and promotion of the well-being of all persons within its area of jurisdiction.

(3) A local government shall, to the extent determined in any applicable law, make provision for access by all persons residing within its area of jurisdiction to water, sanitation, transportation facilities, electricity, primary health services, education, housing and security within a safe and healthy environment, provided that such services and amenities can be rendered in a sustainable manner and are financially and physically practicable.

(4) A local government shall have the power to make by-laws not inconsistent with this Constitution or an Act of Parliament or an applicable provincial law.

(5) A local government shall have such executive powers as to allow it to function effectively.

(6) A local government may, in its discretion, by means of a resolution of its council provide for the assignment of specified functions to local bodies or submunicipal entities within its area of jurisdiction as prescribed and regulated by or under law where, in the opinion of the council, such assignment of functions will facilitate or enhance the provision or administration of services, the adherence to municipal bylaws or, more generally, good governance in the public interest: Provided that such assignment of functions-

176 Council resolutions

Matters before the council of a local government pertaining to-

177 Executive committees

A council of a local government shall elect, according to a system of proportional representation as may be prescribed by a law, from among its members, an executive committee to exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be determined by such council: Provided that-

178 Administration and finance

(1)A local government shall ensure that its administration is based on sound principles of public administration, good government and public accountability so as to render efficient services to the persons within its area of jurisdiction and effective administration of its affairs.

(2) A local government shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by law of a competent legislature after taking into consideration any recommendations of the Financial and Fiscal Commission, be competent to levy and recover such property rates, levies, fees, taxes and tariffs as may be necessary to exercise its powers and perform its functions: Provided that within each local government such rates, levies, fees, taxes and tariffs shall be based on a uniform structure for its area of jurisdiction.

(3) A local government shall be entitled to an equitable allocation by the provincial government of funds, and the Financial and Fiscal Commission shall make recommendations regarding criteria for such allocations, taking into account the different categories of local government referred to in section 174(2).

179 Elections

(1) A local government shall be elected democratically, and such election shall take place in terms of an applicable law and at intervals of not less than three and not more than five years: Provided that the first local government elections after the commencement of this Constitution shall take place on the same day.

(2) The electoral system for a local government shall include both proportional and ward representation and shall be regulated by a law referred to in subsection (1).

(3) Subject to section 6, every natural person shall be entitled to vote in an election of a local government if he or she-

(4) A voter shall not have more than one vote per local government.

(5) No person shall be qualified to become or remain a member of a local government if he or she-

180 Code of conduct

An enforceable code of conduct for members and officials of local governments shall be provided for by law.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.