Municipal Structures Amendment Act to take effect in local government

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act will take effect on November 1, 2021.

The Act, which President Ramaphosa first agreed to in June, intends to improve governance in South Africa’s municipalities. This will be achieved in various ways, such as a minimum number of councillors will be required and the implementation of a specialised code of conduct.

Members of the council who breach the code of conduct shall be disqualified from serving for two years. The code of conduct will require councillors to attend a specific number of meetings and to refuse any gifts or favours, among other things.

Additionally, councillors will be required to declare any special interests within 60 days of their election.

  • Any company’s stock and securities
  • Belonging to any close corporation
  • A share in a trust
  • Directorships; Partnerships
  • Any other financial interests in a business endeavour
  • Work and remuneration
  • Property interest
  • Pension

Furthermore, a full-time councillor may not accept any other paid work without the authorisation of the local council. Such consent shall not be refused arbitrarily.

A councillor may not use, take, acquire, or benefit from any property or asset that the municipality owns, controls, or manages over which they have no legal jurisdiction.

The following substantial modifications are also made as a result of the Act:

  • Provide for a two-year suspension of a councillor found guilty of violating the code of conduct for councillors
  • Provide for the speaker’s additional powers
  • Create a municipal council whip
  • Define the criteria for forming an executive committee.

Moreover, traditional leaders are covered by Section 30 of the Act, coming into effect later on.

To read the complete Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act, click here.

What are your thoughts on the Amendment Act, which will take effect in the coming weeks? Comment below with your thoughts.

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