What are the functions, and the roles and responsibilities of a municipal council?
Functions and objectives of a municipal council
The primary role of the municipal council is that of political oversight of the municipality’s functions, programmes and the management of the administration. All of the powers of local government are vested in the municipal council. It has the power to make by-laws (legislative authority) and the powers to put those laws into effect (executive authority).
The municipal council has executive and legislative authority over the matters set out in Part B of schedule 4 and Schedule 5 of the Constitution. The municipality may also administer any other matter assigned to it by national or provincial legislation.
In administering the matters assigned to local government, the municipal council must strive within its capacity to achieve the Constitutional objects of local government.
Roles and responsibilities within local government
These constitutional objects are:
- to provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;
- to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner;
- to promote social and economic development
- to promote a safe and healthy environment; and
- to encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.
The Constitution also assigns developmental duties to municipalities. Section 153 provides that a municipality must:
- structure and manage its administration and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the community; and
- participate in national and provincial development programmes