A professional and well-capacitated local government bureaucracy is essential for the delivery of efficient and effective public goods and services to local communities. The recruitment and appointment of municipal administration is legislatively governed by the National Treasury Minimum Competency Regulations (2007), Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (2000); the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act (2003). However, in 2009, the ‘State of Local Government’ report produced by COGTA identified political interference in the appointment of senior managers as a key contributing factor to the lack of efficiency and to corruption affecting municipalities. As a way of addressing these hurdles, parliament adopted the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Act (Act No 7 of 2011), which sought to professionalise local government by reinforcing legislative compliance in the appointment of skilled, competent and qualified senior managers. We are aware that the Municipal Systems Amendment Act (2011) was declared unconstitutional and invalid after SAMWU challenged the amendment act on both procedural and substantive grounds, the latter focusing on section 56a which prevents senior managers from holding political office and which, according to SAMWU, infringes on their constitutional rights to make political choices. The amendment act has been brought back to the Cooperative Governance Portfolio Committee for further correction.
- What implications does the unconstitutionality of the municipal systems amendment bill have on the agenda of professionalising and depoliticising local govt administration?
- How can the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill be further strengthened to ensure transparency and compliance with minimum competency regulations in the appointment of competent and qualified municipal senior managers?
facilitated by Dr Thina Nzo, Senior Researcher, PARI
Mr Tebogo Motlashuping, Chief Director: Human Resources Management Systems, COGTA
Ms Thembisile Nkadimeng, Chairperson, SALGA
Mr Koena Ramotlou, General Secretary, SAMWU
Mr Ryan Brunette, Research Associate, PARI