Chapter 7

Local Government

This chapter describes the status, powers, functions and composition of local government/municipalities. It explains the makeup of local government, its powers and functions. Local governments make decisions and laws for their municipal areas. Municipal councils carry out the executive and legislative functions of local government.

Municipal councils are elected every 5 years in local elections. In order to vote in municipal elections, one must actually live in the area covered by the local government or own property in the area, and they must be registered as a voter in the relevant area. Local governments are empowered by this chapter to make by-laws, but these must not go against the Constitution or any act of Parliament or any provincial ordinance.

Local governments have the right to administer the local government matters listed in Part B of Schedule 4 to the Constitution, such as air pollution and firefighting services; and Part B of Schedule 5 of the Constitution, such as street trading and street lighting, and any other matters referred to them by national or provincial laws.

Once again emphasis is given to the need for both national and provincial government to support the ability of municipalities to manage their affairs.


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994