Mayor and Councillors
OVERVIEW OF THE COUNCIL
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A COUNCILOR?
Councilors have an important oversight and policy setting role, and a wide range of responsibilities that include community leadership, representing citizens, and making decisions about the provision of services for the betterment of communities. Collectively, councilors are responsible for decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of individuals, organizations and businesses. All municipal councils have the same responsibility over the governmental affairs of its community. In its oversight role, the municipal council takes responsibility for the financial affairs of the municipality. The residents and ratepayers of a municipality elect the municipal council to decide on their behalf, on the overall direction and policies for the municipality. The municipal council is regarded as a corporate body or legal entity, which can acquire rights and incur liabilities in a legal sense.
Individual councilors have no authority to make decisions or act on behalf of the council unless the council has made a specific delegation. The municipal council must elect its speaker, and our speaker is Cllr M.J. Ralefatane as well as an executive committee subject to national legislation. (See Mayoral Committee section for the names). A majority of the members of a municipal council must be present before a vote may be taken on any matter. Matters include:
- Passing by-laws
- Approving budgets
- Approving policies imposing rates and other taxes, levies and duties, and
- Approving loans
The Executive Mayor, the Municipal Manager and Senior Managers reporting directly to the Municipal Manager are also appointed by the municipal council. The organizational structure of a municipality is a policy decision made by councilors. Councilors must work through the municipal manager in all matters involving both service delivery and municipal employees.