Insulating administrative decision-making relating to individual staff appointments from political meddling: Manana v King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality

06 Mar 2013

Introduction: The Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 (hereafter 'the Municipal Systems Act') provides that the municipal manager is responsible for the appointment of staff, other than managers that report directly to the municipal manager (the so-called section 56 managers), in a municipality (s 55(1)(e) of the Municipal Systems Act). This is significant given that the municipal manager is the head of the municipal administration and also the accounting officer for the municipality (s 82(1)(a) of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 (hereafter 'the Municipal Structures Act'), s 55(1) and (2) of the Municipal Systems Act and s 60 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 (hereafter 'the MFMA')). Political interference in the recruitment and appointment processes undermines this framework and has been cited as one of the reasons for the dysfunction at local government (Department of Co-operative Governance State of Local Government Report (2009) 67).