Structural measures and competencies for effective performance of the Municipal oversight committees

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Municipal oversight committees are trajectories for effective performance of the contemporary municipalities. This research evaluates structural measures and competencies critical for effective performance of the municipal oversight committees. A conceptual analysis as a qualitative research technique was used to critically analyse theories on the predictors for effective performance of the municipal oversight committees. Theoretical findings were triangulated with the findings of the studies conducted on the effectiveness of the municipal oversight committees in South Africa. Findings indicated the effectiveness of municipal oversight committees is determined by the extent to which the existing relevant legislations and policies create structures and working relationships that permit greater level of accountability, participation and transparency. However, practices in most of the municipalities signify effective accountability, participation and transparency are undermined by the exclusionary interpretation of section 20 (3) of the Municipal Systems Act by the municipal executive mayoral committees. Such exclusionary interpretations cause the exclusion of the municipal councils and Section 79 committees from certain meetings and information. Since councilors are directly elected from the larger society irrespective of the level of education and expertise, the other challenges were also found to be latent in the skills and competencies of councilors to effectively accomplish technically complex activities of the municipal oversight committees. The study concludes with the postulation of a grid of critical structural measures and competencies that can be suggested for improving the performance of councilors and municipal oversight committees.