Oversight mechanisms in local government : a case of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This article aims to enhance the understanding of the separation of powers governance framework in local government. The key objective of this article is to highlight how the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality established legislative mechanisms to foster greater oversight and separation of powers within their governance structures. It demonstrates that the relevance of the available mechanisms in current legislation can lead to the practical separation of executive and legislative powers as well as sound oversight within the municipality. The article acknowledges the conflation of executive and legislative functions in the municipal council as stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 section 151(2) which resulted in a lack of clarity of the roles of office bearers including an oversight deficiency. The exploration establishes that the use of mechanisms stipulated by the current legislation can enhance accountability and oversight to ensure checks and balances in the municipality. The article illustrates the importance of the section 79 committees as an oversight mechanism (established in respect of Section 43 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 of the municipal council in relation to the separation of powers governance framework. The separation of powers governance model was utilised to obviate the concentration of abundant supremacy of the executive.