Categories of municipalities
The Constitution provides for three categories of
As directed by the Constitution, the Local
Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998) [PDF] contains criteria for determining when an area
must have a category-A municipality (metropolitan
municipalities) and when municipalities
fall into categories B (local municipalities) or C
The Act also determines that category-A
municipalities can only be established in metropolitan
Metropolitan councils have single metropolitan
budgets, common property ratings and service-tariff
systems, and single employer bodies.
South Africa has eight metropolitan municipalities,
Metropolitan councils may decentralise powers
and functions. However, all original municipal,
legislative and executive powers are vested in
the metropolitan council.
In metropolitan areas, there is a choice of
two types of executive system: the mayoral
executive system where executive authority
is vested in the mayor, and the collective
executive committee system where these powers
are vested in the executive committee.
Non-metropolitan areas consist of district
councils and local councils.
District councils are primarily responsible for
capacity-building and district-wide planning.
The Local Government: Municipal Structures
Act, 1998 provides for ward committees whose
tasks, among other things, are to:
- prepare, implement and review integrated development plans
- establish, implement and review municipalities’
- monitor and review municipalities’ performances
- prepare municipalities’ budgets
- participate in decisions about the provision of
- communicate and disseminate information on
Municipal Demarcation Board
The board is a constitutional institution established
by the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation
Act, 1998 (Act 27 of 1998) [PDF].
The board's main function is to determine
municipal boundaries in accordance with the Act
and other related legislation, and to advise on
In addition, the board is tasked with delimiting
wards into metropolitan and local municipalities.
Source: South Africa Yearbook 2011/12
Editor: D Burger. Government Communication and Information System
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