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Ramaphosa signs new municipal law for South Africa

With the passage and signing of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has made it illegal for municipal employees and top managers to run for political office.

The measure makes it illegal for any municipal official to hold a political office and gives the Municipal Election Commission (MEC) the authority to take any necessary action to ensure compliance with the ban, including the use of declaratory orders on the legality of appointments.


The new legislation supersede the 2011 Amendment Act, which prohibited municipal managers and their subordinates from holding political office.

The legislation is part of a larger initiative to clean up local government appointments and professionalize public services in South Africa.

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, has recently drafted legislation to professionalize local government administration by setting universal norms and standards and providing minimum qualification and competency criteria.


The most recent rule stipulates that upper-level managers must have a bachelor's degree, at least five years of management experience, and particular essential leadership skills like problem-solving.

The council members' participation in the selection and recruitment processes was prohibited by the regulations, which also define their roles and responsibilities. The minister added that MISA also collaborated with local governments and sent experts to assist with infrastructure needs.

Specialists in energy, solid waste, water, sanitation, roads, and transportation all work for and give on-the-job training and support to municipal workers.

Together, these provisions and the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment law will make it less likely that municipal managers, senior managers, and staff people are concurrently holding political roles and being deployed in service of political purposes.


A staff person is not allowed to serve in a permanent, temporary, or acting role in a political party, as stated by the legislation.

Political office is defined as the post of national or provincial/regional/other type of political party chairperson, deputy chairperson, secretary, or treasurer.

In addition, the legislation is complementary to the Local Government Municipal Structures Amendment Act, which entered into force on November 1st, 2021. By mandating a certain number of council members and instituting a new code of behavior, these statutes improve the management of South African towns.

Amendment Act Cyril Ramaphosa Municipal Systems Amendment Bill Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma South Africa

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