In April 2011 the City of Ekurhuleni’s Council approved and implemented the separation of powers between its executive and legislative arms of government. This separation of powers was meant to allow for checks and balances to be created in the process of delivering services to the Ekurhuleni community as well as to enable Council to derive the benefits outlined below:
Increased achievement of the statutory objective of Section 38 of the Municipal Structures Act which provides that a municipality must:
- promote a culture of performance management among its political structures, political office bearers and councillors in its administration;
- and administer its affairs in an economical, effective, efficient and accountable manner.
Strengthened role of Council as a legislature and policy maker, enhanced oversight role and
Improved community participation in local government affairs;
Improved and meaningful debate on matters that affect the municipality and are reserved for consideration by the Council;
Strong independent oversight for the effective achievement of the municipal mandate
Clear accountability levels, representation and participation through:
- Clear delineation of powers and functions among the legislature and executive arms,
- Executive accountability for service delivery and development,
- Independent and representative oversight by the legislature.
The separation of powers in Ekurhuleni is implemented by means of a governance framework defining appropriate roles, responsibilities and accountabilities, for political structures and political office bearers as well as for the City Manager and the Municipal Administration.
The different roles and responsibilities in the governance framework are summarised below:
The legislature is responsible for law making, oversight and public participation. These responsibilities include, amongst others:
Developing and adopting policies, plans and strategies; consideration of matters reserved for Council and approval of by-laws;
Monitoring and reviewing the actions of the executive; proactive interaction with the executive and the administration, as well as monitoring of compliance with the constitutional obligations by the executive and the administration;
Ensuring participatory governance by building relationships with communities, involving and empowering communities to enable meaningfulparticipation.
The legislature comprises of Council, the Speaker of Council, The Chief Whip of Council, and two sets of Council Committees, namely Section 79 Portfolio Committees and Standing Committees.
Council must strive to achieve the objectives of local government as depicted in section 152 of the constitution. Council is responsible for the approval of municipal by-laws, the IDP, budget and tariffs. Further, Council, through its various committees, monitors and scrutinizes delivery and outputs as carried out by the Executive. In relation to public participation, Council is tasked with the responsibility of facilitating stakeholder and community participation in the affairs of the municipality through the ward committee system.
Ward councillors play a central role in the communication process between the communities they represent and the municipality, reporting back regularly through ward meetings and assisting the community in identifying needs and priority areas for development which feed into the municipality's planning processes.
Ekurhuleni is made up of 112 wards with 224 councillors, consisting of the 112 directly elected ward councillors and 112 proportional representatives elected through political party lists. Each of the 112 ward councillors chairs a ward committee as part of the Ward Participatory System that brings participation to community levels.
The role of the executive is to execute Council’s mandate by implementing by-laws, policies, strategies and Council’s decisions as well as ensuring that the City operates effectively. The mayor is responsible for exercising the powers, functions and responsibilities delegated by the Council in conjunction with the Mayoral Committee.
The Executive Mayor is at the centre of the system of governance since executive powers are vested in him by the Council to manage the daily affairs of the City. This means that he has overarching strategic and political responsibility. The legislative arm of Council has oversight over the business of the executive. The Executive Mayor has the responsibility of appointing a Leader of Government Business and to sub-delegate powers and responsibilities to the MMCs who are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the heads of departments for which they are responsible. Over and above these responsibilities the Executive Mayor also establishes Mayoral Committee Clusters.