Transparency in Local Government

Section 32 of the Constitution states that ‘everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state (including Local Government). Public participation can only be meaningful if citizens are able to have access to sufficient information and thereby, are able to hold local government leadership to account.

Two key pieces of legislation enable the public to gain access to all information required:

– The Municipal Systems Act (MSA).

– The Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

The information you are entitled to:

The Municipal Manager is responsible for making records available in each municipality and ensuring the community has access to documents and information. An ‘Information Officer’ is appointed by the Municipal Manager to assist members of the public to access the information required.

The following documents must be available at the council’s offices, at libraries, and on the Internet at all times (i.e.without a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request):

1.The draft and final Integrated Development Plan (IDP);

2.All budget related documents, in particular the draft and final annual budget of the municipality as well as the adjustment budget.

3.Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plan (SDIBP).

4.All By-laws, compiled into a publication called “the Municipal Code”

5.The municipality’s annual report.

6.The quarterly reports tabled in council by the mayor.

7.Notices of council meeting dates and venues.

8.Performance agreements with senior staff.

9.Service Delivery agreements.

10.All contracts with suppliers to the municipalities above the value of R 200 000

11.A register of all bids received for tenders (including the name of the bidder and the cost and BBBEE status if relevant).