Municipalities of South Africa


Municipalities of South Africa
South Africa

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Municipalities in South Africa are a division of local government that lie one level down from provincial government, forming the lowest level of democratically elected government structures in the country. The foundation for this layer of government is set out in Chapter 7 of the Constitution of South Africa. Various Acts of Parliament have further defined these municipal structures since the inception of the current constitution. There are 279 municipalities in South Africa[1].

Contents

Categories

Municipalities can belong to one of three categories: metropolitan, district and local (referred to in the constitution as categories A, B and C).

Metropolitan municipalities

Metropolitan (or category A) municipalities represent large densely urbanised regions that encompass multiple cities and so constitute a metropolis.

For example, the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality encompasses the city of Durban and surrounding towns.

The Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is actually covered by three municipalities: the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, and the West Rand District Municipality.

There are eight metropolitan municipalities in South Africa, with the most recently-created concurrently with the 2011 municipal election being the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality surrounding the metropolitan area of Bloemfontein and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality around East London.

District and local municipalities

In areas which are primarily rural, the local government is divided into district municipalities and local municipalities.

District (or category C) municipalities are the main divisions of South Africa's provinces; they are subdivided into local (or category B) municipalities. Local municipalities share authority with the district municipality under which they fall.

For example, the Msunduzi Local Municipality is contained within the District Municipality of uMgungundlovu, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Layering

District

Metropolitan and district municipalities form the layer of government directly below provinces. Eight metropolitan municipalities and 46 district municipalities cover the entirety of South Africa.

Local

Local municipalities represent a subdivision of the district municipalities, and form the third layer of government. Metropolitan municipalities have no such official subdivisions, but in one case, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, custom subdivisions have been established, known as administrative regions.

Electoral wards

The final layer of subdivision of electoral regions in South Africa are electoral wards. Local and metropolitan municipalities are subdivided into electoral wards.

Legislation

Apart from Chapter 7 of the South African Constitution, the South African Parliament has passed several pieces of legislation to deal specifically with local government in South Africa.

Name changes

The South African Geographical Names Council is a statutory body that deals specifically with changing names of places in South Africa, including municipalities.

Reference List

See also

External links


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