How can i comment? 

The Community Action Network (CAN) has compiled a submission to what has been dubbed “Coalition Bill” that, if passed, could fundamentally change the manner in how municipalities are governed.

And CAN is making its submission available to you so that you can adopt it as your own in a bid to boost community activism and public participation.

Support our submission Read our submission

What is the bill focusing on?    

The Municipal Structures Amendment Bill is out for public comment been extended until July 31, 2024. The original deadline was July 5

Key matters raised by the amendment include:

  • Minimum vote threshold: The bill introduces a minimum 1% vote threshold for  parties to secure council seats, intended to reduce fragmentation and promote stable governance.
  • Secret ballot removal: The amendment proposes replacing secret ballots with votes by show of hands for electing and removing municipal office-bearers, aiming to increase transparency but raising concerns about potential coercion and loss of voting independence.
  • Coalition agreements: The bill mandates written coalition agreements in municipalities without an outright majority, aiming to prevent manipulation by smaller parties and ensure clearer, more stable governance structures.
  • Office-bearer stability: It limits the frequency of no-confidence votes and introduces a two-year “cooling off period” to reduce instability caused by frequent changes in leadership.

 

Support our submission Read our submission

Why must I be concerned? 

The bill claims the changes will enhance clarity, transparency, stability, accountability, and conflict resolution in governance.

However CAN, an initiative of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), has read through the amendments and has identified several primary challenges namely:

  1. Political overreach into local government affairs from a ministerial level in national government.
  2. Politcal overeach into local government affairs from a ministerial level in provincial government.
  3. Excessive restrictions on the right to bring forward motions of no confidence against office bearers such as the mayor, deputy mayor or speaker.
  4. Removal of the secret ballot option as a voting mechanism.
Support our submission Read our submission