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Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003)


Municipal Cost Containment Regulations, 2019

12. Conferences, meetings and study tours


(1) An accounting officer must establish policies and procedures to manage applications to attend conferences or events hosted by professional bodies or non-governmental institutions held within and outside the borders of South Africa taking into account their merits and benefits, costs and available alternatives.


(2) When considering applications from officials or political office bearers to attend conferences or events within and outside the borders of South Africa, an accounting officer or mayor as the case may be, must take the following into account—
(a) the official's or political office bearer's role and responsibilities and the anticipated benefits of the conference or event;
(b) whether the conference or event addresses relevant concerns of the institution;
(c) the appropriate number of officials or political office bearers, not exceeding three, attending the conference or event; and
(d) the availability of funds to meet expenses related to the conference or event.


(3) An accounting officer may consider appropriate benchmark costs with other professional bodies or regulatory bodies prior to granting approval for an official to attend a conference or event within and outside the borders of South Africa.


(4) The benchmark costs referred to in sub-regulation (3) may not exceed an amount as determined from time to time by the National Treasury through a notice.


(5) The amount referred to in subregulation (4) excludes costs related to travel, accommodation and related expenses, but includes—
(a) conference or event registration expenses; and
(b) any other expense incurred in relation to the conference or event.


(6) When considering costs for conferences or events these may not include items such as laptops, tablets and other similar tokens that are built into the price of such conferences or events.


(7) The accounting officer of a municipality or municipal entity must ensure that meetings and planning sessions that entail the use of municipal funds are, as far as may be practically possible, held in-house.


(8) Municipal or provincial office facilities must be utilised for conference, meetings, strategic planning sessions, inter alia, where an appropriate venue exists within the municipal jurisdiction.


(9) An accounting officer must grant the approval for officials and in the case of political office bearers and the accounting officer, the mayor, as contemplated in sub-regulation (2).


(10) A municipality or municipal entity must, where applicable, take advantage of early registration discounts by granting the required approvals to attend the conference, event or study tour, in advance.