Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000)

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To provide for the core principles, mechanisms and processes that are necessary to enable municipalities to move progressively towards the social and economic upliftment of local communities, and ensure universal access to essential services that are affordable to all; to define the legal nature of a municipality as including the local community within the municipal area, working in partnership with the municipality’s political and administrative structures; to provide for the manner in which municipal powers and functions are exercised and performed; to provide for community participation; to establish a simple and enabling framework for the core processes of planning, performance management, resource mobilisation and organisational change which underpin the notion of developmental local government; to provide a framework for local public administration and human resource development; to empower the poor and ensure that municipalities put in place service tariffs and credit control policies that take their needs into account by providing a framework for the provision of services, service delivery agreements and municipal service districts; to provide for credit control and debt collection; to establish a framework for support, monitoring and standard setting by other spheres of government in order to progressively build local government into an efficient, frontline development agency capable of integrating the activities of all spheres of government for the overall social and economic upliftment of communities in harmony with their local natural environment; to provide for legal matters pertaining to local government; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.


No. 1187

20 November 2000


(English text signed by the Acting President.)

(Assented 1014 November 2000.)





Whereas the system of local government under apartheid failed dismally to meet the basic needs of the majority of South Africans;


Whereas the Constitution of our non-racial democracy enjoins local government not just to seek to provide services to all our people but to be fundamentally developmental in orientation;


Whereas there is a need to set out the core principles, mechanisms and processes that give meaning to developmental local government and to empower municipalities to move progressively towards the social and economic upliftment of communities and the provision of basic services to all our people, and specifically the poor and the disadvantaged;


Whereas a fundamental aspect of the new local government system is the active engagement of communities in the affairs of municipalities of which they are an integral part, and in particular in planning, service delivery and performance management;


Whereas the new system of local government requires an efficient, effective and transparent local public administration that conforms to constitutional principles;


Whereas there is a need to ensure financially and economically viable municipalities;


Whereas there is a need to create a more harmonious relationship between municipal councils, municipal administrations and the local communities through the acknowledgement of reciprocal rights and duties;

Whereas there is a need to develop a strong system of local government capable of exercising the functions and powers assigned to it; and


Whereas this Act is an integral part of a suite of legislation that gives effect to the new system of local government;