CHAPTER 281
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF COUNCILS

   3.   Establishment of Councils and Management Boards

   4.   Cities

   5.   Changes Affecting Districts

PART III
CONSTITUTION OF COUNCILS

   6.   Incorporation of councils

   7.   Corporate name of council

   8.   Seal

   9.   Composition of council

   10.   Repealed

   11.   Disqualification of Councilors

   12.   Election of Councilors

   13.   Tenure of office of Councilors

   14.   Vacation of office by Councilor

   15.   Filling of casual vacancy

   16.   Election of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman and Vice-Chairman

   17.   Tenure of office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman and Vice-Chairman

   18.   Vacation of office

   19.   Filling of Casual vacancies of Mayor or Chairman during vacancy absence

   20.   Discharge of functions of Mayor or Chairman during vacancy or absence

   21.   Validity of discharge of functions

PART IV
PROCEEDINGS OF COUNCILS

   22.   Ordinary and special meetings

   23.   Notice of meetings

   24.   Quorum

   25.   Presiding in council

   26.   Voting in council

   27.   Disability for voting on account of interest in contracts

   28.   Adjournment of meetings

   29.   Admission of public to meetings

   30.   Minutes

PART V
COMMITTEES

   31.   Standing and occasional committees

   32.   Membership of committees

   33.   Proceedings of committees

   34.   Minutes

   35.   Delegation of functions of council to committees

   36.   Reports by committees

   37.   Sub-committees

PART VI
FINANCE

   38.   Financial year

   39.   Estimates of revenues and expenditure

   40.   General and special funds

   41.   Arrangements for handling receipts and payments

   42.   Banking accounts

   43.   Accounts

   44.   Investment

   45.   Government grants and loans

   45A.   Establishment of Local Government Equalisation Fund

   46.   Financial regulations

   47.   Authority to borrow and modes of borrowing

   48.   Foreign borrowing prohibited

   49.   Security for borrowing and priorities of securities

   50.   Suspension of repayment of sums borrowed

   51.   Lenders relieved from certain inquiries.

   52.   Appointment and remuneration of auditor

   53.   Functions of auditor

   54.   Production of documents and taking of evidence

   55.   Deposit of accounts and representation thereon

   56.   Report of auditor

   57.   Powers of disallowances and surcharges

   58.   Appeals against disallowances and surcharges

   59.   Payment and recovery of surcharges

   60.   Inspections and extraordinary audits

PART VII
FUNCTIONS

   61.   Power to discharge scheduled functions

   62.   General provision with respect to discharge of functions

   63.   Contracts

   64.   Standing orders

   65.   Acquisition of land

   66.   Acceptance of gifts of property

   67.   Disposal of property

   67A.   Restriction on execution against property of council

   68.   Grants and loans by councils

   69.   Imposition of levies

   70.   Imposition of other fees and charges

   71.   Power to pay certain fees, allowances and expenses

   72.   Pensions and gratuities for officers, employees and dependants

   73.   Aldermen

   74.   Freemen

   75.   Power of Minister to confer additional functions on councils

PART VIII
BY-LAWS AND REGULATIONS

   76.   Power to make by-laws

   77.   Language of by-laws

   78.   Conferring of powers on officers and agents of council

   79.   Penalties

   80.   By-laws not to conflict with other written laws

   81.   Notice of by-laws and objection thereto

   82.   Confirmation of by-laws

   83.   Power of Minister to amend or revoke by-laws

   84.   Power to make regulations

   85.   Application of regulations

   86.   Regulations to prevail over by-laws or standing orders

   87.   References in other written laws

PART IX
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATOR

   88.   Appointment of Local Government Administrator and discharge by him of functions of council

   89.   Revocation of appointment Order

PART X
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICE COMMISSION

   90.   Establishment of Local Government Service Commission

   91.   Functions of Commission

   92.   Tenure of office and vacancy

   93.   Commission to appoint staff of council

   94.   Transfer of staff of council

   95.   Secondment of officer, etc. to another council

   96.   Existing officers and other staff of councils

   97.   Secretariat of Commission

   98.   Directions by President and Minister

   99.   Proceedings of Commission

   100.   Committees

   101.   Emoluments and allowances

   102.   Disclosure of interest

   103.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unathorised persons

   104.   Immunity of members of Commission

   105.   Regulations

   106.   Fiat of Director of Public Prosecutions

PART XI
FIRE SERVICE

   107.   Fire Services

PART XII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

   108.   Authentication of documents and execution of deeds

   109.   Inspection of documents

   110.   Public notice

   111.   Service of documents

   112.   Legal proceedings

   113.   Evidence

   114.   Penalties for obstruction

   115.   Powers of arrest

   116.   Protection for officers and employees of council acting in good faith

   117.   Validity of discharge of functions by officers and employees of council

   118.   Provincial and District Local Government Officers

   119.   Powers of Minister to approve or determine matters

   120.   Inquiries

PART XIII
REPEAL, SAVINGS AND TRANSITIONAL

   121.   Repeal and Transitional provisions

   122.   Savings

   123.   Savings and transitional provisions consequent on the enactment of Act 30 of 1995

      FIRTST SCHEDULE

      SECOND SCHEDULE

      THIRD SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for an integrated three tier local administration system; to define the functions of local authorities; to repeal the Local Administration Act and certain related laws; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[6th September, 1991]

Act 22 of 1991,

Act 19 of 1992,

Act 30 of 1993,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 22 of 1995,

Act 30 of 1995,

Act 9 of 2004,

Act 6 of 2010,

Act 12 of 2014.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Local Government Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contest otherwise requires—

“area”, in relation to a council, means the District for which the council has been established under this Act;

“Board” means a Provincial Local Government Appeals Board established under section 93.

“building” includes any structure, whether of a permanent or temporary nature, and a part of a building or structure;

“city” means a District for which a city is established under this Act;

“City Council” means a City Council established under this Act;

“committee” means a committee of a council;

“Commission” means the Local Government Service Commission established under section 90;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 6 of 2010.]

“control” includes, regulate, inspect, supervise and license;

“council” means a City Council, Municipal Council, or District Council;

“Councilor” means a person elected under the Local Government Elections Act as a Councilor;

“District Council” means a District Council established under this Act;

“District” means a District declared under the Provincial and District Boundaries Act;

“employee” in relation to a council, means a person employed by a local authority other than an officer;

“erection” in relation to a building, includes the alteration or enlargement of a building;

“establish” when used relating to the functions of a council, includes acquire, erect, build, construct, name, hire, equip and furnish;

“financial regulations” means regulations made under section 46 of this Act;

"Fund" means the Local Government Equalisation Fund established under section 45A;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 12 of 2014.]

"income tax" means all taxes payable on the income of persons in the Republic pursuant to the Income Tax Act;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 12 of 2014.]

“land” shall have the meaning assigned thereto by the Land Act;

“levy” means a levy imposed under this Act;

“maintain,” when used in relation to the functions of a council, includes carry on, manage, operate and keep in repair;

“member” means a member of the Board;

“Municipal Council” means a Municipal Council established under this Act;

“municipality” means a District for which a Municipal Council is established under this Act;

“officer”, in relation to a council, means a person employed in the permanent establishment of a council, and includes a person appointed on probation in such establishment;

“Principal Officer” means of the Chief Executive Officer of a council and includes any person for the time being discharging the functions of the Chief Executive Officer;

“private street” means any street other than a public street;

“property” includes all property, movable and immovable, and all estates, interest, easements and rights whether equitable or legal;

“the public”, when used in relation to meetings of a council or committee, includes representatives of the Press;

“public street” means—

      (a)   any street entered in a register of streets and roads compiled and maintained by a council; and

      (b)   any street which is taken over by a council and designated as a public street;

“Secretary” means the Secretary of a Board holding office in accordance with section 96;

“street” includes any bridge, road, avenue, lane, sanitary lane, footway or causeway and any pavement of foot walk forming part thereof;

“transfer and vesting order” means a statutory order made under section 5 or section 120;

“treasurer”, in relation to any council for which no treasurer has been appointed, means the Principal Officer of the council;

“water-course” includes a canal and a canoe channel;

“water main” includes conduits, pipelines, valves, valve chambers, meters, meter-houses, break-pressure tanks, scour chambers, scour pipes, culverts, cuts, bridges, tunnels and all other things necessary in connection with any water main;

“waterworks” includes streams, springs, weirs, boreholes, dams, pumping stations, reservoirs, tanks, sluices, machinery, buildings, lands and all other works and things necessary for taking, impounding, discharging, storing, treating and filtering water.

[S 2 am by Act 19 of 1992; 30 of 1995.]

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF COUNCILS

3.   Establishment of Councils and Management Boards

For the purposes of Local Government, the Minister may, by statutory order, establish for any District, a City Council, Municipal Council, District Council, Township Council or management board as the case may be, and the name of the council or management board shall include the name of the District:

Provided that a Township Council or management board shall be established under this section only on the recommendation of the appropriate City Council, Municipal Council or District Council.

[S 3 am by Act 19 of 1992.]

4.   Cities

   (1) The President, may by statutory proclamation, confer on any Municipal Council established therefor the status respectively of a city and a City Council and shall determine the name by which such city and City Council shall be known.

   (2) On and after the date on which a proclamation under this section has effect, any reference in any written law, contract or other instrument or document to the name of the municipality or Municipal Council to which the proclamation relates shall be constructed as a reference to the name of the city or City Council, as the case may be, as determined by the proclamation.

5.   Changes affecting Districts

   (1) Whenever as a consequence of any statutory order made by the President under the Provincial and District Boundaries Act—

      (a)   a new District is established;

      (b)   the area of any District is altered;

      (c)   a District ceases to exist;

the Minister may, by statutory order (in this Act referred to as a transfer and vesting order), make any such provisions as may be in accordance with the First Schedule for such changes as are necessary or appropriate as regards the constitution, property, rights, obligation and staff of, and any other matter relating to, any council affected by a change in its area, any new council or any council established for a District which ceases to exist.

   (2) Where a District ceases to exist, a transfer and vesting order made in respect of the council established for that District shall include provision for the disestablishment of the council.

   (3) Where the name of any District is changed, the name of the council established for that District shall be changed to conform with that of the District.

PART III
COUNSTITUTION OF COUNCILS

6.   Incorporation of councils

Every council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name, and with power, subject to the provisions of this Act and of any other written law, to do all such other acts and things as a body corporate may do by law and as are necessary for, or incidental to, the carrying out of its functions and powers as set out in this Act.

7.   Corporate name of council

   (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 4, the corporate name of a council shall be such name as may be assigned thereto in the statutory order establishing the council.

   (2) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) by statutory order and after consultation with the council, alter the corporate name of a council.

8.   Seal

   (1) The common seal of a council shall be such device as may be prescribed by the Minister by statutory order after consultation with the council.

   (2) A council may use such rubber stamp in lieu of a common seal as the Minister may approve until such time as a common seal can be procured.

9.   Composition of council

   (1) A council shall consist of—

      (a)   the members of Parliament in the district;

      (b)   two representatives of the Chiefs, appointed by all the Chiefs in the district; and

      (c)   all the elected Councilors in the district.

   (2) After consultation with a council, the Minister may, by statutory order, alter the number of Councilors of which the council consists.

[S 9 am by Act 19 of 1992; 30 of 1995.]

10.   …

[S 10 rep by Act 30 of 1995.]

11.   Disqualification of Councilor

No person shall be qualified for election as a Councilor who is disqualified from election to a council under the Local Government Elections Act.

12.   Election of Councilors

   (1) The Councilors of a council who are required to be elected shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Elections Act.

   (2) A representative of the Chief shall be appointed to hold office under paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of section 9 in such manner, and for such term, not exceeding three years, as the chiefs in the district shall determine.

[S 12 am by Act 30 of 1995.]

13.   Tenure of office of Councilors

Subject to sections 14 and 15, the Councilors of a council shall hold office for the duration of the period prescribed under the Local Government Elections Act.

14.   Vacation of office by Councilor

   (1) The office of a Councilor shall become vacant—

      (a)   if the holder of the office dies or resigns from his office by notice in writing addressed to the council; or

      (b)   if the circumstances arise that, if the holder of the office were not a Councilor would disqualify him for election as such; or

      (c)   if the holder of the office accepts any remuneration for or on account of anything done as a Councilor, other than a fee or allowance authorised by or under this Act; or

      (d)   if, having been elected to office as the endorsed candidate of a political party, the holder of the office ceases to be a member of that party; or

      (e)   if the holder of the office—

      (i)   being a member of a political party joins a political party other than the one of which he was an authorised candidate when he was elected;

      (ii)   resigns from a political party to become an independent; or

      (iii)   being an independent, joins a political party;

      (f)   if the holder of the office is, without leave given at any meeting by resolution of the council of which he is a Councilor absents himself from three consecutive ordinary meetings of the council.

   (2) The resignation of any Councilor from his office shall take effect when the notice signifying the resignation is received by the Principal Officer of the council.

   (3) Every vacancy occurring in accordance with the preceding provisions of this section shall be a casual vacancy in the membership of a council and the Principal Officer of the council shall give public notice thereof.

   (4) When a member of Parliament in the district ceases to be a member of Parliament, his office as a Councilor shall be vacant until the corresponding vacancy in the National Assembly is filled.

[S 14 am by Act 30 of 1993; 30 of 1995.]

15.   Filling of casual vacancies

   (1) A casual vacancy occurring in the membership of a council shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Elections Act.

   (2) A Councilor elected to fill a casual vacancy in the membership of a council shall subject to the provisions of the sub-section (1) of section 14 hold office until the expiration of the period during which the Councilor whose place he fills would, but for his office becoming vacant, have continued in office.

16.   Election of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman and Vice-Chairman

   (1) There shall be—

      (a)   for every city or Municipal Council, a Mayor and a Deputy Mayor;

      (b)   for every township or District Council, a Chairman and Vice-Chairman; who shall be elected by the council from among persons who are Councilors:

Provided that a Councilor who is a member of Parliament or a chief shall not be eligible for the office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the council.

[S 16 am by Act 19 of 1992, 30 of 1995.]

   (2) The Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of a council shall be elected—

      (a)   when the council first sits after an ordinary election; and

      (b)   subject to the provisions of this Act, at the first ordinary meeting of the council held immediately after the expiry of the term of office of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson elected under paragraph (a).

[S 16(2) subs by s 3 of Act 6 of 2010.]

   (3) A person shall hold office as a Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the council for only one term.

[S 16(3) subs by s 3 of Act 6 of 2010.]

   (4) Where a person has held office once as Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of a council, the person may be elected to that office again after five years from the date on which the person last held the office.

[S 16(4) ins by s 3 of Act 6 of 2010.]

   (5) On the commencement of this Act, a person holding office as a Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of a council shall continue to hold such office until the end of the term of that office.

[S 16(5) ins by s 3 of Act 6 of 2010.]

17.   Tenure of office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman and Vice-Chairman

   (1) A Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of a council shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, hold office for a period of two and a half years from the date of election.

   (2) A person elected as Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of a council in the first election after the commencement of this Act shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, hold office up to the date of the announcement of the next ordinary election.

[S 17 subs by s 4 of Act 6 of 2010.]

18.   Vacation of office

   (1) The office of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a council shall become vacant—

      (a)   if the holder of the office dies, resigns from his office by notice in writing addressed to the Principal Officer of the council; or

      (b)   if the holder of the office ceases to be a Councilor; or

      (c)   if the holder of the office is removed from office by a resolution of the council supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Councilors of which the council consists; or

      (d)   if the holder of the office is, without the leave of the council, continuously absent from the area of the council for a period of more than two months; or

      (e)   in the case of the office of Deputy Mayor or Vice-Chairman, if the holder of the office is elected to the office of Mayor or Chairman, as the case may be.

   (2) The resignation of any person from the office of Mayor, deputy, Mayor Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a council shall take effect when the notice signifying the resignation is received by the Principal Officer of the council.

   (3) Every vacancy occuring in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be a casual vacancy in the office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman, as the case may be of a council and the Principal Officer of the council shall give notice thereof to the council.

19.   Filling of casual vacancies of Mayor or Chairman during vacancy or absence

   (1) On a causal vacancy occurring in the office of a Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a council, a successor shall be elected to fill the vacancy not later than the next ordinary meeting of the council held after the date on which the vacancy, or, if that meeting is held within seven days after that date, then not later than the next following ordinary meeting of the council.

   (2) A person elected to fill a causal vacancy in the office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a council shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, hold office until the expiration of the period during which the person whose place he fills would, but for his office becoming vacant, have continued in office.

20.   Discharge of functions of Mayor or Chairman during vacancy or absence

Whenever the office of Mayor or Chairman of a council is vacant or the Mayor or Chairman is absent or is for any other cause prevented from or incapable of discharging the functions of his office—

      (a)   the deputy or Vice-Chairman of the council; or

      (b)   if the office of Deputy Mayor or Vice-Chairman is vacant or the Deputy Mayor or Vice-Chairman is absent or is for any other cause prevented from or incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a Councilor elected by the council;

shall discharge the functions of the office of the Mayor or Chairman of the council.

21.   Validity of discharge of functions

Any functions discharged by a person purporting to hold or discharge the functions of the office of Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a council shall not be invalidated only by reason of a defect afterwards discovered in the election or qualifications of such person.

PART IV
PROCEEDINGS OF COUNCIL

22.   Ordinary and special meetings

   (1) A council shall hold an ordinary meeting for the transaction of business not less often than once in every three months at such place, on such day and at such time as the council may appoint:

Provided that the first ordinary meeting of a council newly established under this Act shall be held at such place, on such day and at such time as the Minister may appoint.

   (2) The Mayor or Chairman of a council may convene a special meeting of the council at any time, and shall convene a special meeting within twenty-one days, or such lesser period as may be prescribed by the standing orders of the council, after he receives a written request therefor signed by not less than one-third of the whole number of Councilors of which the council consists and stating clearly the purposes for which the special meeting is to be convened.

23.   Notice of meetings

   (1) The Principal Officer of a council shall, not less than twenty-four hours before the time appointed for the holding of a meeting of a council, notify every Councilor in writing of the place, day and time of the meeting and of the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting.

   (2) No business shall be transacted at a special meeting of a council other than that specified in the notice relating thereto.

24.   Quorum

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this section—

      (a)   at an ordinary meeting of a council, one-half of the whole numbers of Councilors of which the council consists shall form a quorum etc.

      (b)   at a special meeting of a council, two-thirds of the whole numbers of Councilors of which the council consists shall form a quorum.

   (2) Where, owing to—

      (a)   vacancies in the membership of a council; or

      (b)   the disablement of Councilors under section 27; or

      (c)   a combination of the circumstances referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b);

less than two-thirds of the whole number of Councilors of which a council consists are at the same time able to take part in the consideration or discussion of, or to vote on, any question, the quorum of the council in any proceedings relating to that question shall be determined by reference to the number of Councilors who actually hold office on the council and who are not under a disablement imposed by section 27 instead of by reference to the whole number of Councilors of which the council consists.

25.   Presiding in council

There shall preside at any meeting of a council—

      (a)   the Mayor or Chairman.

      (b)   in the absence of the Mayor or Chairman, the Deputy Mayor or Vice-Chairman; or

      (c)   in the absence of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor or the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, such Councilor as the council may elect for that meeting.

26.   Voting in council

   (1) Save as otherwise provided by this Act or any other written law, any question proposed for decision by a council shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the Councilors present and voting at a meeting of the council at which a quorum is present.

   (2) At all meetings of a council, each Councilor present shall have one vote on a question proposed for decision by the council and, in the event of any equality of votes, the person presiding at the meeting shall have, in addition to a deliberative vote, a casting vote.

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