n Journal of Public Administration - Overview of required skills and expertise of councillors at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality in terms of the new developmental mandate

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The concept of developmental local government is at the core of local government transformation in South Africa and places implicit responsibilities on local authorities. In terms of prescriptions contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, legal and moral obligations are imposed on municipalities to function on a participatory basis with the intention that the broader community should have a more significant role to play in local government decision-making. Municipalities are now required to become agents for local economic development and the importance of public / private partnerships in terms of the new developmental mandate for local government, needs to be actively pursued by municipalities. Integrated development planning is one of the most important mechanisms through which municipalities can develop the strategic capacity to meet their existing responsibilities.

Municipal councillors now require a particular level of expertise and knowledge to enable them to perform their functions in the best interests of the communities they were elected or appointed to serve.
Within the context of the above, this paper will endeavour to review developmental obligations imposed on local government and in particular the skills and expertise that councillors require in order to function efficiently and effectively. The paper will provide an overview of the following :
  • the new developmental mandate;
  • the need for community participation;
  • the establishment of ward committees;
  • empirical survey of capacity building needs of councilors; and
  • recommendations.

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