n Journal of Public Administration - Should municipalities account to the legislature? Issues of parliamentary oversight and service delivery

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



A municipality is an autonomous sphere of government, and the (1996) provides that all spheres of government must exercise their powers and perform their functions in a manner that does not encroach on the geographical, functional or institutional integrity of government in another sphere. These constitutional provisions largely protect the autonomy of the municipal council from encroachment by any other sphere of government. Furthermore, the Constitution explicitly assigns an oversight and policy-making role to municipal councils. But, municipalities receive 'support' and funding from the provincial fiscus. Because of this, should municipalities not account to the provincial legislature? This article engages this question by raising issues of parliamentary oversight and service delivery as they relate to the accountability system of the local sphere of government in South Africa.

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