Madibeng Local Municipality is a category B municipality with a Mayoral Executive system as contemplated in sections 7 and 9 of the Structures Act.
The Mayoral Executive system allows for the exercise of executive authority through an Executive Mayor in whom the executive leadership of the municipality is vested and who is assisted by a Mayoral committee.
The Executive Mayor is not only the political leader of the Municipality but also the:
• Enhancer of good governance;
• Builder of external and media relations;
• Promoter of civic and institutional pride;
• Supporter and engager with the community, and
• Facilitator of the process of governing.
THE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Executive Mayor‘s area of responsibility from a geographical perspective is not limited to the geographical area of the municipality. Due to the municipality‘s involvement in co-operative governance the Executive Mayor‘s influence is much wider, e.g. the Premier‘s Co-ordinating Forum82, District Forum83, Salga, Mayoral Forum, etc.
As regards the functional area the Executive Mayor possesses all the powers conferred by law on the office, as well as those powers that have been delegated to him/her, or can be implied, or derive from civic culture or tradition.
SOCIAL AND CEREMONIAL HEAD
In this capacity, the Executive Mayor performs important functions, including:
• Representing the municipality on all levels of society;
• Initiating, sponsoring or acting as patron at philanthropic or welfare/social events;
• Acting as host and welcoming dignitaries;
• Opening projects, events, new developments, etc.;
• Meeting and entertaining dignitaries;
• Representing the municipal council at civic functions.
The Executive Mayor is the political leader of Madibeng Municipality.
Political leadership is the key to better local government. Political leadership is a complex process by which persons in power influence their followers, civil society and wider public to accomplish societal goals.
In local government the political leaders, under the leadership of the Executive Mayor, are necessary for initiating as well as for hastening the process of change in the community it serves. To this end the Executive Mayor must lead and introduce this process of change by applying leadership attributes.
The Executive Mayor must understand the hopes, aspirations and needs of the people and identify the goals of the society. He/she must formulate a vision of the municipality‘s future and acquire or develop the capacity to mobilize resources to achieve the common societal goal.
As the political leader the Executive Mayor is expected to have certain attributes in order to be effective as leader:
• An unimpeachable commitment to accomplishing the municipality’s goals;
• Prepared to render selfless service to the community;
• Quality of inspiring colleagues, officials, the community, etc.;
• Patience and perseverance in pursuing the municipality‘s goals;
• Reflect and shape the views of local people through effective representation and deliberation;
• Win positive support for the identified vision; and
• Secure active participation by the community, businesses and others in achieving the set goals;
• Maturity and wisdom for taking sound and timely decisions;
• Exhibit strength of character by setting example;
• Mental toughness to face criticism when found wrong; and
• Demonstrate democratic accountability.
Leadership skills are of limited use without concomitant powers. It is for that reason that the Municipal Council has delegated appropriate powers to the Executive Mayor. The Structures Act and MFMA also confer important powers on the Executive Mayor.
The Executive Mayor‘s must also promote and protect the constitutional status, institutions, powers and functions of the municipality; as well as the principles of co-operative governance and intergovernmental relations.
The Executive Mayor is the chief advisor of the Municipal Council.
The Executive Mayor must provide leadership and guidance to council including:
• Initiating and advising on the development and adoption of policy and strategy;
• Giving strategic advice and ensuring that council is fully briefed and properly advised on new developments;
• Suggesting initiatives for the development and future requirements of the Municipality and improvement of the quality of life of the community;
• Advising the Municipal Council on the exercise, performance and discharge of its powers, functions and duties as contemplated by the Constitution; and
• Providing political guidance in the fiscal and financial affairs of the municipality.
The advisory function of the Executive Mayor is also evident from the statutory and delegated powers and duties conferred on the office – see infra and more particular two specific provisions in the Structures Act, namely:
• The Executive Mayor is entitled to receive reports from committees of the municipal council and to forward these reports together with a recommendation to the council when the matter cannot be disposed of by the Executive Mayor in terms of the executive mayor‘s delegated powers.84 This means that any recommendation to Council by a section 79 committee must, if the Executive Mayor so directs, be submitted to the Executive Mayor for consideration.
• The Municipal Council may not take decisions on any of the following matters unless it has first considered a report with recommendations from the Executive Mayor
Any matter mentioned in section 160 (2) of the Constitution;
The approval of an IDP and any amendment to that plan; and
• The appointment and conditions of service of the Municipal Manager and a head of a department of the municipality.