Roles and responsibilities of the municipal manager
de Visser, Jaap
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renaming and transformation of local government structures. Coping with the new designation is probably the least important of the changes for the municipal manager. One of the key challenges in this respect is defining the roles of the municipal manager in relation to the executive committee or executive mayor of the municipality. It is important to note, that against the backdrop a municipality’s constitutionally protected right to regulate its internal affairs (s 160(1) and (6) of the Constitution), the most critical player in shaping the role and responsibility of the municipal manager is the council itself. As the employer, the council determines what it expects of a municipal manager. However new legislation, such as the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998 (the Structures Act) and, more importantly, the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 (the Systems Act) contains important provisions with legal powers, duties and obligations. This article explores the legal provisions in the new legislation that have a bearing on the functioning of the municipal manager. A variety of Acts will be referred to in this paper. However, most of the provisions referred to are in the Systems Act. Therefore, references to the Act are references to the Systems Act. After dealing with some introductory issues, this paper will discuss the contracts and terms of reference, the municipal manager’s duties towards the council, his or her duties towards the public and the duties towards the administration.