Facilitating public participation: A niche role for the speaker?
de Visser, Jaap
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Considerable attention has been drawn to local government’s ability to facilitate public participation and the role and effective administration of ward committees. Undoubtedly the most important aspect of the local government review is the need to improve the quality of local democracy, the degree of municipal responsiveness and accountability. The office of the speaker has increasingly come under the spotlight since its inception in local government in 2000. Their role has often been ill-defined. At times, overlapping roles with the (executive) mayor have caused political tension and misunderstanding. The emergence of the political office of a ‘chief whip’ has added another dimension to the definition of the role of the speaker. Some argue that there are now three seats of political power in each municipality.