Friday, 15 February 2013 08:20
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act, 2000 (Act No. 7 of 2011) – the MSAA- was enacted on 5 July 2011. The MSAA came as a legislative response to practical insights and lessons learned over the past ten years from the implementation of local government legislation.
The MSAA also obligates the Minister to make regulations for the setting of uniform standards for a wide range of human resource-related matters that affect the appointment and employment practices of all municipal employees.
The main objectives of the MSAA are to:
- create a career local public administration governed by the values and principles of public administration as enshrined in Chapter 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and characterised by a high standard of professionalism;
- create an enabling environment for increased staff mobility within local government by standardising human resource management practices;
- improve the capacity of municipalities to perform their functions and improve service delivery by ensuring that municipalities recruit and retain suitably qualified persons, especially persons with scarce skills;
- ensure predictability and maximise administrative and operational efficiency across municipalities; and
- establish a coherent human resource governance regime that ensures adequate checks and balances.
During 2011, the department initiated a process to phase in the development of regulations to provide for the above objectives of the MSAA. The first phase was to develop regulations that would be applicable to just municipal managers and managers reporting directly to municipal managers as prioritised in line with the diagnosis of the LGTAS articulated by the minister during 2012. The process is on going.
However, upon further reflection on this staggered approach and the limitations that it posed in respect of its narrow scope of application as well as challenges surfaced during the process, it was decided that consideration be made for the possibility of developing a single, comprehensive set of regulations to be applicable to all municipal employees.
The process is work in progress and it is envisaged that an extensive process of consultation through the mandatory principle of cooperative governance will ensue in the coming months with all stakeholders (including the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Unions (SAMWU and IMATU)) before the regulations can be published for implementation.