Constitutional mandate 

The mandate of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) mandate is primarily derived from Chapters 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, hereafter referred to as the Constitution. 

Chapter 3 – This chapter deals with cooperative government and intergovernmental relations. The department will need to ensure that we observe and adhere to the principles in this chapter and that we conduct our activities within the parameters of this chapter. 

Chapter 5 – This chapter deals with national intervention in provincial administration when a province cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation. Chapter 6 – This chapter deals with provincial intervention in local government, when municipalities are unable to fulfil their executive obligations. 

Chapter 6 – is also relevant when a municipality, as a result of the financial crisis, breaches its obligations to provide basic services to meet its financial requirements. 

Chapter 7 – This chapter deals with, among other things, municipalities in cooperative governance. The department, by legislation, must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, exercise their powers and perform their functions. 

Chapter 9 – This chapter deals with those institutions whose role involves strengthening the constitutional democracy of the country. The department must comply with all legislative frameworks in this chapter in order to conform to rules made under the auspices of institutions such as the Auditor-General and the Public Protector. 

Our primary mandate is to: 

Develop and monitor the implementation of the national policy and legislation, seeking to transform and strengthen key institutions and mechanisms of governance to fulfil their developmental role

Develop, promote and monitor mechanisms, systems and structures to enable integrated service delivery and implementation within government

Promote sustainable development by providing support to and exercising oversight over provincial and local government

Legislative Mandate As a national department, our function is to develop national policies and legislation regarding local government and to monitor, among other things, the implementation of the following:

Municipal Property Rates Act 2004 (Act No. 6 of 2004) – To regulate the power of a municipality to impose rates on property; to exclude certain properties from rating in the national interest; to make provision for municipalities to implement a transparent and fair system of exemptions, reductions and rebates through their rating policies; to make provision for fair and equitable valuation methods of properties; and to make provision for an objections and appeals process.

Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003) – To secure sound and sustainable management of the financial affairs of municipalities and other institutions in the local sphere of government; to establish treasury norms and standards for the local sphere of government; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Disaster Management Act 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) – To provide for:
  • An integrated and coordinated disaster management policy, which focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, emergency preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post-disaster recovery.
  • The establishment of national, provincial and municipal disaster management centres.
  • Disaster management volunteers.
  •  Matters incidental thereto.
Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) – To provide for the core principles, mechanisms and processes that are necessary to enable municipalities to move progressively towards the social and economic upliftment of local communities; ensure universal access to essential services that are affordable to all; define the legal nature of a municipality, including the local community within the municipal area; provide for municipal powers and functions; provide for community participation; establish an enabling framework for the core processes of planning, performance management, resource mobilisation and organisational change; provide a framework for local public administration and human resource development; empower the poor and ensure that municipalities establish service tariffs and credit control policies that take their needs into account.

Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998) – To provide for the establishment of municipalities in accordance with the requirements relating to categories and types of municipalities; establish criteria for determining the category of a municipality to be established in an area; define the types of municipalities that may be established within each category; provide for an appropriate division of functions and powers between categories of a municipality; regulate the internal systems, structures and office-bearers of municipalities; provide for appropriate electoral systems.

The Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act (Act No. 13 of 2005) – The objective of this Act is to facilitate coordination by the three spheres of government in the implementation of policy and legislation. It is a Framework Act, which allows for flexibility between the spheres in meeting the challenges within the conduct and practice of cooperative government. It also provides for the basic architecture of intergovernmental structures and for processes to guide the settlement of intergovernmental disputes.

Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (Act No. 27 of 1998) – To provide for criteria and procedures for the determination of municipal boundaries by an independent authority, and provide for matters connected thereto.

Organised Local Government Act (Act No. 52 of 1997) – To provide for the recognition of national and provincial organisations representing the different categories of municipalities; determine procedures by which local government may designate representatives to participate in the National Council of Provinces; determine procedures by which local government may consult with the national and provincial government; determine procedures by which local government may nominate persons to the Financial and Fiscal Commission, and provide for matters connected therewith.

Fire Brigade Services Act (Act No. 99 of 1987) – To provide for the establishment, maintenance, employment, coordination and standardisation of Fire Brigade Services; and for matters connected therewith.

Remuneration of Public Bearers Act (Act No. 20 of 1998) – To provide for a framework determining the salaries and allowances of the President, members of the National Assembly, permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces, Deputy President, ministers, deputy ministers, traditional leaders, members of provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders and members of the Council of Traditional Leaders; provide for a framework determining the upper limit of salaries and allowances of Premiers.

Local Government: Cross-Boundary Municipal Act (Act No. 29 of 2000) – To give effect to section 155 (6A) of the Constitution by authorising the provincial executives affected to establish cross-boundary municipalities; provide for the re-determination of the boundaries of such municipalities under certain circumstances; and provide for matters connected therewith.