The role of the councillor and the official in the decision-making process of the municipality

Du Preez, Pierre Johann (2000-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Local government is a sphere of government which consists of municipalities and its executive and legislative authority is vested in the respective municipal councils. The council is responsible for exercising its powers and functions on behalf of the community it represents and it makes decisions in that regard. A municipality as an organisation which is comprised of two main components: on the one hand, the council as a body of elected representatives and, on the other, officials who have been employed by the council. Whilst it is generally accepted that it is the function of the council to determine policy and of the officials to execute the determined policy, it is accepted that in .practice there is a degree of interfacing between these two functions. It is further accepted that, although there is a clear distinction between the roles of councillor and official, it is possible that there may be a degree of misconception about their respective roles. The purpose of this study was to determine whether councillors and officials have misconceptions about their roles in the decision-making processes of the municipality and whether such misconceptions have a negative impact on service delivery. The research was initiated by a study of decision making in general, followed by a study of decision making in local government in order to establish a basis for the field of study. Oostenberg Municipality was then analysed, with specific reference to its decision-making systems as well as its macro-organisational structure. A questionnaire was sent to the top structure of the council as well as the top management structure of the municipality; the views of these respondents were used to determine whether there were any misconceptions about their roles. The study found that the councillor study group presented a 30.56% degree of misconception about their role as councillors in the decision-making process of the municipality, and in the case of the top management structure there was a 29.86% degree of misconception. The study further established that this degree of misconception impacted negatively on service delivery. In VIew of the above, it is recommended that councillors be subjected to appropriate training, that the political party caucuses be accommodated in the formal decision-making process of the municipality, and that members of the top management structure be subjected to dedicated training on their role in the decision-making processes of the municipality. It is also recommended that the top management structure of the municipality should be in possession of appropriate academic qualifications.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Plaaslike Regering is 'n sfeer van regering wat uit munisipaliteite bestaan en ten opsigte waarvan sy uitvoerende en wetgewende gesag in sy munisipale raad gesetel is. Die raad is namens die gemeenskap wat hy verteenwoordig vir die uitoefening van sy magte en funksies verantwoordelik en neem hy besluite in daardie verband. 'n Munisipaliteit as 'n organisasie bestaan uit twee komponente, te wete die raad as 'n liggaam van verkose verteenwoordigers aan die een kant, en aan die ander kant, amptenare wat deur die raad in diens geneem is. Terwyl dit algemeen aanvaar word dat dit die raad se funksie is om beleid te bepaal en dit die amptenare se funksie is om die uitvoering aan die gestelde beleid te gee, word daar ook aanvaar dat daar in die praktyk, 'n mate van interfase tussen hierdie twee funksies bestaan. Dit word voorts aanvaar dat terwyl daar 'n duidelike onderskeid tussen die onderskeie rolle van raadslid en amptenaar is, dit moontlik is dat daar 'n mate van wanbegrip van hul onderskeie rolle bestaan. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te bepaal of raadslede en amptenare wanbegrip van hul onderskeie rolle in die besluitnemingsproses van die munisipaliteit ervaar en of sodanige wanbegrip 'n negatiewe impak op dienslewering het. Om as basis vir die studieveld te dien is algemene besluitneming eerstens bestudeer, gevolg deur 'n studie van besluitneming in plaaslike regering. 'n Ontleding van Oostenberg munisipaliteit met spesifieke verwysing na sy besluitnemingsprosesse en makro-organisatoriese struktuur is daarna uitgevoer. 'n Vraelys met as respondente die topstruktuur van die raad sowel as die top bestuurstruktuur van die munisipaliteit was aangewend om te bepaal of daar 'n mate van wanbegrip van onderskeie rolle bestaan. Die studie het bevind dat die raadslid studiegroep 'n graad van wanbegrip van 30.56% ten opsigte van sy rol as raadslid in die besluitnemingsproses van die munisipaliteit toon, en in die geval van die top bestuurstruktuur, is 'n graad van wanbegrip van 29.86% aangetoon. Die studie het verder bevind dat die bepaalde graad van wanbegrip, negatief op dienslewering impakteer. Met inagneming van die voorafgaande is daar aanbeveel dat raadslede aan toepaslike opleiding blootgestel word, die akkommodering van die politieke party koukusse in die formele besluitnemingsprosesse van die munisipaliteit, sowel as die toepaslike opleiding van die lede van die top bestuurstruktuur van die munisipaliteit ten opsigte van hul rol in die besluitnemingsprosesse van die munisipaliteit. Daar is ook aanbeveel dat die lede van die top bestuurstruktuur van die munisipaliteit oor toepaslike akademiese kwalifikasies behoort te beskik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52020
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