Ward Committees – residents direct voice into local government

Ward Committees – residents direct voice into local government

Overstrand Municipality is known for the smooth functioning of its ward committee system, but this system can only be maintained and even be improved if the community are involved in the election and functioning of ward committee members.

The Ward Committee elections will take place after the Local Government Elections on 1 November 2021 in each of the 14 wards.

Ward committees are regarded as the vehicle to promote good governance at local government level by being involved in planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects.

About Ward Committees

A Ward Committee consists of the Ward Councillor and not more than 10 (ten) other persons elected to represent organisations/sectors or geographical blocks, resident within the boundaries of the particular municipal ward.

Ward Committees together with the Overstrand Municipal Advisory Forum (OMAF) will act as the official liaison mechanism on all strategic municipal matters affecting the community.

In light of this it is important to elect the right people who are well equipped to accomplish their tasks.

All meetings of the ward committees must be open to the public. Ward Committee Members must report back to their respective constituencies (organisations/sector/geographical blocks) at least on a quarterly basis.

Election of Ward Committees

1.    Registered voters, whose names appear on the voters roll for the particular ward are invited to participate in the ward committee elections representative of:

          •    organisations, (representing a specific interest of the community resident in the particular ward, for example youth, women, religious grouping, ratepayers’ associations, but not political party, etc)
          •    sectors, (representing a broader scope of similar interests (umbrella body/structure) of the community for example, Sport & Recreation, Health & Welfare,etc.)
          •    geographical block (represents the interests of an identified geographical block (e.g., neighbourhood, extension, village) in a particular ward)

2.    The Municipal Manager will advertise in the local newspaper(s) a notice for the establishment of a ward committee in all respective wards of the Municipality or a Ward Committee Member by inviting nominations for organisations, sectors, and geographical blocks

3.    The organisations/sectors eligible for election must have been operational in the particular ward for at least (6) months, except for newly established organisations that directly represent the interest of women, youth, disabled and the elderly

4.    No Councillor, municipal employee, or person employed by another sphere (Provincial/National) of Government may be elected

5.    The election (voting) for Ward Committees will be conducted from 10:00 until 19:00 on dates and at election venues determined by the Municipal Manager

6.    A minimum of not less than 2 (two) organisations/sectors to be elected as members of a particular ward committee whilst the balance should be elected from a geographical block

7.    The elections will be conducted by way of a walk-through process, more or less similar to the process followed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on election day(s)

8.    Only election personnel, the Ward Councillor and other observers will be allowed to remain inside the election venue for the duration of the election (voting) process

9.    All applicable COVID-19 protocols, issued in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, will observed at all election venues

Interesting facts

•    A ward committee must meet at least monthly, except when Council is in recess
•    All meetings must be open to the public and any citizen may address the committee
•    Meetings may not be longer than 2 hours, except publicly announced quarterly report-back meetings which may not last longer than 3 hours
•    All quarterly report back meetings must be conducted after municipal office hours  
•    Ward Committee members or their secundus will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses in accordance with the tariff schedule developed and from time-to-time amended for the last mentioned purpose
•    The municipal administration will provide various forms of administrative and technical support to enhance the ward committee system
•    A ward committee’s term of office coincides with that of Council

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