President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a new law designed to root out corruption and gain confidence of communities by improving the running of local councils across the country, the Presidency said on Monday.
It quoted Ramaphosa as saying the new law is aimed at improving “the lives of South Africans at the local level by, among other things, ensuring accountability and barring corrupt senior officials in local government.”
“The amendments passed by Parliament show that the concerns of communities have been heard and been acted upon,” Ramaphosa said.
The South African leader noted that “a capable, ethical state requires a strong foundation at local level, and the new law will go a long way to building communities’ confidence in local government, and enabling stronger partnerships and cooperation between municipalities and the communities they serve.”
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act is expected to strengthen the capacity of local council to adhere to ethical standards, the presidency said.
One of the notable amendments to the new law was the barring of politicians from any party from holding local government office.
In addition, should any local government office holder be found guilty of any infringement, he or she would be barred from holding office for five years, according to the presidency.
To strengthen governance and attract quality expertise, local municipalities would now be able to cast their recruitment net nationwide, it added.
The presidency said that the new legislation is important for “preventing the abuse of public resources and stamping out the sheltering of officials who move from municipality to municipality following wrongdoing.”