Tim Lindsay-White

2008-06-13 00:00

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) have locked horns with the African National Council (ANC) in the uMngeni council over the freedom of ward committees to report to council, and to be reported back to by council and not be diverted by the municipality.

Ward committees are not structures of the administration. On the contrary they are overseers of the administration. They are legislated committees of council, chaired by councillors, and are obliged to report to council, and council is obliged to report to them. The object of a ward committee is to enhance participatory democracy in local government structures (Structures Act section 72(3)). The primary function of a ward committee is to be a formal communication channel between the ward community and the council and its political structures.

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