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Know your councillor

Written by Albert Pule
It’s important for all South Africans to know their ward councillor because they are the link between the municipality and the community they serve. People can also take their problems to the ward councillor and he/she should deal with these in an appropriate way
What is a local councillor?

A local councillor is a person who provides political leadership in a ward of a municipality. It can be a metropolitan municipality, district municipality or local municipality.

A local councillor can be elected as an independent candidate or represent a political party. They occupy an office for a period of five years in line with the local government elections.

The ward councillor is elected by citizens living in the ward where he/she is standing for elections.

What is the role of a councillor?

A ward councillor is expected to make sure that the concerns raised by people in his/her ward are represented in council.

He/she must also ensure that the ward committee exists and that people in the ward participate in local government.

The councillor must report back regularly through ward meetings and help the community in identifying needs and priority areas of development, which will help the municipality’s planning processes.

Types of councillors
  • A ward councillor ensures that the interests of people in a specific ward are represented in council. He/she reports on council activities on a regular basis to the ward to strengthen the relationship with community.
  • A proportional representative councillor is a member of a political party and is elected through the party lists. He/she is accountable to the party.
  • An independent councillor does not belong to a political party and is accountable to the people who have elected him/her to represent their interests.
Issues you can raise with your councillor:
  • Water supply
  • Illegal electricity connections
  • Housing
  • Refuse collection
  • Faulty traffic lights
  • Dilapidated infrastructure
  • Grass that needs cutting
  • Any other services offered by the municipality.
Complaints against your councillor

When you have a complaint against your councillor, you can approach the chief whip’s office of the political party he or she belongs to. If it is an independent councillor, you can approach or send a petition to the council’s office. 

How can I find out who my councillor is?

If you want to know who your local councillor is, SMS your ID number to 32245. The SMS will cost you R1.