Starting a petition 

Everyone has the right to draw up, submit and get a response to a petition. A petition can be a complaint or a set of demands. The more people who support it, the better. Each council is required by law:

  • to allow for petitions and to have proper procedures to receive and respond to petitions
  • to respond promptly to a petition.

Each municipality sets its own rules regarding the process for a response to a petition. It is likely that the petition will be referred to management committees and to the relevant departments who will make recommendations to the relevant portfolio committees. Keep track of the progress of the petition to ensure that it does not get ignored.

Ask your municipal office for the municipal rules and standing orders, and a copy of the petitions policy and the public participation policy (s. 44(3)(g)(h) of the Municipal Structures Act).

The timing of a petition is important. It is best to submit it to the council or speaker shortly before a council meeting, and then demand a response from the council at that meeting  s. 5(1) and s. 17(2)(a) of the Municipal Systems Act).