Key Processes

Participation in municipal processes

There are a number of key processes which municipalities are required to execute. Participation by citizens can ensure that councillors and key officials perform their duties well and that these processes are conducted effectively. 


Local government elections must be held at least once every five years.

  • How elections work
  • Register to vote
  • Nomination of ward candidates
  • Elect an accountable councillor
Integrated Development Plan

The IDP is the strategic development plan which municipalities prepare for a five year period. The planning involved in this process is long term and should assist a municipality in preparing an overall framework for development. The IDP requires the involvement of the whole municipality and people in ensuring sustainable development is achieved. 

This section shows how you and your community can take action on the IDP of your municipality and questions to ask your councillor. 

Municipal Budget

Laws such as s. 152 of the Constitution, s. 5 of the Municipal Systems Act, s. 19 of the Municipal Structures Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act regulate municipal financial management. These laws outline the processes involved in collecting and using money available to the municipality as well as the responsibilities of officials in these processes. Importantly, they also require community participation in activities such as budgeting, planning and the evaluation of services.

This section covers the following:

  • Where does the money come from?
  • Municipal financial management cycle
more info Holding local government to account

You can participate in local government by asking councillors and your municipality questions about subjects such as the IDP, budgets, service delivery, etc. Monitoring local government is dependent on having information – information on what was planned and information on what was delivered. Council meetings can be an important source of information, while the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is an important tool for you to use to demand the information you need. There is more information about it in Section 4.6.

This section covers the following:

  • Ensure your councillor delivers
  • Corruption in local government