Original Research

The financial legislative role and capacity of municipal councillors at Ulundi Municipality

Sandile M. Khomo, Tshililo R. Farisani, Pfano Mashau
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 11, No 1 | a691 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v11i1.691 | © 2023 Sandile M. Khomo, Tshililo R. Farisani, Pfano Mashau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 2022 | Published: 12 June 2023

About the author(s)

Sandile M. Khomo, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Tshililo R. Farisani, School of Management, IT and Governance, College of Law and Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Pfano Mashau, School of Management, IT and Governance, College of Law and Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The literature on the challenges of municipal councillors to ensure financial accountability in South African municipalities is widely available. The gap is in the legislative role and capacity of South African local municipality councillors in their financial oversight leading to local economic development and sustainability of livelihoods. This article responds to this gap.

Aim: This study aims to assess the legislative roles and capacity of Ulundi municipal councillors in their financial oversight responsibilities leading to local economic development and sustainable livelihoods.

Setting: This article focuses on the Ulundi Local Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Methods: The study follows a qualitative research method, and primary data were collected through semi-structured interviews and secondary data through relevant reports and literature.

Results: The findings revealed a combination of challenges that Ulundi municipal council and its councillors face in their legislative role to conduct financial oversight and sustain local livelihoods. Such a combination of challenges includes the councillors’ lack of adherence to relevant regulations on the roles of councillors, a lack of relevant capacity to conduct financial oversight and a lack of willingness to act against fellow political party members employed by the local municipality.

Conclusion: The article concludes that such challenges lead to poor municipal financial oversight, poor service delivery and unsustainable local livelihoods.

Contribution: The contribution of the article is in the proposed processes that draw from Institutional Theory and Sustainable Livelihoods Framework approaches to suggest changes that improve legislative oversight and service delivery leading to sustainable local livelihoods.



Keywords

local government; accountability; financial oversight; legislation; local municipal council; sustainable livelihoods.

JEL Codes

A13: Relation of Economics to Social Values

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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