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A case study on the working relationship of the mayor, speaker and municipal manager in Umvoti Local Municipality.

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This study set out to explore the general working relationship that exists in local government between the mayor, speaker and municipal manager using Umvoti Municipality as a case study. The main aim of the study was to establish how service delivery is affected, whether positively or negatively, by the type of relationship that exists between the political office bearers and municipal officials in local government. Umvoti Local Municipality was used as a case study. Eleven participants consisting of five senior politicians and six senior municipal officials undertook the study. The data was found using a structured questionnaire which was administered by the researcher. The main results of the study revealed that legislation governing the relationship between the mayor, the speaker and the municipal manager was clear in terms of their respective roles, functions and powers. While their roles, functions and powers were clear, the senior officials were not able to fully execute their functions because of political interference. The study found that the senior politicians allowed their political affiliations to determine how they performed their functions. Therefore, this impedes proper distribution of basic resources in the municipality. The study revealed that there is a need to improve the working relations of the mayor, the speaker and the municipal manager to enhance the distribution of basic resources in the municipality. It is recommended that to improve this relationship, the legal framework, taken from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 is read with all other policies and be translated into action. This will enable the municipality to address the misunderstandings while correcting the issues that have been identified as prohibiting smooth working relationships among the mayor, the speaker and the municipal manager. It is further recommended that workshops are presented pertaining to the job descriptions of the councillors and senior officials to ensure that everyone is of the same understanding regarding their roles and functions. These working relationship issues need to be prioritised to establish an environment which is conducive to service delivery (South African Government, 2020).


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.