Ramaphosa signs bill barring city workers from holding political office

The laws are part of a broader effort to professionalize the civil service and crack down on questionable appointments in local government.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG — President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Municipal Systems of Local Government Amendment Bill, barring municipal employees and senior managers from holding political office.

The laws are part of a broader effort to professionalize the civil service and crack down on questionable appointments in local government.

Among its far-reaching interventions, the new legislation bars municipal and senior officials from holding political office, whether they have been appointed on a permanent, temporary or interim basis.

Municipalities are also now required to keep a register of disciplinary proceedings against staff members dismissed for misconduct, which will be given to the Minister of Cooperative Governance Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for follow-up.

Presidency spokesman Vincent Magwenya said the new legislation will improve the performance of local government, preventing the misuse of public resources and weeding out wandering officials who move from one municipality to another even after being found guilty of wrongdoing.

“A capable ethical state requires a strong foundation at the local level and the new law will go a long way to building community trust in local government and enabling stronger partnerships and cooperation between municipalities and the communities they serve.”

Magwenya said the law now states that any staff member of a municipality who has been fired for misconduct can only be rehired in a municipality after a period of five years.

Melissa C. Keyes