The Chris Hani District Municipality was established in terms of the provisions contained in Chapter 1 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998 (MStrA). In terms of these provisions, the Chris Hani District Municipality is a category C municipality (District Municipality). This municipality was established as a Mayoral Executive System which implies the exercise of executive authority through an executive mayor in whom the executive leadership of the municipality is vested, and who is assisted by a mayoral committee. The Executive Mayor of the CHDM exercises executive powers, whilst the Council of the CHDM remains the highest decision making body within the municipality. The political arm of the municipality is complemented by the administration which is led by the Municipal Manager.
The administration is responsible for providing technical support such that all the plans of Council are implemented in an efficient, effective and economical manner. The administration and the political arm alike adhere to the principles of good and clean governance through ensuring that adequate checks and balances are in place and that effective oversight on the operations is adequately exercised. Given that the CHDM is not in isolation, but rather a member of the South African populace, and its system of government, it has to, from time to time engaged with the public and other spheres of government.
As such, the municipality has established formal intergovernmental relations protocols to engage stakeholders including other spheres of government and has institutionalised public participation mechanisms such the Mayoral Imbizos, where communities have an opportunity to engage with the politicians and administration on their developmental needs.
These instruments of governance, taken together, allow the Chris Hani District Municipality to deliver on the mandate as given by the communities which it serves. The sections that follow provide a detail in terms of how each of these components operate and how decisions around key development issues are arrived at, all this within the legal framework that governs local government in South Africa.