Overview of Garden Route District Municipality
Broadly speaking, Garden Route District Municipality forms part of Local Government. It is located in the South Eastern part of the Western Cape, borders with district municipalities that include the Central Karoo to the North, Cape Winelands and Overberg to the West, and the Cacadu to the East. Apart from this, the municipality comprises of seven local municipalities, all which fall within the boundaries of Garden Route District municipality. Local Government institutions within the boundaries of Garden Route District Municipality, include Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn municipalities.
It should be noted that Garden Route District Municipality exists because of Section 84 of the South African Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998. As a result of this Act, the district is responsible for the following functions and powers:
(a) Integrated development planning for the district municipality as a whole, including a framework for integrated development plans of all municipalities in the area of the district municipality.
(b) Potable water supply systems.
(c) Bulk supply of electricity, which includes for the purposes of such supply, the transmission, distribution and, where applicable, the generation of electricity.
(d) Domestic waste-water and sewage disposal systems.
(e) Solid waste disposal sites, in so far as it relates to-
—(i) the determination of a waste disposal strategy;
—(ii) the regulation of waste disposal; and
—(iii) the establishment, operation and control of waste disposal sites, bulk waste transfer facilities and waste disposal facilities for more than one local municipality in the district.
(f) Municipal roads which form an integral part of a road transport system for the area of the district municipality as a whole.
(g) Regulation of passenger transport services.
(h) Municipal airports serving the area of the district municipality as a whole.
(j) Fire fighting services serving the area of the district municipality as a whole, which includes-
—(i) planning, co-ordination and regulation of fire services;
—(ii) specialised fire fighting services such as mountain, veld and chemical fire services;
—(iii) co-ordination of the standardisation of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and procedures; and
—(iv) training of fire officers.
(k) The establishment, conduct and control of fresh produce markets and abattoirs serving the area of a major proportion of the municipalities in the district.
(l) The establishment, conduct and control of cemeteries and crematoria serving the area of a major proportion of municipalities in the district.
(m) Promotion of local tourism for the area of the district municipality.
(n) Municipal public works relating to any of the above functions or any other functions assigned to the district municipality.
(o) The receipt, allocation and, if applicable, the distribution of grants made to the district municipality.
(p) The imposition and collection of taxes, levies and duties as related to the above functions or as may be assigned to the district municipality in terms of national legislation.
The three spheres of government explained
Garden Route District Municipality forms part of Local Government, which forms part of the three spheres of government known as National, Provincial and Local Governments. Altogether, Local Government in South Africa consists of 9 A-Municipalities (Metro Municipalities), 205 B-Municipalities (Local Municipalities) and 44 C-Municipalities (District Municipalities).
Overview of Local Government (Metro, District and Local Municipalities)
Local Government in South Africa consists of municipalities of various types (A, B & C). The largest municipal areas are governed by metropolitan municipalities, while the rest of the country is divided into district municipalities, each of which consists of several local municipalities. There are eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities and 226 local municipalities in South Africa. The three categories of municipalities in South Africa:
- Category A: Metropolitan Municipalities
- Category B: Local Municipalities
- Category C: District Municipalities
Within these categories, there may be significantly different circumstances between municipalities across the country. Hence, a further set of subcategories have been developed for analytical and statistical purposes. These subcategories have been widely-used in assessments and previous policy initiatives by the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), National Treasury, the Municipal Demarcation Board and others. For examples of how the subcategories are used, please see:
- State Municipal Capacity Assessment 2010/2011 National Trends in Municipal Capacity by the Municipal Demarcation Board, p.3
- The Municipal Infrastructure and Investment Framework (MIIF 7) for South Africa. Round 7 (2009-2010): A capital investment perspective by the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) and the Development Bank Southern Africa, p.10
- Delivering municipal services in rural areas by National Treasury of South Africa, p.3
Municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are elected every five years. The councils of metropolitan and local municipalities are elected by a system of mixed-member proportional representation, while the councils of district municipalities are partly elected by proportional representation and partly appointed by the councils of the constituent local municipalities.
Local Municipalities in the Garden Route District, comprise of the following towns:
1. Bitou – Plettenberg Bay, Keurboomstrand, Kurland, Kwanokuthula, Nature’s Valley and Wittedrift.
2. George – George, Wilderness, Hoekwil, Glentana, Herolds Bay, Victoria Bay, Haarlem, Uniondale, Herold and Noll.
3. Hessequa – Albertinia, Still Bay, Riversdale, Heidelberg, Slangrivier and Witsand.
4. Kannaland – Calitzdorp, Zoar, Ladismith andVan Wyksdorp.
5. Knysna – Knysna, Sedgefield, Brenton, Buffels Bay, Krantzhoek and Rheenendal.
6. Mossel Bay – Boggoms Bay, Brandwag, Buisplaas, Dana Bay, Glentana, Fraaiuitsig, Friemersheim, Great Brak River, Hartenbos, Herbertsdale, Hersham, KwaNonqaba, Little Brak River, Outeniqua Beach, Reebok, Ruiterbos, Southern Cross, Tergniet and Vleesbaai.
7. Greater Oudtshoorn – De Rust, Dysselsdorp, Oudtshoorn and Volmoed.
Overview of the Western Cape Provincial Government
The provincial sphere of government has the primary responsibility for social service delivery. As such, provincial governments plan, budget for and implement programmes aimed at delivering a broad range of services directly to people. These include, for example, the provision of health services, education, housing and social development. Provincial governments also develop policy on issues where there are regional differences. Each province has to develop a Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) that spells out the overall framework and plan for developing the economy and improving services. Provinces also have a Spatial Development Framework (SDF) that says where and how residential and business development should take place and how the environment should be protected. Garden Route DM is one of five C-Municipalities that form part of the Western Cape WC. An overview of the functions of Garden Route District Municipality was provided above.
The Western Cape Government is inclusive of 13 sector departments, namely:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Community Safety
- Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
- Department of Economic Development and Tourism
- Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
- Department of Health
- Department of Human Settlements
- Department of Local Government
- Department of Social Development
- Department of Transport and Public Works
- Department of the Premier
- Provincial Treasury
- Western Cape Education Department
Overview of National Government
The national sphere of government is responsible for several functions that affect the entire country.
National government’s responsibilities include, among other things, safety and security, foreign affairs, defence and home affairs. This sphere is also tasked with developing policies that guide service delivery in the Provincial and Local spheres of government. Broad education policies – such as the school curriculum and school admissions age, are developed at national level for implementation at provincial level. National government monitors and supports the implementation of these policies. They also provide an overview of why Local and Provincial government exists, which includes Garden Route District Municipality.
There are 34 other Departments on a National Level which are charged with implementing legislation and providing services to the public. These departments include:
- Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- Department of Arts and Culture
- Department of Basic Education
- Department of Communications
- Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs
- Department of Correctional Services
- Department of Defence and Military Veterans
- Department of Economic Development
- Department of Energy
- Department of Environmental Affairs Department of Health
- Department of Higher Education and Training
- Department of Home Affairs
- Department of Human Settlements
- Department of International Relations and Cooperation
- Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
- Department of Labour
- Department of Mineral Resources
- Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
- Department of Police
- Department of Public Enterprises
- Department of Public Service and Administration
- Department of Public Works
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
- Department of Science and Technology
- Department of Social Development
- Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa
- Department of State Security
- Department of Tourism
- Department of Trade and Industry
- Department of Transport
- Department of Water Affairs
- Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
- Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
- Independent Police Investigative Directorate
- National Planning Commission
- National Treasury
- Public Service Commission
- Statistics South Africa
- The Presidency