The role of ward councillors

THE ROLE OF A WARD COUNCILLOR

A number of times ward councillors are in the position where they are called upon by the public on a number of issues. However, in most cases, ward councillors should ideally not be the first port of call when reporting issues.

It is important for residents to understand that councillors are political appointments and their main responsibility is to ensure that area service delivery is managed effectively.

A councillor is not responsible for instructing officials, such as the Customer Care Area manager and area engineers, on the work they need to do.

When a complaint reaches a councillor, it is advised that the residents provide the councillor with the necessary reference number which they would have been given after phoning the call centre.

Councillors are elected representatives on the legislative arm of government. Their primary focus is to look at how services are delivered in the areas they serve. They do so by working with communities through the ward committee, which is set up to advise the councillor on which areas need attention.

While the councillor can also assist with single household issues, it is usually more useful when residents are aware of which departments to get hold of during working hours. After hours, all queries should be reported and followed up via the call centre.

Councillors are responsible for championing for systems in place to ensure that service delivery is a reality. They do so by submitting petitions on behalf of the communities they represent, consulting with officials and submitting motions during council meetings.

However, that is not all councillors do. They are usually on the front line when residents do not have water or electricity. While they are not necessarily electricians or plumbers, they go beyond the call of duty to stay up as late as possible and are awake as early as possible to do all they can to keep the community updated.

Ward 38 councillor, Malcolm Maifala

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  AUTHOR
David Pienaar
Reporter

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