Beaufort West Local Municipality: Overview
Beaufort West is the oldest town in the Central Karoo and its municipality, proclaimed in 1837, is the oldest in South Africa. The municipality also provides services to Merweville and Nelspoort.
Local municipal powers
Local municipalities are mandated to:
- Pass by-laws (local laws and regulations) about any of the functions they are responsible for. By-laws may not go against any national laws.
- Approve budgets and development plans. Every year, a municipal budget must be passed that sets down how money will be raised and spent. The municipality must also approve the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
- Impose rates and other taxes; for example, property tax.
- Charge service fees for using municipal services like water, electricity and libraries.
- Impose fines for people who break municipal by-laws; for example, traffic fines or fines for littering.
- Borrow money. The council can take out a loan for a development or other project and is permitted to use municipal assets as surety.
Local municipal functions
The Constitution confers the following areas of responsibility on local municipalities:
- Electricity delivery
- Water for household use
- Sewerage and sanitation
- Storm water systems
- Refuse removal
- Firefighting services
- Municipal health services
- Decisions around land use
- Local roads
- Local public transport
- Street trading
- Abattoirs and fresh food markets
- Parks and recreational areas
- Libraries and other community facilities
- Local tourism