17. Mechanisms, processes and procedures for community participation

  1. Participation by the local community in the affairs of the municipality must take place through-
    1. political structures for participation in terms of the Municipal Structures Act;
    2. the mechanisms, processes and procedures for participation in municipal governance established in terms of this Act;
    3. other appropriate mechanisms, processes and procedures established by the municipality;
    4. councillors; and
    5. generally applying the provisions for participation as provided for in this Act.
  2. A municipality must establish appropriate mechanisms, processes and procedures to enable the local community to participate in the affairs of the municipality, and must for this purpose provide for-
    1. the receipt, processing and consideration of petitions and complaints lodged by members of the local community;
    2. notification and public comment procedures, when appropriate;
    3. public meetings and hearings by the municipal council and other political structures and political office bearers of the municipality, when appropriate;
    4. consultative sessions with locally recognised community organisations and, where appropriate, traditional authorities; and
    5. report-back to the local community.
  3. When establishing mechanisms, processes and procedures in terms of subsection the municipality must take into account the special needs of-
    1. people who cannot reed or write;
    2. people with disabilities;
    3. women; and
    4. other disadvantaged groups.
  4. A municipal council may establish one or more advisory committees consisting of persons who are not councillors to advise the council on any matter within the council's competence. When appointing the members of such a committee, gender representivity on must be taken into account.