POSTAL: PO Box 134, East London, 5200 PHYSICAL: Munifin Centre, cnr Oxford & Caxton Streets, East London TEL: 043 705 3015 FAX: 043 705 9111 WEB: www.buffalocity.gov.za
The Constitution of 1996 requires that a municipality “must structure and manage its administration and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the community”. The boundaries of the newly established municipality now include a large area characterised by very different features.
Two former municipalities (Transitional Local Councils) – that of East London and King William’s Town – have merged into one, and also other areas, which previously were not included in either of them, are now part of Buffalo City.
Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality is in the Amatole District of the Eastern Province. The administrative structure is being gradually defined, and new functions and roles are being identified and allocated.
The Buffalo City Municipal Council is the ultimate political decision-making body of the municipality. Ward councillors are the major link between the municipal government and the residents. The Executive Mayor of Buffalo City takes overall strategic and political responsibility for the city, while the Municipal Manager heads the city’s administration.
The heads of departments and officials are responsible for physically implementing policy.
Staff and Administration
The Municipality is led by Executive Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha who takes overall strategic and political responsibility for the city. There are 100 councillors – 50 ward councillors and 50 proportional representation councillors.
The ANC has a strong majority followed by the Democratic Alliance. Another four parties also have elected representatives on the council (PAC, ACDP, COPE and AIC).
The Municipal Manager heads Buffalo City’s administration and provides the link between the political and administrative arms of city government. The administration has just over 5 000 employees divided into the Executive Mayoral Office, Municipal Manager’s Office and five directorates – Financial Services, Engineering Services, Corporate Services, Planning and Economic Development and Social Services.
“A responsive, people-centred and developmental city.”
Commitment to Vision
An Integrated Development Plan outlines the strategy for the city, enabling the Municipality to achieve its constitutional objectives, i.e:
Buffalo City has important growth and development opportunities and a number of major projects are in the pipeline, including an Industrial Development Zone. Tourism has considerable potential for growth. The Municipality has recognised its important economic development role and has established a local economic development unit. There is a strong focus on securing foreign investment, creating international partnerships and twinning relationships (including relationships with SIDA, the Dutch and the use of other international experts).
The Municipality also actively builds its relationships with the business community and major economic role-players. The establishment of a Business Forum provides a useful platform for engaging the private sector and building a strategic city development partnership.
Relationship with other Regional Cities The Municipality has strong relationships with neighbouring cities, and has made progress in identifying and developing common interests/ needs. It is involved with the Nelson Mandela Metropole and the Cacadu and Amathole District Municipalities through the Coastal Mayor’s Forum. These relationships allow the municipality to play a useful co-ordinating and strategic role for the Eastern Cape.
The council has managed to achieve significant financial turnaround since its implementation. The overdraft has been reduced and the trend of increasing arrears has been arrested. Fiscal discipline is evident and there is a strong emphasis on training councillors in financial management. A functioning Audit Committee and sound financial management controls are in place. The Municipality has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption.