The Speaker’s primary responsibility is to:
• Preside at meetings of council;
• Ensure that Council meets at least once quarterly;
• Maintain order during council meetings;
• Ensure compliance in the council and council committees with the Code of Conduct;
• Ensure that council meetings are conducted in accordance with the rules and orders of Raymond Mhlaba Council;
• Ensure that Councillors and Traditional leaders get adequate notice of meetings
• Ensure implementation of procedure with regard to quorums and compliance as prescribed in Section 30 of the Municipal Structures Act;
• Allocate speaking time to members in accordance with Council policy;
• Implement voting procedure in accordance with Rules of Order as prescribed in the Municipal Structures Act;
• Ensure that Councillors and Traditional leaders' freedom of speech is exercised, subject to Council’s Rules of order;
• Ensure and facilitate the admission of public to council meetings;
• Grant leave of absence to Councillors and Traditional leaders in accordance with Council’s Rules of order;
• Guard against the abuse of Councillor privileges and interests;
• Ensure that Councillor benefits are implemented as per the Determination of Upper Limits for Political Office Bearers Gazette;
• Work hand in gloves with Traditional leaders participating in the proceedings of municipal council; and
• Maintain an attendance register for all Council meetings.
Responsibility of the Speaker’s Office also include:
• Promoting Public Participation and handling of petitions;
• Ensuring the establishment and effectiveness of Ward committees - a structure created to assist the democratically elected representative of a ward (the councillor) to carry out his or her mandate;
• Ensuring the establishment and effectiveness of sec 79 committees e.g MPAC, Women Caucus, Rules Committee, etc.
• Ensuring effectiveness of the moral regeneration movement as one of the committees responsible in ensuring that the morals within communities in the jurisdiction of Raymond Mhlaba are maintained;
• An additional role that the municipal council can consider for the Speaker relates to ward committees. Council may task the Speaker with overseeing the establishment and functioning of ward committees. In that scenario, the speaker would, for example:
oversee the election of ward committee members;
ensure functionality of ward committees and reporting on meetings takes place; and
co-ordinate the assignment of PR councillors to ward committees if the council decides to go that route.
Ward Committees are the vehicles through which the notions of a participatory democracy and a representative democracy as outlined in Section 152 of the Constitution become a reality.