Local government elections are set to take place on 1 November 2021. These happen every five years, and it is important that citizens cast their vote to ensure they get the best representatives. However, it is equally important that all citizens have a good understanding of the structures and functions of local government, and to be able to see past the promises, gifts, slogans, theatrics and rhetoric that flow from all political parties in the run-up to elections, thereby becoming empowered to assess municipalities with a critical eye. As the sphere of government closest to the people and the one that has the biggest impact on and influence over citizens’ daily lives, municipalies are accountable to their constituents. With elections, citizens have the chance to play a role in achieving the quality of government they want, by deciding on which representatives they want to make important decisions on their behalf. They have the right to demand a high standard from their local government. Corruption Watch has prepared a guide outlining the structures and functions of local government, under the following headings: Structure of local governmentLocal government elections Local government legislation Local government and service delivery How can corruption manifest In your local municipality? Make sure you’re prepared for the elections, so that you can make an informed choice when voting! Read the guide below, or download it.