"Towards a country where people live and are treated with dignity, enjoy a shared prosperity, and where cooperation exists."

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Roles of the Municipality

Roles of the Municipality

Part of the role of the local government is to be aware of the opportunities that

already exist in the community, or how it can create new opportunities to enhance

business prospects. At the same time, it must be aware of aspects that can be

detrimental to business and try to eliminate them.

Economic Development in the context of the modern municipality has two

purposes.

1 To seek out potential investors and convince investors them to bring capital to a

city or region, thereby creating employment. These investors may come from

within or outside the area.

2 To enhance the local environment aesthetically, competitively and economically,

to ensure that current businesses stay and new businesses find the quality of life

attractive.

 

Three roles of the municipality

There are three basic roles that define the responsibilities of virtually all

municipalities. These roles are consistent with their traditional responsibilities, but

also have a special significance in terms of economic development. They are the

essence of what a local authority actually does, or should do. They are:

 

A Service provider. This role is the most traditional. It is the role in which municipal

administrations feel most confident. It includes routine operational functions such

as garbage collection and disposal, various administrative tasks, cleaning and

maintaining public areas (streets and parks), maintaining state and municipal

property. It also includes responsibility for capital investment with regard to the

provision, upgrading and maintenance of services, although in most cases this

responsibility has traditionally been shared with central government.

 

B Regulator. The second major role is that of regulator, which has increased in

importance with the establishment of more private enterprises. Where various

interests exist, it takes a single entity with overriding jurisdiction to regulate the

actions of others to ensure the common good. This is a highly important function in

terms of economic development and one that is most appropriate to the local

authority.

 

C Catalyst. The role of ‘catalyst’ is the main proactive responsibility. It entails

moving the community forward and creating the appropriate environment for

economic development. The unique position that the municipal government has in

the community allows it to create conducive circumstances. A municipality can

provide or restrict opportunities. Restriction is not always a negative factor: it can

sometimes be beneficial to the community. Problems arise when the restriction is

unintended.