The role of a Municipal Manager is to be the head of the administration at the local level of government. It is not an easy job, and the person occupying this position has a lot of responsibility. They are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the municipality, and for ensuring that plans and strategies are rolled out in a way that benefits the community they serve.


Here is a look at the day-to-day activities of a Municipal Manager:

A Municipal Manager has many roles to play. They act as the link between the council and the administration. Along with that, they also serve as the accounting officer of the municipality where they are employed. These roles are linked to a wide variety of tasks:


  • Administration

The Municipal Manager is responsible for various administrative tasks. These include implementing planned strategies and ensuring the smooth running of the municipality’s functions. The Municipal Manager is also responsible for advising municipal office bearers.


  • Accounting

Because the Municipal Manager also plays the role of accounting officer, they are responsible for sound financial management within their municipality. This means that they are responsible for managing the municipality’s income, expenditure, and assets. They also have to make sure that the municipality complies with all the applicable legislation.


Municipal Managers play the role of accounting officer


  • HR

Part of ensuring that the administration is running smoothly and that the finances of the municipality are in order is ensuring that the employees working for the municipality are efficient and that they possess the right skills for their jobs. The Municipal Manager is therefore in charge of leading their staff and motivating them to deliver the highest quality of work. They also have to ensure that their staff members are properly trained and developed.


  • Elections

The duties of a Municipal Manager before, during, and after the election period continue as usual, with a focus on supporting the preparations for the election. They are also responsible for ensuring that the proper public participation process is followed.  This includes ensuring that budgets are signed off and that time frames are adhered to. They also assist the IEC with arrangements for elections. After local elections, the Municipal Manager has to chair the first council meeting, support new councillors, and arrange briefing of the municipal staff.


The qualifications and competencies of a Municipal Manager

To become a Municipal Manager, you need the right qualifications and experience. Usually, the person holding this position needs a qualification – preferably a degree – in law, administration, or politics. They also need senior managerial experience and experience working in local government. It is important that they have good knowledge of relevant laws and regulations, and good knowledge of how municipal councils operate. This means that if you want to work as a Municipal Manager, you may need to start out in a junior municipal administration role, and work your way up from there.


Click here to find out how you can start studying towards a career in municipal administration.


The role of a municipal manager is not an easy one. It is demanding and requires the individual to be skilled enough to run an efficient municipality. Many of the Municipal Manager’s responsibilities fall under administration and finance. This role is one that is rewarding and that serves the community to ensure that service delivery is of a high standard.


Also read: Your Guide to Finding a Job in Local Government