This article contributes to the debate and aims to increase policy-makers’ understanding of the dynamics of local government service delivery, with the ultimate goal of strengthening service delivery in South Africa. The motivation for the research comes from a realisation that policy interrogation efforts into local government have largely focused on the role of the community and/or the appointed
municipal officials. There is a lack of research on elected office bearers who are a fundamental part of the local government system and whose role has a policyshaping influence. Political leadership and its effectiveness in the local government sphere is an important but often neglected aspect of government. According to the
White Paper on Local Government (1998:12), local government in South Africa has, since the transition to democracy, undergone a series of changes to meet the needs of a consolidating democracy and the development of the country’s citizens. The challenges include: addressing apartheid-legacy underdevelopment of the regions
and municipalities; fostering participatory governance in the local sphere; and consolidating local government to facilitate sustainable development and improving service delivery. This article investigates the role of a municipal councilor in ensuring that the municipality’s mandate is carried out.