Almost half of South Africa’s senior municipal officials don’t meet minimum competency levels

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says that nearly half of South Africa’s senior municipal officials do not meet the government’s prescribed minimum competency levels.

Answering in a written recent parliamentary Q&A, Ntshavheni said that prescribed minimum competency levels were first introduced 13 years for municipal managers, chief executive officers and other officials dealing with financial management.

However, as of 31 January 2020, the data shows that:

  • Out of 2,747 municipal officials, only 1,565 officials (53%) meet the minimum competency levels;
  • Out of 248 chief financial officers, 128 (52%) have achieved minimum competency levels;
  • 53.7% of senior managers have achieved minimum competency levels.

“This is only mildly promising, but not acceptable and much work still needs to be done to ensure that senior managers in local government have the skills and competencies to do their jobs,” Ntshavheni said.

What is minimum competency? 

The regulations referred to by Ntshavheni are included in the municipal regulations of minimum competency levels which were first published in 2007.

The regulations prescribe the minimum requirements for each position – with a number of the senior positions requiring at least a NQF level 7, such as a Bachelor’s Degree.

Some of these competency levels have subsequently been adjusted to include other NQF level 7 qualifications with the equivalent credits, such as an advanced diploma.

The requirements for the relevant positions, per the 2007 regulations, are as follows:


Accounting officers 


Chief financial officers  


Senior managers


Middle management 


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Almost half of South Africa’s senior municipal officials don’t meet minimum competency levels