The adoption of Standing Rules and Orders is aimed at providing a framework for municipalities to make decision-making procedures clear and legally sound. Municipalities are required to develop and adopt a set of rules and orders that governs management and procedures for committee meetings. All councillors, including those in the opposition benches, including independent councillors should be enabled by the rules and orders to participate meaningfully in the council business. The Speaker has a crucial role to ensure that councillors are familiar with the rules and orders and that they are enforced. It’s also ideal that the contents and body politic of the rules and orders should be in line with the Delegations of Powers Policy.
MMM adopted a set of Standing Rules and Orders on the 30th June 2016 and subsequently promulgated through the Provincial Gazelle in July 2016. The introduction, application and efficient activation of the rules in the past six months has for some time created apprehension during debates in Council. The Speaker has in some of the occasions called to provide adequate interpretation, clarity on the efficacy and applicability of the rules. Some of the areas wherein which clarity has been frequently requested has been around notices, urgent matters, debate management and suspension of orders.