The Effectiveness of Financial Disclosure Regulations as an Anti-Corruption Tool in Local Government

"This paper examines the financial disclosure regulatory framework for municipal councillors in South Africa. Drawing strongly on empirical data, it provides a detailed critique of this framework’s practical implementation, including the scope and content of disclosure requirements, compliance by elected officials, institutional support and capacity for disclosure, public access to information, and monitoring and oversight mechanisms. By assessing municipalities in terms of these issues, the paper allows for substantive discussion and comparison of the implementation of financial disclosure regulations across various municipalities. Emphasis is placed on case study research and identifying the common trends and weaknesses, especially where the disclosure process departs from its intended objectives as set out in legislation. The paper concludes that despite South Africa’s progressive disclosure laws for municipal councillors, certain aspects of the regulatory system are inconsistent. In addition, and as a result of these inconsistencies, practical implementation varies dramatically across municipalities."