In 2000 the old ramshackle Local Government system of South Africa was replaced with a new, streamlined structure. The new system was designed to drive the Government's transformation programme by delivering clean water, electricity, schools, sewage treatment and roads to the poorest communities in the country.
Local Government consists of Metropolitan Municipalities, District Councils and Local Councils, each of which serves a different part of society.
- Metropolitan Municipalities are big single councils which administer the conurbations of the large cities. There are six of them - Cape Town, Durban, East Rand, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth . They are also known as Unicities.
- District Councils provide services to small towns and rural areas. There are 47 District Councils in the whole country.
- Local Councils work closely with the District Councils in providing services such as roads and electricity to villages and rural areas. There are 231 Local Councils.