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17 May 2007

The Speaker


Council Speaker Constance Bontle Bapela
Council Speaker Constance Bontle Bapela
The Speaker is the chairperson of the council - the chief custodian and guardian of the legislative arm of the council. 

The Speaker plays two important roles:

  • within the council
  • in building democracy

The Speaker presides over council meetings and makes sure the council meets at least every quarter. The Speaker also maintains order during meetings and ensure that such meetings are held according to the council's rules and regulations.

Another of the Speaker's duties is to assess the needs of the councillors, arrange suitable training to develop political governance capacity and improve individual skills.

In order to fulfil the role of building democracy, the Speaker manages community participation in local government, particularly through the ward committees, by ensuring they function effectively. The Speaker has to ensure public consultation, involvement and participation in the affairs of the municipality.

Constance Bontle Bapela

Constance (Conny) Bontle Bapela is an active member of the African National Congress and participates fully in different structures of the ANC.

Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040: GovernanceBapela’s political involvement started from humble beginnings.  She participated in Cosas as a young student and she is a founder member of the Alexandra Women’s Congress and served as a Treasurer and the founder member of the Alex Youth Congress (AYCO) as well as a Deputy Secretary.

During the state of emergency in 1985 she was detained and had to spend 3 months in Noorwood Police cells. Her family was denied access to visit her and she was later taken to Joburg prison where she spend three years.

Together with other comrades they organised themselves to form operation Phambana (Operation Madness) and burn out prison beds in order to get attention from the authorities and to be given a chance to stand before court and they were eventually released.

She is the additional member of the ANC branch in Alex and previously was elected as the Branch Secretary. She is currently an additional member of the Zonal Executive Committee in Zone 13, and she is responsible for Transport portfolio. She is also a member of Ward Task Team.

Conny joined the City of Johannesburg in 1995 and served in different committees and in different capacities :

In 1995 she served in the Corporate and Shared Services Section 80 as well as the Civic Relations, tenders and Tribunal.

From 2006 -2008 she served in the Section 79 Committee as the Corporate and Shared Services Committee Whip.

From 2008 – 2011 she chaired the Transportation Committee.

Some of her achievement in local Government include:

Community Development Practice Project Management; Programme with Wits Commercial Enterprise.
Community Leader Development Programme facilitated by Wits; Faculty of Management.
Municipal Management Development Progranme facilitated by: University of Pretoria.
Financial Management, facilitated by Regenesys.
Communicate with Confidence in Business: Creative conferences and Training; and Sustainable Infrastructure for African Towns and Cities, facilitated by the SA Institution of Civil Engineering in collaboration with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

Bapela is a mother of three , two boys and one girl and she is married to the Deputy Minister of Communications Honourable Obed Bapela.

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Last Updated on 16 July 2015