Local Government Ethical Leadership Initiative

The Local Government Ethical Leadership Initiative (LGELI) is a collaborative multi-year project involving The Ethics Institute, the National Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM).

What are LGELI's Objectives?


LGELI aims to foster a nationwide conversation on ethical leadership within local government, ultimately leading to the formulation of a Code for Ethical Governance in South African Local Government. This initiative aligns with the 2016 Local Government Anti-Corruption Strategy (LGACS), which commits to facilitating a national dialogue on governance and ethical leadership in municipalities. The LGACS seeks to create a widely consulted document that not only articulates abstract values but also outlines practical ways to implement good governance and ethical leadership. This document, envisioned in the LGACS, now takes the form of the “Code for Ethical Governance for Local Government in South Africa” (the Code).

Code for ethical leadership in local government


Through a three-year process of dialogue and research, the LGELI project developed the Code for Ethical Leadership in Local Government.

The Code was officially launched by the Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on 1 March 2024.

Please download a copy of the Code. There is the complete version, as well as a short (4-page) summary version.

Making the code ‘real’


The Code is voluntary in that it requires a personal moral commitment. Nonetheless, municipalities can promote the institutionalisation of the Code by:

  • Adopting the Code in a council resolution. 
  • Discussing the content of the Code in meetings. 
  • Training for municipal leaders