Local Government in South Africa consists of municipalities of various types. The largest metropolitan areas are governed by metropolitan municipalities, while the rest of the country is divided into district municipalities, each of which consist of several local municipalities.
Municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are elected every five years. Municipalities can belong to one of three categories: Metropolitan, district and local. In areas which are primarily rural, the local government is divided into district municipalities and local municipalities.
District Municipalities are the main divisions of South Africa's provinces; they are subdivided into local municipalities. Local municipalities share authority with the district municipality under which they fall. Metropolitan and district municipalities form the layer of government directly below the provinces.
The Eastern Cape local government sector is constituted by the two Metropolitan Municipalities (Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay) and five district municipalities (Alfred Nzo, Amathole, Cacadu, Chris Hani and O.R. Tambo District Municipality).