The local government elections will be held within three months after 18 May, the date of the last election, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
He urged all citizens 18 years or older to register during the first voter registration weekend on 5 and 6 March.
Zuma said national government would implement more active monitoring and accountability measures this year.
These included municipality visits, spot checks of supply chain processes, implementing recommendations of forensic reports, and increased interventions to help struggling municipalities.
Zuma said they had developed a 10-point back-to-basics plan. This would include allowing communities to provide feedback of their experience with local government.