Wednesday, 10 June 2020 18:24

 

Photo Credit:Courtney Africa.

The Gauteng North High Court has ruled in favour of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) application that the court judgment declaring the dissolution of the Tshwane Council illegal be implemented immediately.

The judgement that deemed the dissolution of Tshwane Council illegal will be implemented with immediate effect, which means that DA councillors will be reinstated while the administrators must leave.

The ruling was made following the DA's urgent court application launched to keep in force the high court's April 29 judgment, which overturned the provincial executive council's decision to dissolve the Tshwane council.

The executive council under Premier David Makhura took the decision to disband the municipal council on March 4, but that was successfully challenged by the DA.

The Court said, “If this application is refused, an unelected administrator will remain in place, accountable only to the GEC that appointed him and for a period far beyond that envisaged in the Constitution. It cannot be overlooked that the provincial government is controlled by a party that did not win the city of Tshwane municipal elections in 2016”.

This is a further indictment of the ANC provincial government and its Premier David Makhura and its MEC Lebogang Maile, who have systematically undermined governance in the City of Tshwane.

A crucial part of the DA’s argument was that residents in the city have a right to be governed by the people that they elected. Each day the administrators are deployed in office they undermine the democratic outcomes of the 2016 election and the values enshrined in the constitution.

The courts agreed with these points, even declaring that “the running of the City by an unelected administrator is the very antithesis of these values”. The judgement further reiterated that the ANC and EFF have a legal obligation to attend Council meetings, and a failure to do so would put them in contempt of court.

Following the ruling, which nullified the decision, the executive council and the EFF approached the Constitutional Court with an intention to appeal. The appeal case is expected to be heard on September 10.

Meanwhile Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile announced steps to be taken to address municipal revenue losses while the country battles of COVID-19.

Maile, speaking during an online media briefing, said various measures were being taken to assist municipalities.

“The municipal financial year ends in June and additional reprioritisations are currently in process. The Division of Revenue Bill must be enacted, which is expected to happen by the end of June,” he said.

National government availed R20 billion to assist municipalities in distress.

The most affected municipalities included the City of Johannesburg, which lost R1.5 billion, followed by the City of Tshwane with R1.2 billion, and the City of Ekurhuleni which lost over R800 million due to uncollected revenue from ratepayers.