21 February 2017

South Africa: Dissolution of Nquthu Municipality to Be Decided Tonight

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The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) will hold an urgent meeting in Durban tonight to decide on whether the dissolution of Nquthu local municipality should be approved by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

"We will be meeting around seven this evening to resolve on this matter. Our discussions should not take long because the submissions we received today from stakeholders of Nquthu are no different from the ones we were made aware of during our initial visit in November 2016, which led to this municipality being placed under provincial administration in terms of Section 139 (1) (b) of the Constitution," said Committee Chairperson, Mr Jihad Mohapi.

Mr Mohapi said this during today's meeting in Dundee, where the Committee had gone to hear what stakeholders in this area thought of the request by the KZN MEC for Cogta, Ms Nomusa Dube, to have Nquthu local municipality dissolved.

MEC Dube tabled a notice of dissolution in terms of Section 139 (1) (c) of the Constitution to the NCOP on 08 February 2017. Last week she was called before the Committee where she explained the rationale for seeking to invoke this section. Consequently, the Committee undertook today's visit.

Mr Mohapi also believes the meeting this evening will be swift and Members will reach a unanimous decision because most of the Committee members' questions were posed to MEC Dube when she appeared before the Committee last week.

The interaction with stakeholders today saw political parties advancing different viewpoints about this dissolution, with ANC supporting it, DA saying they do not support it but will comply with NCOP decision and IFP vehemently opposed to the idea. The intervention was however supported by organised labour, women and youth formations.

The MEC lists, among other reasons, the inability of this municipality to constitute a council meeting that would elect critical office bearers, such as the Mayor and Speaker, since the August 2016 local government elections. This and other challenges at this municipality were meant to have been addressed by the first intervention, but still persist. This necessitated the second intervention.

When making its decision, the Committee will have to consider the substantive evidence it has around this matter, look at whether the Provincial Executive Committee of KZN followed the set procedure when dealing with this matter and lastly consider Constitutional imperatives related hereto.

The sitting where the members of the NCOP will be debating this matter is scheduled for this Thursday, 23 February 2017 and will be broadcast on Parliament Dstv channel 408.

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