South Africa: Gauteng Govt to Intervene in Tshwane, Seeks Legislation to Better Manage Coalitions

The Gauteng government has announced that it will intervene in the City of Tshwane and seek legislation through the National Council of Provinces to regulate coalition government agreements.

The announcement was made on Friday by Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile.

The move is being carried out in terms Sections 139 and 152 of the Constitution. It gives the provincial government the powers to intervene in the running of the municipality when it cannot fulfil its obligations. This was decided by the provincial government's executive council when it met this week.

It also comes on the back of the ANC winning back control of the City of Johannesburg and starting a coalition government with smaller parties, as well as the DA's Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and council speaker Katlego Mathebe being booted out in motions of no confidence during a chaotic special sitting on Thursday evening.

"By so doing, we will be bringing stability to local municipalities in a coalition environment by removing the opportunity for political opportunism whereby parties, without a popular mandate from the people, collapse governments and bring instability in municipalities through opportunistic motions of no confidence etc, etc... ," said Maile.

He said this was a bid to tighten public accountability and protect citizens' interests through legislation, which would enforce binding legal agreements that could be used by the public to determine if their interests were being served or not.

'Dereliction of duty'

Maile said he would be writing to Mathebe, questioning why she had left in the middle of council.

"To run council is not optional, its obligatory. She can't just leave. We believe she might have breached the code of conduct of councillors," said Maile.

Maile also raised concerns about the capital city's acting municipal manager Moeketsi Ntsimane's refusal to step in and preside over the council sitting.

"We think that's insubordination and dereliction of duty. People can't just do as they wish, because there are laws that are governing us," he said.

Maile said Tshwane had been a problematic municipality, and had shown flagrant disregard for the Municipal Finance Management Act, had engaged in questionable procurement processes, and that there had been numerous collapsed council sittings.

"You saw how councillors relate to each other. That's a permanent feature of the municipalities," he said.

When asked about the City of Johannesburg and the failed bids to have a motion of no confidence against City speaker Vasco Da Gama passed, Maile said as far as he was concerned, there was no speaker in Johannesburg.

Source: News24

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