Provinces can’t pass finance laws: ConCourt

2012-03-22 13:38

Provinces cannot pass their own laws regulating financial management, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruled.

The ruling today was a follow-up to a judgment in August on the Limpopo government’s attempt to find clarity on whether it could pass its own laws governing financial management.

In that case, Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale would not sign the Financial Management of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature Act because he believed the legislature did not have the constitutional power to pass provincial legislation dealing with financial management.

The speaker of the Limpopo provincial legislature disagreed and said it was allowed under section three of the Financial Management of Parliament Act 10 of 2009, read with schedule one to the act.

The ConCourt agreed that the provinces did not have these powers, only the national legislature.

There were similar laws in Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West, and the court wanted to know why their legislation should also not be declared unconstitutional.

In the latest judgment, the ConCourt held that similar laws in five other provinces were also unconstitutional.

“All the provincial laws were therefore found to be inconsistent with the Constitution,” the court found.

An order of invalidity was made, but was suspended for 18 months for the provinces to make changes without there being a legislative gap to the people’s detriment.

The provinces had to report to the ConCourt by September 2013 on these changes.

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