City of Cape Town council may have to revote on De Lille's powers after 'deficiencies' raised

2018-06-29 11:38
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24, file)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Paul Herman, News24, file)

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The City of Cape Town council may have to hold a fresh motion to cut Mayor Patricia de Lille's executive powers after deficiencies were raised in the council's first resolution.

On May 31, the council agreed to reduce De Lille's role to "ceremonial", delegating decisions to her mayoral committee by consensus, with final oversight held by the council.

READ: Cape Town council cuts De Lille's powers to 'ceremonial'

De Lille was effectively left with the ability to appoint a mayoral committee (mayco), call mayco meetings and perform ceremonial duties.

Speaker Dirk Smit told News24 on Wednesday that he was seeking legal advice on whether the council needed to resubmit a revised motion but said he could not elaborate.

"I can only say that I am seeking legal counsel and legal advice and have not received the answer from the advocate yet."

News24 has seen a letter which provincial MEC for Local Governance, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell sent to De Lille's office last Friday.

'Deficiencies' 

It showed that Smit sought legal advice noting "deficiencies" in the original motion.

"I have received correspondence from the office of the speaker, indicating that deficiencies were identified in the resolution of May 31, 2018 and that legal advice obtained, suggested a redraft of the designated powers," Bredell's letter said.

"I am also informed that it is intended to submit a recommendation for a revised resolution to the City council at its next meeting on July 26, 2018."

Bredell's letter was in response to De Lille's request for his input in her own letter, sent on June 4, following the council's decision.

Smit told News24 that, if the final advice was that a revised motion needed to be submitted, he would need to schedule it seven days before the council sitting during which it is voted on.

To be ready for the July 26 council date, he would need to reschedule it around mid-July.

Bredell's spokesperson, James-Brent Styan, told News24 on Thursday: "The minister supports the process as pointed out."

De Lille could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday because she was in a meeting.

Downgrade to 'ceremonial'

The original motion, tabled by Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson, asked to delegate "all delegations and legislative authority, including subordinate legislation" to the mayoral committee, with the exception of an appointment of mayco and with certain provisions for the exercise of ceremonial duties.

In the case of ceremonial duties, the mayor would need to conduct ceremonial duties after a consideration by the mayco and by consensus. Without consensus, it would be escalated to the council.

All travel requests made by the mayor, both local and international, must be considered by the mayco by consensus. If there is a lack of consensus, the matter should be referred to the speaker for approval.

Neilson motivated for the motion and said that, given the current state of affairs between De Lille and the party in court, a new structure of power was required.

"This structure of power is in the interests of ensuring effective service delivery during a state of flux that is legally permissible," Neilson said.

The motion passed by 137 votes to 50. Two councillors abstained.

The ANC and EFF rejected the proposal. The ACDP said it supported the move in principle, but not for short-term interests while the matter was before the courts.

De Lille told councillors during the sitting that she would challenge the resolution in court.

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Read more on:    da  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  politics

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