Clock ticking for Cogta to amend 'defect' in local government act, says Bredell

2019-03-09 21:41
Anton Bredell (File, Netwerk24)

Anton Bredell (File, Netwerk24)

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Western Cape MEC for local government Anton Bredell has urged Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize to intervene in the impending invalidity of the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Act.

Among other things, the 2011 amendment act inserted a section which introduced a restriction that municipal managers or managers directly accountable to municipal managers, could no longer hold political office in a political party.

In 2017, the Constitutional Court upheld a North Gauteng High Court declaration that the move by the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department was invalid.

The application was initially brought by the South African Municipal Workers' Union, which argued that the amendment act was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid on the basis that it amounted to an unjustifiable limitation, in terms of section 36 of the Constitution – the right to make free political choices in terms of section 19(1) of the Constitution 

In the judgement, delivered by Justice Sisi Khampepe, the declaration of invalidity was suspended for two years "to allow the legislature an opportunity to correct the defect".

The two years expires on March 9.

"The declaration of invalidity has not yet been remedied and the only recourse at this stage is an extension," said Bredell.

"If the declaration of invalidity comes into effect on 10 March 2019 it will have significant consequences. These include, but are not limited to, consequences relating to the appointment of municipal managers and the managers reporting to them."

Bredell has requested Mkhize to urgently advise provinces and municipalities of the steps being taken by the national department to address the situation.

Read more on:    cogta  |  anton bredell  |  zweli mkhize­
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