What happens if De Lille goes?

2018-02-15 11:50
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo images, Getty images, file)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. (Gallo images, Getty images, file)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town looks set to remove Mayor Patricia de Lille from her post during a special sitting on Thursday.

In January, Western Cape Democratic Alliance leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said the party's federal executive had authorised its caucus to table a motion of no confidence against De Lille in the city council.

The motion, tabled on January 31, also called for the explicit removal of the mayor, following a raft of allegations against her.

The motion will now go ahead, after the Western Cape High Court ruled on Wednesday that Speaker Dirk Smit is allowed to decide whether the motion of no confidence is held by secret ballot or not.

READ: De Lille pleased with court ruling on motion of no confidence

De Lille's party - the DA - also cannot force its members to vote for or against her, the court ruled.

According to the Municipal Structures Act, a mayor can be removed by a city council if a resolution is tabled with prior notice, and subsequently passed.

The motion must be tabled at least 10 days in advance of a council sitting before it can be debated, resulting in the February 15 date.

A vote of no confidence requires a 50% + 1 threshold to pass.

The DA has 154 of the 231 council seats in the City of Cape Town - exactly two-thirds.

If a motion of no confidence is passed, De Lille will have to resign, and the mayoral committee appointed by her would also be dissolved.

Neilson to take over temporarily

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson - as the only other official elected to his position by the council (and not by the mayor) - will exercise De Lille's powers and perform her duties in the interim.

A new mayor must be appointed within 14 days of the ousted mayor's removal.

Rumours are that Madikizela is the party's preferred choice to replace De Lille.

In order for Madikizela to be appointed, he will need to resign from his position as a member of the Western Cape provincial legislature.

He currently serves as MEC for Human Settlements in Premier Helen Zille's cabinet.

He will then need to be assigned a vacant proportional representation seat in the City of Cape Town on the DA's party list, and then voted in by the council as mayor within the 14-day period.

If elected, the new mayor will appoint his or her own mayoral committee.

Water crisis

What happens to the city's drought response team if the mayoral committee dissolves?

The council voted on January 19 to strip De Lille of her powers in managing the city's severe water crisis.

It then mandated the mayoral committee as a whole to handle the crisis collectively, with Neilson acting as reporting head.

A dissolution of the mayoral committee will only affect the city's ability to fight the drought if the new mayor delays the appointment of his or her new committee, or makes wholesale changes to its makeup.

Once a new mayoral committee is elected, it will resume its statutory obligations - as well as the specially-assigned collective powers to tackle the water crisis - given to it on January 19.

The City of Cape Town this week moved the date for Day Zero back to June 4, following a decline in agricultural use.

It is the date on which the council will switch off all municipal taps, and control the collection of water at various collection pods around the city.

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

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