Elections after 7 municipalities dissolved

2014-10-16 20:37
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A total of 111 wards will be contested in by-elections next month following the National Council of Provinces decision to dissolve district and municipal councils in some provinces, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said.

"The councils were dissolved in terms of section 139 of the Constitution which allows provincial executive councils to dissolve a municipal council and call for fresh elections in exceptional circumstances where the municipality cannot fulfil its functions and obligations," the IEC said in a statement.

"This 'last resort' mechanism has seldom been employed in democratic South Africa."

The IEC said this meant municipal elections would take place across 111 wards in the seven municipalities.

The Ngaka Modiri Molema district council in North West was dissolved, which meant by-elections would take place in its five municipal councils.

They were: Ratlou municipality; Tswaing municipality; Mafikeng municipality; Ramotshere Moiloa municipality; and Ditsobotla municipality.

By-elections would be held in all wards in the municipalities.

Last month, local government MEC Collen Maine reportedly dissolved the municipal council after several investigations into maladministration.

Among other things, the municipality, which is in charge of supplying water to residents across all five municipalities, reportedly failed to address disclaimers from the auditor general's reports since 2011.

In the Eastern Cape the Inkwanca municipality (Molteno) was dissolved. This was reportedly after the municipality's leadership lost a court bid to dismiss a forensic report into the dire state of governance.

Regular by-elections

The Mooi Mpofana municipality (Mooi River) in KwaZulu-Natal was dissolved and by-elections would take place in all four wards.

The provincial government dissolved the municipality last month and relieved its seven councillors of their duties.

Co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube Ncube said the decision was taken following allegations of internal bickering, maladministration and poor financial management.

In addition to by-elections being held in the dissolved municipalities regular by-elections - due to resignation or death of the councillors - were also expected to be held in 21 wards around the country.

Thirteen by-elections would be held in Limpopo's Mogalakwena municipality (Potgietersrus). This was after the expulsion of all the councillors.

In July, the African National Congress fired the councillors in the province following disciplinary hearings held the month before.

The councillors were suspended following reports that they had attended a council meeting with opposition parties in April, where discussions around removing the mayor, chief whip and some members of the executive committee were held.

26 November

One by-election would be held in the Free State's Maluti a Phofung municipality (Qwa-Qwa). The ward became vacant when the councillor died.

In KwaZulu-Natal the Ulundi municipality would be contested after the councillor resigned.

Three by-elections would be held in Mpumalanga. A ward in the Mkhondo municipality (Piet Retief) and one in the Govan Mbeki municipality (Highveld Ridge) became vacant when the councillors died. A ward in the Umjindi municipality (Barberton) became vacant when the councillor resigned.

One by-election would be held in the Northern Cape's Kai !Garib municipality (Keimoes) following the death of the councillor in one of the wards.

Four by-elections would be held in the Western Cape, one in a ward in the Theewaterskloof municipality (Caledon) following the resignation of the councillor and three in the Overstrand municipality (Greater Hermanus) after two resignations and one death.

In total 132 wards would be contested on 26 November.

Read more on:    iec  |  elections

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