Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile has cautioned former Tshwane council members to stop issuing illegal trading permits to spaza shop owners and street traders.
“The conduct of these former councillors are clear acts of criminality and it undermines the decision taken by the executive committee, supported by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), to dissolve the council of the city of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality,” said Maile in a statement.
Many spaza shop owners have been operating with permits issued by the former councillors but Maile said they needed to accept that they no longer held those positions since the council was dissolved.
“As matters stand, no individual has the authority or powers to call himself or herself a ward/proportional representation councillor. This is because the elected councillors ceased to be councillors after the NCOP and the minister gave the thumbs up to dissolve the council,” Maile said.
Last month, Gauteng Premier David Makhura placed the country’s capital city under administration, a move which led to its dissolution. Maile then appointed a team of administrators to run the city for 90 days.
The DA is challenging Maile’s decision in court. The Pretoria High Court is yet to make a ruling, three weeks after the two parties presented their arguments.
Former West Rand District Municipality mayor Mpho Nawa leads the team which also includes Gilberto Martins, Lefadi Makibinyane, Riada Kruger, Lebogang Mahaye, Lesedi Mere, Thulisile Njapa-Mashanda, Masabatha Mutlaneng, Shiva Makoto and Mavela Dlamini.
With the spaza shops allowed to operate, former councillors have continued with their work despite the new arrangement.
On Wednesday, Maile urged the municipality to take the strongest possible action against those involved and lay charges against those defying the orders to stop.
“The full wrath of the law should face those responsible, who are using the plight of informal traders to undermine the by-laws and the Covid-19 regulations,” said the MEC.
Maile said parties should embrace the decisions taken by executive committee. “Parties across Tshwane should also support the work of the women and men who chose to sacrifice their paying jobs, by consciously electing to assist the provincial government in rescuing this strategic administrative city of our country.”