Gauteng govt cracks the whip in Tshwane and Joburg metros

The provincial government in Gauteng says it has decided to take steps to restore order and good governance following months of what it describes as political instability that has characterised the municipalities of Tshwane and Johannesburg over the last few months.

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Lebogang Maile, MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and COGTA says he submitted a report “identifying a variety of systemic and deep-seated challenges faced by the two strategic Metros in the Province” to Gauteng Premier David Makhura and other members of the executive this morning.

He adds that the report calls for new laws to be passed that will require that coalition arrangement be formalised between parties in order to bring stability to municipal governance.

“We as Gauteng will be looking to sponsor new legislation through the National Council of Provinces, in order to regulate coalition arrangements, so that they can bind the parties to a coalition arrangement to the requirements of Section 152 of the Constitution, which talks about the responsibilities of municipal government to citizens.”

Maile believes that the failure of coalition governments in municipalities has led to a decline in water quality and increased unreliability of water provision, physical confrontations in the council chamber, mismanagement of funds municipal funds in the City of Tshwane. In the City of Johannesburg, he expresses concern about the collapse of the Council sitting yesterday which he says runs the risk of damaging the integrity and legitimacy of Council in the public eye.

Plans are now in place to put the City of Tshwane under administration for service delivery failures according to Maile. He adds that the Speaker of Council in the city of Tshwane breached the code of conduct by walking out of a meeting yesterday and will have to explain herself before action is taken against her. He says the Acting City Manager in the capital will also be required to explain his refusal to conduct the election of an interim speaker in the City of Tshwane.

“In light of the shenanigans witnessed in Tshwane and Johannesburg Council sittings yesterday, we will be approaching the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis to make a judgement that will clarify exactly what constitutes a majority for electoral purposes within a municipal Council, so that we can avoid the type of situation we are currently faced within both municipalities, which is completely detrimental to the interests of our citizens who simply want well-functioning municipalities that will deliver services on a consistent basis to them.”