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FF Plus warns Gauteng government that the actions of the Tshwane Metro Council’s administrators are unconstitutional

(Member’s statement in Gauteng Legislature)

During a virtual session of the Gauteng Legislature, the FF Plus warned that the unconstitutional conduct of the Tshwane Metro Council's administrator may have serious consequences for the province.

The Constitution makes provision for the appointment of an administrator with the aim of restoring the short-term stability in a council, but not to take over the council. The Tshwane administrator’s prescribed period of 90 days has lapsed and, therefore, any decisions that are taken now are unconstitutional.

The administrator made another mistake by adopting a comprehensive adjustment budget for the Metro Council and submitting it to the provincial Legislature. That is in contravention of the Constitution which determines that only a municipal council can adopt a comprehensive budget. In terms of Section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution, an administrator must only be appointed in exceptional cases and then only with very limited powers. Appointing a new municipal manager and adopting budgets certainly do not fall within the scope of an administrator's powers.

If the budget were to be reviewed before a court, the Gauteng province could be held liable. The fact that the Tshwane administrator adopted a budget without a functional council means that the provincial budget of Gauteng, which includes the Tshwane Metro Council, is also unconstitutional.

The provincial Legislature has failed the councillors of the Tshwane Metro Council by not paying their salaries retroactively before the Metro Council was placed under provincial administration. Councillors' salaries were frozen when the administrator was appointed even though elected councillors still serve their voters on grass-roots level.

The ANC government's obsession with power is costing taxpayers dearly and may deliver a final blow to the Metro's economy if the Metro Council does not recover and become fully functional again soon.

There are numerous other municipalities in Gauteng that find themselves in much worse financial predicaments and that are more in need of such intervention.

The ANC's actions appear to be a pre-election power play with the sole aim of gaining control over the largest Metro that was governed by a coalition of opposition parties instead of improving the functionality of the Metro.

The FF Plus takes its responsibility towards communities very seriously and will keep fighting to protect their interests.

The party will closely monitor every decision made by the appointed administrators and will hold the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile, accountable for every action that falls outside of the constraints of the Constitution and that is not in the best interest of the people.

Contact details: 071 604 9498

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