There was no choice but to put Tshwane under administration, argues Gauteng govt

The Constitutional Court heard arguments from the council and the Democratic Alliance (DA), which maintained the provincial government acted drastically without proper consultation.

The Tshwane Council. Picture: @TshwaneANC/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng executive council on Thursday argued in the Constitutional Court that the provincial government had no choice but to place the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality under administration in line with Section 139 of the Constitution.

The apex court heard arguments from the council and the Democratic Alliance (DA), which maintained the provincial government acted drastically without proper consultation.

The Tshwane municipal council has been in a stalemate for close to two years after the collapse of the DA and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) coalition agreement, which has affected service delivery and the management of funds.

The Constitutional Court is considering whether the exceptional circumstances advanced by the provincial government warranted the dissolution of the municipal council being placed under administration in March this year.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi argued for the Gauteng executive council.

“We contend that once the municipal manager left at the end of February, once the mayoral committee was dissolved, once the mayor resigned, and when the council was unable to convene a single meeting to fix this core problem – exceptionality existed,” Ngcukaitobi said.

The Constitutional Court judges probed, as argued by the DA, whether regardless of what the provincial government could have known before it issued the notice for dissolution, council was afforded the opportunity to discuss the steps it was contemplating.

Section 139 of the Constitution is invoked when a provincial government intervenes after concluding that a municipality could fulfill its executive obligations, which included the provision of services to residents.

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