Makana ruling back in force, paves way for municipalities abandoned by government

Issued by Vicky Knoetze, MPL
Shadow MEC for COGTA

A watershed ruling to have the Makana Municipality dissolved, handed down in January this year, has come back into effect after Judge Igna Stretch dismissed the application by the Provincial Government and the Municipality for leave to appeal the ruling, with costs.

In the judgement handed down late yesterday afternoon, Judge Stretch found that there were no reasonable prospects that the appeal would succeed. This ruling means the original order to dissolve the council, which was suspended until the outcome of the appeal, now comes back into effect.

Judge Stretch once again reiterated what was said in the main application, that the respondents had egg on their face and should be hanging their heads in shame.

Democratic Alliance Makana caucus leader, Brian Farger, welcomed the judgement, saying it was time for the municipality to be put back in the hands of the electorate.

I have now written to the MEC of COGTA, Xolile Nqatha, to request a specific timeline for the process to dissolve the municipality, in line with the original judgement.

The Democratic Alliance intends on calling for fresh elections as soon as it is safe to do so, to ensure that the people of Makana Municipality get the level of service delivery they deserve.

The original judgement paves the way for residents that have been abandoned by government, and who struggle daily with poor to non-existent service delivery, to turn to the courts for help.

The DA understands that each case will have its own unique circumstances, however the principle remains, namely that where service delivery has failed, relief can be sought from the courts.

In fact, residents of two other municipalities in the Eastern Cape have already begun the process of approaching the courts to have their councils dissolved, namely the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality and Sakhisizwe Local Municipality.

The DA will continue to support the fight for justice, to ensure that there is accountability where government has failed the people, where cadre deployment has crippled municipalities and where maladministration has deprived the people of their basic constitutional rights.

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