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Premier Zamani Saul: Dissolution of Renosterberg Municipal Council

7 Sep 2020

Media Statement by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, on the dissolution of Renosterberg Municipal Council

MEC for COGHSTA, Mr Bentley Vass
Senior Government Officials
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen

Municipalities are constitutional bodies that are empowered to deliver basic services to the communities they serve. The sphere of local governance derives its mandate from the Constitution which places communities at the apex of development. Municipalities are the closest form of governance to the people; this proximity is strategic for the sole purpose of ensuring that the communities have access to basic service delivery namely running water, provision of electricity, refuse removal and sanitation. 

Over the past years, the Renosterberg Local Municipality has been plagued with political and administrative challenges and failing to fulfil the prescripts of Chapter 7 as enshrined in Section 152 of the Constitution. This failure has not only robbed the downtrodden, destitute and disadvantaged communities within the municipality of basic services but has been a disservice to the entire community residing in the municipal area.

Intervention efforts made by the Departments of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA), Provincial Treasury and the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality and the respective MECs to monitor and provide support to Renosterberg local municipality did not bear much fruit.

The Municipal Council has also failed to implement and support the National Treasury discretionary Financial Recovery Plan that commenced in 2018 and was on-going until November 2019;
 
The governance, administrative and financial challenges observed at the municipality resulted in the Municipal Council failing to fulfil its executive, statutory and financial obligations and/or to meet its financial commitments in relation to:

  • The Organisation of the Administration of the municipality in terms of section 51 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000 and Regulation;
  • The provision of uninterrupted electricity services to the communities of van der Kloof and Keurtjiekloof in terms of the Electricity Regulations Act, 4 of 2006; and
  • The provision of effective and efficient oversight in the administration and management of the financial affairs of the municipality through proper and diligent financial accountability and compliance with the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 56 of 2003 and Regulation.

In addition the municipality also vehemently refused to cooperate, accept support and subject itself to monitoring by the other two arms of government namely National Treasury, and the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.

Further to that the Municipal Council was persistently failing to fulfil its executive obligations and statutory obligations by:

  1. Taking uninformed, irregular and/or unlawful decisions on its own and/or without being properly advised by the municipal manager to its own detriment, that of the community, prejudicial to the municipality, interest of other municipalities and to the province as a whole; and
  2. At all times did not act in the best interest of the municipality and in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.

The unfortunate sequence of events at Renosterberg Local Municipality have been unfolding at the expense of the people, robbing communities of basic service delivery. It is in this context that the dissolution of the Municipal Council of Renosterberg local municipality in terms of section 139(1) (c) and 139(5) (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 is being effected.

Following this dissolution, a Financial Recovery Plan in terms of sections 139(5) (a) of the Constitution must be imposed at Renosterberg local municipality.

The Provincial Executive Council has also directed the MEC for COGHSTA in terms of sections 139(5) (b) (i) of the Constitution to appoint an Administrator at Renosterberg local municipality until a new Municipal Council has been declared elected. The MEC must also facilitate the election of the New Municipal Council and to designate the Administrator to undertake all the necessary measures to convene the first meeting after the Municipal Council has been declared elected. The Provincial Executive has also further authorised the MECs for CoGHSTA and Finance to conclude all other necessary formalities related to the intervention.

As this Administration we are determined to improve the lives of the people by taking bold yet informed steps and creating conducive conditions for our people to not only prosper but to be their own champions as we build a prosperous society. The people of Renosterberg deserve much better and we dare not fail in according them their constitutional rights.

The dissolution of Renosterberg Local Municipality is intended to tilt the balance of progress by instilling ethical and upright leadership befitting the honour of our people. The Provincial Executive is of the firm view that with the dissolution, not only will the Renosterberg Municipality be set on a developmental path but improving the governance in the municipality will also assist us to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Province: