Volume 10, Issue 5, November 2008.

Is this Seat Taken? Filling Vacancies During Political Turmoil.

This article outlines the rules dealing with the expulsion and resignation of councillors from their political parties. Central to these rules is the principle that a councillor must vacate office as a councillor when he or she ceases to be a member of the political party.

The End of An Era: The Abolition of Floor Crossing.

On 30 June 2008 three important Bills proposing the abolition of the practice of floor-crossing. If passed, the bills will see an end to this much-debated practice and the legislation enables it. They represent the response to a growing chorus of discontent from politicians and members of the public about the impact of floor-crossing.

The Financial Health of Municipalities.

In the 2008 Local Government Budgets and Expenditure Review, the National Treasury analyses how municipalities have been funded since 2003/2004 and how they will be funded until 2009/2010. It does the same for the expenditure patterns of municipalities. This article highlights just a few important issues from a comprehensive review.

Defining "Municipal Health Services" The Powers and Functions Debate Continues.

Health services are essential to the well-being and sustainability of every community in South Africa. Municipal health services, in keeping with the development mandate of local government, are listed as a Schedule 4B function in the Constitution. It follows that local government has full executive and legislative authority over this function.

Implementing the Property Rates Act: Geeting the Policies, By-laws and Resolutions Right.

As from 1 July, all municipalities must implement the Municipal Property Rates Act. This requires all municipalities to have a proper rates policy, which is in turn implemented in a by-law and a rates resolution. Among the municipalities that have implemented the Act thus far there is great confusion about the exact content of the policy and by-law. The danger in this uncertainty is that if the policy and the by-law do not correctly implement the Act, a municipality's ability to enforce payment of rates may be fatally flawed.

Legal Briefs.

Can an employment contract be valid if a performance agreement has not been concluded?

From the Courts: Who Excludes Bidders From Future Contracts?

The duty to create and maintain a sound supply chain management system is an essential component of the good governance of any municipality. While the Municipal Finance Management Act clearly outlines the type of relationship that should exist between the municipality and those bidding to supply services, it is difficult at times to determine how acts of bribery, for example should be dealt with and the appropriate procedures to be followed when these matters.

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