Volume 5, Issue 2, May 2003

Councillors Can Have Their Say: Privilege in Council

Section 161 of the Constitution and section 28 of the Municipal Structures Act protect the freedom of speech of councillors (subject to the council's rules and orders) and grant councillors immunity against civil and criminal liability for anything they say in council.

Interventions in Municipalities: Amendment to section 139 of the Constitution.

The Second Constitutional Amendment Act of 2003 dramatically increases the powers of provincial government to intervene in a municipality, through amendments to section 139. These now provide the constitutional basis for the Municipal Finance Management Bill to empower provincial executives to intervene in a municipality in case of a financial crisis

Municipal Debt Comes First.

The recent judgment in the Transvaal Provincial Division case of Summer Symphony Properties 13 CC and BOE Bank v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others has attracted much attention in the press. This is the second recent judgment to deal with section 118 of the Municipal Systems Act, the first having been handed down in the Natal Provincial Division.

Municipal Services: Is Chapter 8 of the Systems Act a Help or a Hindrance?

The new definition of municipal services puts even more services within the ambit of Chapter 8 of the Systems Act. Municipalities are already under heavy pressure to extend and improve delivery of municipal services.Chapter 8 of the Systems Act is supposed to facilitate this process, but it is questionable whether it achieves its purpose or whether it instead puts additional burden on already limited municipal resources.

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