Karel | Feb 26, 2021

Bulletin Archives

Volume 16, Issue 5, November/December 2021
Author: Tinashe
Published: Oct 27, 2021
Women’s representation in the upcoming Local Government Elections
Author: Shehaam Johnstone

After celebrating 20 years of democratic local government, we stand on the cusp of our sixth municipal elections on 1 November 2021. Once again local councillors will be elected for the 257 municipalities across the country. The burning question is, what will this election hold for women’s representation and how will this impact women’s access to improved service delivery. The article explores how women are faring in their representation and participation at the local level.

Virtual budget adoption by eThekwini Municipal Council challenged in Court
Author: Curtly Stevens

The rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus is wreaking havoc on human lives and government processes. Like any other government institutions, municipal councils under the lockdown regulations first introduced on 25 March 2020 were initially prohibited from hosting council meetings in person to reduce the spread of the virus. They were instead directed to identify creative ways of undertaking their legislative obligations, such as hosting council sessions virtually in order to adopt municipal budgets.

Can public servants stand as candidates in municipal elections?
Author: Curtly Stevens

This article explores the law on councillor candidacy, particularly as it relates to municipal, provincial and national employees. Officials employed by the government may stand as councillor candidates, in the fifth democratic local government elections, to be held on 1 November 2021. However, there are certain rules that apply.

The viability of e-techniques towards service delivery in municipalities
Author: LGSETA

The demands posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the introduction of e-services by municipalities globally. Just like globalisation, the 4IR needs to be accepted and coupled with a pragmatic shift in policies and structures of administration. In fact, research points to the potential benefits the 4IR has to offer, which include the strengthening of service delivery. The purpose of this article is to share some insights into the impact and use of e-service delivery in local government.

Court orders City of Cape Town not to remove political banners of the EFF
Author: Shehaam Jonhstone

In the Economic Freedom Fighters v City of Cape Town and Another, the court dealt with a case brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) against the City of Cape Town. The EFF challenged the constitutionality of the City’s By-law that regulates the general display of posters and banners. The By-law prohibited the display of banners for the purpose of electioneering. The Court ruled that the City should not remove the EFF’s political banners even though their display contravened the City’s by-law. The Court reached this decision based on the value that our constitutional democracy places on the freedom of political parties to campaign for an election.

Volume 16, Issue 4, October 2021 [Special Issue on Local Government Finance]
Author: Tinashe
Published: Oct 15, 2021
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on local municipalities in the Western Cape
Author: Tania Ajam, Johan Burger, Geo Quinot, Melissa Botha, Deyana Isaacs & Johnny Douglas

The School for Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation conducted a research study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on municipal fiscal sustainability in the Western Cape (WC) province, which completed in April 2021. The local municipalities (LMs) in the sample included Stellenbosch, Drakenstein (large municipalities), Bergrivier, Hessequa (medium sized municipalities) and Swellendam, Kannaland and Laingsburg (small municipalities). This article aims to distil the key findings from that study.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on district municipalities in the Western Cape
Author: Tania Ajam, Johan Burger, Geo Quinot, Melissa Botha, Deyana Isaacs & Johnny Douglas

The School for Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation conducted a research study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on municipal fiscal sustainability in the Western Cape (WC) province, which was completed in April 2021. The district municipalities (DMs) in the sample included Central Karoo, West Coast and Cape Winelands. This article aims to distil the key findings relating to DMs from that study. A previous Local Government Bulletin article dealt with sampled WC local municipalities.

Streamlining the administrative burden in Western Cape Municipalities
Author: Geo Quinot, Johan Burger, Tania Ajam, Melissa Botha, Deyana Isaacs & Jonny Douglas

The School for Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation conducted a research study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on municipal fiscal sustainability in the Western Cape (WC) province, which was completed in April 2021.

Towards increased fiscal and operational sustainability in Western Cape Local Municipalities
Author: Tania Ajam, Johan Burger, Geo Quinot, Melissa Botha, Deyana Isaacs & Johnny Douglas

The School for Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation conducted a research study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on municipal fiscal sustainability in the Western Cape (WC) province, which was completed in April 2021. The local municipalities in the sample included Stellenbosch, Drakenstein (large municipalities), Bergrivier, Hessequa (medium-sized municipalities) and Swellendam, Kannaland and Laingsburg (small municipalities).

Volume 16, Issue 3, September 2021
Author: Tinashe
Published: Jul 23, 2021
Local government elections: to delay or not to delay?
Author: Michelle R Maziwisa

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), finds itself in a conundrum. On the one hand, the terms of municipal councils are fixed to a five year term according to section 159(1) of the Constitution and section 24(1) of the Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, while section 159(2) of the Constitution requires that municipal elections must be held within 90 days from the day when the 5-year term ends.

Why coalition agreements should be public
Author: Jennica Beukes

In the previous articles of the coalition series in the Local Government Bulletin, it was argued that the proportional representation (PR) electoral system of local government and the absence of electoral thresholds creates the possibility for hung councils to recur in municipalities, making the formation of coalition governments necessary.

Court orders national government to leapfrog into Lekwa Local Municipality
Author: Thabile Chonco

Failed service delivery at municipal level is not a new phenomenon. In recent times, however, communities, non-governmental organisations and private companies alike are growing impatient and resorting to court action to “straighten” failing municipalities. Such is the case of Astral Operations Limited (“Astral”), the largest business and employer in Lekwa Local Municipality (Lekwa) in Mpumalanga.

What happens to interventions after the local government elections?
Author: Michelle R Maziwisa & Tinashe C Chigwata

Too many municipalities are not functioning as they should. The Auditor General has repeatedly reported municipalities’ poor financial management (see 2019/2020 Report). When a municipality fails to provide basic services, the provincial government may, and sometimes must invoke section 139 of the Constitution to address municipal failures.

Volume 16, Issue 2, June 2021
Author: Tinashe
Published: May 18, 2021
Stepping aside, But then What? How the ANC's Resolution affects councillors
Author: Jaap de Visser

The African National Congress (ANC) is implementing a resolution, which provides that members who face criminal charges for corruption, must ‘step aside’. It means, amongst other things, that these members may no longer represent the ANC on any public body. How does this affect ANC members who represent the party as councillors? And what does it mean for the municipality in which they serve?

SCA tells Eskom to exhaust alternative dispute resolution before cutting electricity
Author: Xavia Poswa

Eskom is struggling to recover monies owed to it by municipalities for the supply of bulk electricity. Municipal debts to Eskom have ballooned to alarming proportions. To address this, Eskom introduced a debt recovery process that would see the supply of electricity to many indebted municipalities cut off, or limited. In Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd v Resilient Properties (Pty) Ltd and Others, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Eskom‘s decision to cut off electricity to Emalahleni (ELM) and Thaba Chweu local municipalities (TCLM) was unconstitutional.

Why appeals against tender awards by the municipal manager are unlawful
Author: Jaap de Visser & Nico Steytler

Separating politics from administration is the cornerstone of the fight against corruption and maladministration in municipalities. When councillors meddle in the administration, and/or administrators interfere with politics, bad governance and, ultimately, service delivery failure is almost always the result.

Recovering fruitless and wasteful expenditure: Nelson Mandela Bay v Lindele Antonio Petuna
Author: Tinashe Carlton Chigwata

Year after year, the Auditor General exposes how too many municipalities incur significant amounts of fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The Municipal Finance Management Act of 2003 (MFMA) defines fruitless and wasteful expenditure as ‘expenditure that was made in vain and would have been avoided had reasonable care been exercised’.

Court stops reckless electricity outsourcing contract
Author: Curtly Stevens

Can a municipality under a section 139(5) intervention avoid or by-pass an Administrator, or adopt decisions, such as entering into contracts, that undermine a Financial Recovery Plan? According to the Western Cape High Court, in Executive Council of the Western Cape Province and Others v Kannaland Local Municipality and Others the answer is no. The Court stopped Kannaland Municipal Council from implementing a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contract involving the outsourcing of electricity after the Municipality had acted unlawfully and at the detriment of its financial sustainability.

The ‘download’ on personal information: The Protection of Personal Information Act and Municipalities
Author: Shehaam Johnstone

In an age of information warfare, identity theft and the mismanagement and commercialisation of personal information in the digital world, the right to privacy in the Constitution and the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA) are vital tools that must be used to mitigate the risks that ordinary citizens face when sharing personal information. This article reflects on the question of whether municipalities, which are often the primary interface between citizens and government, are ready to implement and fulfil the requirements of POPIA and more specifically, it examines the obligations which municipalities now bear to lawfully process personal information.

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