Tinashe | May 23, 2022

Volume 17, Issue 2, June 2022

Mines, malls and cellphone masts: how the Constitutional Court confirms the need for municipal approval and government doesn’t seem to want to listen?

In June 2020, the Constitutonal Court handed down an important judgment for local government. In Telkom SA SOC Limited v City of Cape Town and Another, the question was whether Telkom, as a holder of rights under the Electronic Communications Act (ECA), must comply with municipal planning and building regulation bylaws before exercising those rights.

Safeguarding the integrity of councillors and senior managers in local government

On 12 April 2022, the Dullah Omar Insitute (DOI) convened a webinar on 'Safeguarding the integrity of councillors and senior managers in local government'. The webinar, which was supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, had a panel consisting of Prof Jaap de Visser (Director: DOI), Dr Phindile Ntliziywana (State Law Advisor: Eastern Cape Provincial Government) and Ms Phatima Rawat (Associate: Ethics Institute).

Court stops Eskom from withdrawing funds from Renosterberg Local Municipality’s bank account

The issue of municipal debt to Eskom is an ongoing concern as noted earlier in the Bulletin. The MEC: Northern Cape Provincial Government: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs v The Renosterberg Local Municipality forms part of a series of cases that attempts to navigate the issue. While Eskom is permitted to collect its dues from municipalities, it may not do so in a way that significantly impairs a municipality’s ability to operate and deliver services to its citizens.

Court clarifies the interpretation and application of a Municipal Spatial Development Framework

In Choisy-Le-Roi Owners v The Municipality of Stellenbosch the Court addressed the question of how a Municipality’s Spatial Development Framework (‘MSDF’) should be interpreted. The judgment confirms that a municipality may not rely on a draft MSDF in making spatial planning decisions and if it does, it runs the risk of having its decision struck down by a court of law. Thus, only the approved MSDF may be utilised when making spatial planning-related decisions.

One step forward, two steps back: 2021 local government elections resulted in lower women’s representation than the last few elections

In our previous article on women’s representation in local government, we reported that the numbers of women elected into office for proportional representation (PR) seats was significantly higher than that for ward seats due to a large part because of the policies of political parties such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) which facilitate women’s inclusion in party lists through the ANC’s use of a zebra list – one man, one woman and the EFFs gender equality policy. Looking at the 2021 elections, it is unfortunate that we have taken one step forward, and two steps back.

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