The Gauteng provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has again threatened to place the City of Johannesburg under administration if it fails to hold a council meeting.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile said he had taken legal advice about his rights and obligations following the announcement by outgoing Mayor Herman Mashaba that he would resign effective from November 27.
“Should a situation arise wherein the City fails to fulfill its executive obligations as a result of its persistent failure to convene council meetings and to elect a new executive mayor, the province will take the necessary steps, in line with its powers in terms of the Municipal Structures Act, to ensure the restoration of stability and governance within the City as well as guard against the potential to compromise the provision of basic services to the people of Johannesburg,” he added.
Maile said the department was closely monitoring the evolving situation in the City, adding Section 18(2) of the Municipal Structures Act compelled a municipal council to meet at least quarterly and metropolitan municipalities to meet on a monthly basis at special council meetings.
“It should be noted that municipal councils are vested with both legislative and executive powers to govern the affairs of the municipality, and importantly, to take decisions that will enable the municipality to fulfill its obligations in terms of the Constitution and legislation.
“It is, therefore, clear that if a municipal council consistently fails to meet, it will not be in a position to fulfill its constitutional obligations and if such failure persists, it will no doubt result in the collapse of the municipality because it will be unable to fulfill its executive obligations.”
In August, Maile threatened to place the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane under administration citing “glaring weaknesses and challenges”.
Mashaba resigned suddenly last Monday, shaking the DA’s coalition-based grip on the mayor’s office.
The ANC and EFF have each made it known that they want control of the City and are hoping to capitalise on the DA’s torrid fortnight in which three high-profile figures – Mashaba, Mmusi Maimane and Athol Trollip – resigned from their positions.
Last week, in a blistering resignation speech, Mashaba made startling claims about the treatment he had endured in the party. He said his biggest challenge in the Johannesburg DA-led coalition was the DA itself.
Mashaba told journalists he could not reconcile himself with a DA that believed race was irrelevant in formulating its redress policies.
His resignation came a day after Helen Zille was elected to the powerful federal council chairperson position.