The Gauteng government has ordered the City of Johannesburg to convene a sitting and approve its 2020/21 budget by Friday.
This decision, which was taken over the weekend, followed a plea from Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo for Cogta, Human Settlements and Urban Planning MEC Lebogang Maile to intervene after the council failed to pass the budget before the start of the new financial year on 1 July.
The council session to pass the budget has been postponed twice.
The Gauteng government has given the council a 10 July deadline to address the issue.
In a statement on Monday, Maile welcomed the intervention, adding that the Cogta minister, National Council of Provinces, Gauteng legislature and SA Local Government Association had been informed of the provincial government’s intervention.
“MEC Maile expects that the municipality will comply with the directives as alluded to above and act in the best interests of the residents of the City,” said Maile’s spokesperson, Castro Ngobese .
Political parties were also urged to work together for the benefit of the City’s residents.
If the stalemate continues, the province will have to put the City under administration.
Councils across the country have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 and many have turned to virtual platforms to perform their duties.
This has also made it harder to fulfil constitutional mandates, such as public consultations and stakeholder engagements.
Makhubo said: “We accept and welcome the directives of the provincial government. The City will endeavour to satisfy all its obligations and we remain confident that a budget will be passed within the timelines set. This will allow us to ensure that the work of providing services to the residents of Johannesburg and responding to the needs of the most vulnerable and poor within the City continues.”
Council is expected to sit on Thursday to pass the budget.