NCOP approves dissolution of City of Tshwane Municipality - Parliament

Decision was supported by eight of the country's nine provinces

NCOP approves dissolution of City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality

19 March 2020

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has approved the dissolution of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

The NCOP decision was supported by eight of the country's nine provinces, who voted to endorse the recommendations of the Select Committee of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements (SCCGTAWSHS).  The SCCGTAWSHS recommended the approval of the intervention following a two-day inspection visit to Tshwane on the 17 to 18 March, to fully investigate the circumstances under which the Gauteng provincial government invoked section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution on March 4, 2020.

The Gauteng government invoked section 139(1)(c) arguing that the Tshwane municipality was unable to fulfill its executive obligations in terms of the Constitution and that exceptional circumstances existed, warranting its dissolution.

During its visit, the Select Committee – which is a multiparty committee consisting of 12 Members from the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance, the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Inkatha Freedom Party – interacted with both the internal and external stakeholders in order to solicit their views and opinions on the constitutional, procedural and substantive matters related to the invocation of section 139(1)(c).

The Committee received presentations from 6 of the 7 political parties represented in the council as well as from workers union, the representatives from local government, the traditional leadership, the youth and women forums, the civic associations and the business federations.

Reasons put forward for the dissolution included, the observed dysfunctionality of the Municipality as it could not hold successful meetings for over two-months, following disruptions, walkouts and the unlawful conduct of the Speaker of City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. In its submission to the NCOP's Select Committee, the Gauteng provincial government argued that “there is paralysis in the municipality because there is no Executive Mayor, no mayoral committee and no substantive city manager.”

With the resolution to approve the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality dissolution, the NCOP complied fully with the provisions of Section 139 (3)(b) of the Constitution of South Africa which requires that any such intervention should be approved within the 14 days of receipt of the notice by the NCOP. The decision which was supported by 8 out of 9 provinces was taken in terms of Section 65 of the Constitution.

Today, the NCOP also received a briefing of the Ministry of Health on the outbreak and spread of the Coronavirus, and steps taken to arrest and reverse the level of infections in South Africa as announced by the President Cyril Ramaphosa and managed or coordinated by the Department of Health assisted by an inter-Ministerial Committee. All political parties in the NCOP were unanimous in pledging to spare no effort to fight the scourge that has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, with the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP Ms Sylvia Lucas calling for unity across the board in fighting the pandemic.

The brief NCOP session held at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature precinct was also wrapping up a three-day Report Back session of NCOP's flagship Taking Parliament to the People programme.

Issued by Parliament, 19 March 2020