Makana Municipality is to be dissolved by order of the Grahamstown High Court

The High Court of Grahamstown has ordered the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive to dissolve the Municipal Council of Makana Municipality, under section 139(5)(b) of the Constitution of South Africa. Judgment was handed down on the morning of 14 January 2020.

RLS congratulates the applicants, Unemployed People’s Movement, for this victory on behalf of the people of Makana Municipality.

“The conduct of the Makana Municipality in failing to ensure the provision of services to its community in a sustainable manner, in failing to promote a safe and healthy environment for its community, in failing to structure and manage its administration, budgeting and planning processes, in failing to give priority to the basic needs of its community, and in failing to promote the social and economic development of its community, is inconsistent with the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, is in breach of sections 152(1) and 153(a) of the Constitution, and is declared invalid to the extent of these inconsistencies.”

According to the judgment of I.T. Stretch, Judge of the High Court, the responsibility lies with the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive to ensure that the obligation to provide basic public services and to pay for financial commitments in Makana Municipality, is indeed met.

The Provincial Executive must “appoint an administrator until a newly elected Municipal Council has been declared elected, and to approve a temporary budget … or any other measures … for the continued functionality of Makana Municipality.” These measures are provided for in S.139(5)(b) of the Constitution and sections 139 and 140 of the Local Government Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003.

Analysis to follow.


Supporters of the UPM’s case celebrate their victory outside the High Court.




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