Minister of CoGTA, Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE.
Minister of CoGTA, Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: ELMOND JIYANE.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Zweli Mkhize has approached the constitutional court to ask for a 12-month extension in which to enact an amendment to legislation dealing with municipalities.

The court decided that the Municipal Systems Amendment Act of 2011 was unconstitutional on procedural grounds and gave parliament two years to enact a correct one. The two years expired on Saturday and no amendment has been passed.

With parliament closing at the end of the month ahead of the elections on May 8 there will be no time to do so during the current term of parliament.

“We have approached the constitutional court to alert it that the legislation will not be enacted in time as ordered by the court. We have asked the court to grant an extension period of another 12 months,” Mkhize said in a statement on Monday.

He said the department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs would ensure that the Municipal Systems Amendment Bill — currently before parliament — was reintroduced in the new parliament after the elections.

In 2017 the constitutional court confirmed the decision of the North Gauteng High Court that Section 56A of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act was invalid because it had been incorrectly processed by parliament.

The matter was brought to court by the SA Municipal Workers’ Union on the grounds of the unconstitutionality of prohibiting municipal managers or managers directly accountable to them to hold political office in a political party. The constitutional court, however, did not rule on this substantive matter.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za