Former Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa (left). Picture: CLAUDI MAILOVICH
Former Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa (left). Picture: CLAUDI MAILOVICH

The Tshwane city council has been dissolved after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) voted to accept a report recommending this.

The majority of provinces, during a sitting of the NCOP in the Gauteng legislature on Thursday, voted to adopt the report. Only the DA-run Western Cape voted against the council’s dissolution.

Tshwane was placed under administration by the Gauteng government after it failed to hold council meetings since late last year due to leadership squabbles.

The municipality has been without a mayor for close to a month after Stevens Mokgalapa resigned on February 26 after a leaked recording purportedly featuring him and one of his mayoral committee members. It has also been without a speaker and substantive city manager.

Since the announcement that the city was being placed under administration, the DA, which leads the coalition government there, has been at loggerheads with the provincial government.

Tshwane, one of the country’s biggest municipalities, was placed under administration by Gauteng premier David Makhura on March 5 2020. The council has been dysfunctional since November 2019, with Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa resigning early last month. Here's all you need to know.

Last week, the party took the provincial government to court after co-operative government and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma concurred on moves to place the municipality under administration and dissolve its council.

The council now has 90 days to hold a by-election in which all wards in the city will be up for contestation.

Thursday’s vote comes as the NCOP visits Gauteng as part of its taking parliament to the people programme. Earlier this week, a select NCOP committee met stakeholders in Tshwane to consult on the matter and recommend agreement with the Gauteng government’s intervention.

Addressing the NCOP about its report, chair of the select committee China Dodovu said during the visit that the committee heard representations from different stakeholders, including political parties.

He said Gauteng local government MEC Lebogang Maile, in his presentation to the committee, said the municipality is dysfunctional, has failed to hold council meetings for more than two months, and has no executive mayor, mayoral committee or municipal manager.

“Premised on this ... and based on its investigation on the state of the municipality of Tshwane ... it is the considered view of the select committee that exceptional circumstances do exist to warrant the invocation of section 139(c) of the constitution in Tshwane,” said Dodovu.

He said remedial action had been followed and observed, without success.

“Given the collapse of the municipal council meetings, the leadership challenges; vacant positions of the city manager, executive mayor and mayco; the water challenges; the non-establishment of ward committees, among other things, all these paralysed the capacity of the municipality to manage its affairs and to deliver basic services to the residents,” said Dodovu.

He said the decision to intervene in Tshwane is justified.

“All parties, except the DA, supported this form of intervention,” said Dodovu, adding that the DA blamed ANC and EFF councillors for the failure to appoint an executive mayor.

Dodovu recommended that a competent administration be appointed in Tshwane and be tasked with fast-tracking the appointment of a municipal manager, and instituting a forensic investigation into all allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.