Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). Picture: Supplied
There are many reasons to be thankful for in this country – and none more so than when considering the constitution and the independence of the judiciary enforcing it.
The constitution and the courts have, on a number of occasions, called the ANC government to order.
And the latest instance of that oversight function may be one of its most critical.
Last week, the Eastern Cape High Court ruled the provincial government must dissolve the Makana local municipality council (which includes Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown) and, until another one is elected, appoint an administrator to run the municipality.
The court found the municipality had failed in its constitutional duty to provide services for its residents. It also said the municipality failed to implement the financial recovery plan approved by the Eastern Cape MEC of finance in 2015.
The ruling followed a case brought by the Unemployed People Movement, which represents “the poorest of the poor” and has long since given up on the ANC as an instrument to change people’s lives.
Makana is not the only local authority in South Africa on the verge of collapse. There are dozens of others, ranging from small towns to large cities like Bloemfontein and East London, where service delivery has all but disappeared.
The reason for that is obvious: the ANC has deployed its cadres to the municipalities on the basis of their loyalty, not their competence, and has unceremoniously removed many of the experienced white town engineers, planners and finance experts who kept the wheels turning.
In many cases, cadre incompetence has been made far worse by corruption and nepotism.
We would rather have administrators replace councils in all of these sick municipalities on a permanent basis. We would far rather have this sort of dictatorship than the fake ANC democracy which caused the trouble in the first place.
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