Councillors, residents to face off in high court

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The Makana municipal council on Thursday resolved to fight a high court application to dissolve the council.
The Unemployed Peoples’ Movement in Makhanda last month applied to the high court to have the municipal council dissolved and the municipality placed in the hands of a competent and accountable administrator.
If the council chose not to oppose the matter it would have been argued on an unopposed basis in mid-April.
But, on Thursday, the council resolved that it would defend the matter in court. The DA and EFF opposed the resolution. However, the resolution passed with 16 ANC councillors supporting it and eight opposed to it.
The DA’s Brian Fargher said he had no problems with the council being dissolved and new elections held within 90 days. The DA insisted on the names of those opposed to the resolution being noted so that in the unlikely event that the court ruled that the councillors be held personally responsible for the legal costs, they would be excluded.
The irony is the council will now use taxpayers’ money to fight a high court application which many ratepayers support. The high court bid to have the council dissolved come at a time when residents face prolonged water outages, sewage flowing down streets, and growing piles of uncollected rubbish.
The UPM say in court papers the Makana municipality’s disastrous state has left citizens facing a health crisis.
It is asking the court to declare the municipality in breach of its constitutional mandate to provide basic services and promote a safe and healthy environment for its citizens...

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