The civil rights organisation AfriForum was in the Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria today on an urgent basis to put aside the Tshwane Metro’s budget approved by Mpho Nawa, administrator of the Tshwane Metro. Judge Portia Phahlane found that the matter was indeed urgent, but judgement was reserved.
According to the organisation the administrator overreached his authority by approving the final budget and the correct processes were also not followed in approving the budget. There is a fundamental difference between the executive and legislative powers of the council. The ability to approve the final budget, lies solely with the municipal council. The administrator cannot circumvent the whole democratic process by approving the budget himself.
“There is a fundamental difference between the executive and the legislative powers of a municipal council. The administrator is only an interim custodian and cannot execute legislative decisions such as approving a budget,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s manager for local government affairs.
The Constitution requires that the premier must have intervened to ensure that only an interim budget was approved. This would have ensured that the metro could still continue to normally deliver services and collect their income legally. The premier failed to perform his duty and that is why AfriForum was forced to bring this application before court.