Makana case should not be appealed – OUTA

The Eastern Cape government should hold failed councils to account not side with them against residents.

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02/03/2020 11:36:41

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Makana case should not be appealed – OUTA

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is in full support of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) which will this week fight against an attempt by the Eastern Cape government to overturn the high court judgment that ordered the Makana Local Municipality be placed under administration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tim Tyrrell, OUTA’s Manager for KwaZulu-Natal, says he is disappointed that the Eastern Cape government was appealing the judgment. “The Makana council has flouted its responsibility to serve the people. Out of desperation, the people went to court to force the Eastern Cape Government to take action against the dysfunctional municipality. The very province that is supposed to have oversight over the council’s performance and act against those not doing their jobs, is now appealing against the people they failed to serve with the taxpayers’ money. This is ridiculous.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Eastern Cape government’s application for leave to appeal will be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Bhisho High Court, in Bhisho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The application is against a 14 January 2020 judgment by the High Court in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) that ordered the provincial government to dissolve the Makana council and place it under administration, as governed by Section 139 of the Constitution. The action was based on years of failed service delivery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “While everyone has the right to appeal an adverse finding against them, we are disappointed that the provincial government has failed to recognise the headwinds of civil activism and has instead chosen to spend taxpayers’ money to fight an impoverished community who are simply asking that they be treated with respect and dignity by the municipality which is supposed to serve them,” says Tyrrell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tyrrell says the Makana residents deserve the support of all South Africans. Despite minimal resources, they have shown it is possible to hold elected officials to account in a meaningful way outside of the election cycle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Regardless of Wednesday’s outcome, the January judgment is incredibly important, and will no doubt set in motion many more such court challenges across the country. It’s time for the provincial governments to exercise their mandates with proper oversight and rigorous action against those who fail to serve the people,” says Tyrrell. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Picture: Shutterstock

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.