Municipal Structures Second Amendment Bill: deliberations

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

03 February 2003
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Meeting report

PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE; LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION SELECT COMMITTEE: JOINT MEETING
4 February 2003
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES SECOND AMENDMENT BILL: DELIBERATIONS

Chairperson:
Mr Y I Carrim (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Proposed Amendments to Municipal Structures Second Amendment Bill (Appendix 1)
Municipal Structures Second Amendment Bill [B68-2002]
Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998

SUMMARY
The Committee deliberated on the proposed amendments, focussing particularly on whether a person may hold office as an executive mayor or an executive deputy mayor for more than two consecutive terms. The dominant view was that only the mayor had to be subjected to a term and the deputy mayor could serve for an indefinite period. The Department conceded that the conjunctive nature of the executive mayor and the executive deputy mayor had to be separated

MINUTES
The Chairperson informed Members that the finalisation of the Bill was imperative. The Committee dealt with the proposed amendments clause by clause.

Clause 2
The Clause was rejected and a new clause was inserted

Clause 3
Clause 3 was held in abeyance until further deliberations by the Committee.

Clause 4
The amendments were accepted.

Clause 5
The proposed amendment was retained and a new proviso was added.

Members of the Committee unanimously agreed that new amendments had to be redrafted to coincide with what the Members have discussed.

Discussion
Mr Carrim (ANC) conceded that the aims of the new proposed amendments were to bring stability and consistency in the local government sphere.

Mr Van Deventer (NNP) was concerned that Section 48(5) might have a number of Constitutional implications, more particularly in the provincial and local sphere of government. He suggested that Sections 45 and 47 be modified to encapsulate the following limitation: that an executive or deputy executive mayor may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Dr Bouwer (Department) made observations to the Committee. The reason behind the principle adopted in the Structures Act, which prohibits a mayor from serving more than two consecutive terms, was that the pool of expertise at local level are usually very limited. Secondly, that the role of the collective executive committee and that of the executive mayoral committee were vastly different.

Mr Smith (DP), responding to the observations, was of the view that some of the observations were correct and some were invalid. He suggested that in the face of the public the powers of the collective executive committee and those of the executive mayoral committee operate in conjunction and, in practice the members of the executive committee do consult with the members of the executive mayoral committee. He was of the view that the distinction between these two committees was not legally clear.

Mr Van Deventer (NNP) thought that it was very difficult to collapse the difference between these two committees mainly because the substantive powers of these committees differ from each other.

Dr Bouwer proposed that Section 48(5) of the Act be amended

Mr Komphela was of the view that only the mayor should be subjected to the restriction of a term and not the deputy mayor.

Mr Carrim, concurring with the previous speaker, was of the view that as far as the executive mayoral committee was concerned, only the mayor had to be subjected to a term and the deputy mayor could serve for an indefinite period.

Dr Bouwer conceded that the conjunctive nature of the executive mayor and the executive deputy mayor had to be separated.

Mr Carrim (Chairperson) asked that the amendment be redrafted to encapsulate what the Members had discussed.

Appendix 1:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES SECOND AMENDMENT BILL
[B68-2002]

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

CLAUSE 2

1. That the Clause be rejected.

NEW CLAUSES
1. That the following be new Clauses to follow Clause 1:
Substitution of section 46 of Act 117 of 1998

2.
The following section is hereby substituted for section 46 of the principal Act:

"Term of office of members
46.
The members of an executive committee are elected for a term ending, subject to section 47, when -
(a) the type of the municipality has been changed from any of those mentioned in section 8(a), (b), (c) or (d), 9(a) or (b) or 10(a) to any of those mentioned in section 8(e), (f), (g) or (h), 9(c), (d), (e) or (f) or 10(b) or (c); or
(b) the next municipal council is declared elected.".

Amendment of section 48 of Act 117 of 1998

3.
Section 48 of the principal Act is hereby amended -

(a) by the substitution for subsection (5) of the following subsection:

"(5) (a) No person may hold office as mayor or [deputy mayor] both mayor and executive mayor for more than two consecutive terms in the same council.
(b) No person may hold office as deputy mayor or both deputy mayor and deputy executive mayor for more than two consecutive terms in the same council.
(c) If a person is elected -
(i) to fill a vacancy in the office of mayor or deputy mayor, the period between that election and the next election of a mayor or deputy mayor is not regarded as a term; or
(ii) as mayor or deputy mayor where the type of the municipality has been changed from any of those mentioned in section 8(e), (f), (g) or (h), 9(c), (d), (e) or (f) or 10(b) or (c) to any of those mentioned in section 8(a), (b), (c) or (d), 9(a) or (b) or 10(a) during the term of the municipal council concerned, the period between that election and the next election of a mayor or deputy mayor is not regarded as a term
."; and

(b) by the substitution for subsection (6) of the following subsection:

"(6) A mayor whose two consecutive terms have expired as provided for in subsection (5)(a), may not immediately after the expiry be elected as deputy mayor.".

CLAUSE 4

1. That the Clause be rejected.

NEW CLAUSE

1. That the following be a new Clause to follow Clause 4:

Substitution of section 57 of Act 117 of 1998

5. The following section is hereby substituted for section 57 of the principal Act:

"Term of office of executive mayors

57.
(1) An executive mayor and a deputy executive mayor [- (a)] must be elected for a term ending, subject to [section] sections 58 and 59, when -

(a) the type of the municipality has been changed from any of those mentioned in section 8(e), (f), (g) or (h), 9(c) or (d) or 10(b) to any of those mentioned in section 8(a), (b), (c) or (d), 9(a), (b), (e) or (f) or 10(a) or (c); or
(b) the next council is declared elected. [and]

[(b) may not serve as executive mayor or deputy executive mayor for more than two consecutive terms. When a person is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of executive mayor or deputy executive mayor, the period between that election and the next election of an executive mayor or deputy executive mayor is regarded as a term.]

(2) (a) No person may hold office as executive mayor or both executive mayor and mayor for more than two consecutive terms in the same council.

(b) No person may hold office as deputy executive mayor or both deputy executive mayor and deputy mayor for more than two consecutive terms in the same council.

(c) If a person is elected -

(i) to fill a vacancy in the office of executive mayor or deputy executive mayor, the period between that election and the next election of an executive mayor or deputy executive mayor is not regarded as a term; or
(ii) as executive mayor or deputy executive mayor where the type of the municipality has been changed from any of those mentioned in section 8(a), (b), (c) or (d), 9(a), (b), (e) or (f) or 10(a) or (c) to any of those mentioned in section 8(e), (f), (g) or (h), 9(c) or (d) or 10(b) during the term of the municipal council concerned, the period between that election and the next election of an executive mayor or deputy executive mayor is not regarded as a term.

[(2)] (3) An executive mayor whose two consecutive terms have expired as provided for in subsection (2)(a), may not immediately after the expiry be elected as deputy executive mayor.".

CLAUSE 5
1. That the Clause be rejected.

CLAUSE 6

1. On page 4, from line 35, to omit "Local Government: Municipal Structures Second Amendment Act, 2002", and to substitute:

Local Government: Municipal Structures Amendment Act, 2003

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