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CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
5 August 1998
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL: DISCUSSION
Section 17(4) of the Local Government Municipal Structures Bill should be read in conjunction with section 18.
Section 18(2) says the MEC for local government in a province may deviate from the number of councillors determined for a municipality in terms of subsection (1). The committee members had a problem with the word "deviate" as stated in section 18(2). The explanation given was that this word is used in the Bill so as to avoid the need of having to consult legislature every time a minister needs to change something in election process. This also gives ministers discretionary powers.
The provisions in Section 19 are subject to the provisions of section 158 of the Constitution. The question arose as to whether teachers (who are employed by the state) will be disqualified for eligibility as a municipal councillor. Exceptions to the rule are permitted in s19(2). This is especially necessary in rural areas where there are few suitably educated persons to hold the office of councillor.
The code of conduct states that once a councillor is in financial arrears he may be removed from his position
Section 21(2) says whenever necessary the minister after consulting with the Electoral Commission must by notice in the Government Gazette, call and set a date or dates for an election referred to in subsection (1). The date must be within 90 days of the expiry of the term of municipal councils. The question arose – does this mean 90 days before or after the expiry date? The explanation was that it meant 90 days before the expiry date.
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