oa Constitutional Court Review - The decisions in 2009 (1) SA 337 (cc) : be wary of these holdings



At the centre of the private dispute in lies a contested vision of the new local government dispensation. Wary, the seller of a portion of a farm would have been able to escape from an unprofitable sale if the national Minister responsible for agriculture is still in charge of the subdivision of agricultural land and not the municipality. If the buyer could hold the reluctant seller to the sale, the powers of local government would have significantly increased at the expense of the Minister. The case is important for the development of South Africa's decentralised system of government, namely the division of powers between the three spheres of government with regard to land use management. The decision is also significant for the methodology the Court used to reach a decision on the division of powers. The split Constitutional Court decision reflects both different visions of local government and how to resolve division of powers questions through statutory interpretation.


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