n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Suspension and dissolution of municipal councils under section 139 of the constitution : aantekeninge

Volume 2007, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Section 139(1) of the constitution grants a provincial executive broad powers to intervene "[w]hen a municipality cannot or does not fulfil an executive obligation in terms of the Constitution or legislation". Until recently, provinces have been reticent in using their section 139 powers. Indeed, the problems of provincial government gave them little opportunity to take on those of the municipalities within their jurisdictions. But things have changed drastically since the 2004 elections. With the increasing emphasis on the importance of providing all citizens with basic services, the inadequacies of municipalities have become very evident and provinces have been unable to avoid their constitutional responsibility to support municipalities. Accordingly, section 139 has been used more than eight times since April 2004.

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