The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs notes the changes of dates that were initially set for convening of the first council sittings in the province’s municipalities. However, the Department would like to emphasize that at this point there are no delays as the legislated 14 day period has not lapsed.
The 2021 local government elections were unique in that in a number of municipalities none of the political parties was able to secure an outright majority of votes. This has resulted in 18 of the municipalities in the Province being “hung”. An unintended consequence of this is a need for engagements and agreements between different political parties. This is a clear indication of the level to which democracy is maturing in our country.
The department believes that it is critical for these processes to be given space so that when the inaugural meetings do happen, consensus can be reached promptly. This will then allow the councils to get on with the important task at hand, that of delivering services to our communities. None of the municipalities has given an indication that they will not meet the 14-day deadline and therefore there is no reason to panic at this stage.
The department has further called upon municipalities to ensure that they convene their first sittings within the stipulated 14 days which ends on 23 November. Once the local municipalities have convened the District Municipalities will have until the 8th of December to convene.
The department further urges communities to be patient during this time of transition, while the department continues to provide the necessary support to the Municipal Managers who are seized with the gigantic responsibility of steering this process.
Issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs