A continuing decline in the administration of Makana Municipality and the “irreparable consequences” for its citizens were the basis for the UPM’s Section 18 application in a virtual court sitting on Friday 18 September. Section 18 of the Superior Courts Act enforces a court ruling even though an appeal may be pending. The respondents were the Eastern Cape Province and Makana Municipality.
- In January 2020 the Unemployed People’s Movement succeeded in their application to have the Premier dissolve Makana Municipal Council and appoint an administrator in terms of section 139(5)(b) of the Constitution until local government elections at held and a new council elected.
- In May 2020 the appeal by the Province and the Municipality against the ruling was heard and dismissed.
- The Province and Municipality have taken their appeal to the Supreme Court.
- The UPM through their lawyers at Wheeldon Rushmere and Cole filed a Section 18 application that if successful will see Judge Igna Stretch’s 14 January order enforced.
- The application was heard on Friday 18 September. The parties are waiting for the judgment to be handed down.
In their heads of argument, the UPM says their papers show “…the continued state of abject collapse prevalent at the municipality”.
The Province’s lawyers argued that the situation in Makana did not constitute the “exceptional circumstances” required for such an order. They said the UPM’s supplementary application highlighted past problems “which have been shown to have been either resolved or are being resolved by the municipality.”
Judge Igna Stretch who heard the application in a virtual sitting has reserved judgment.