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Picture for illustration purposes. A Western Cape municipality has been barred by court not to sign a R735 million electricity and water outsourcing deal.

Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell approached the court in January to prevent the newly reconstituted Kannaland council from going through with the deal.

Western Cape Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell has welcomed the Western Cape High Court judgment ordering the Kannaland municipality not to sign a R735 million electricity and water outsourcing deal.

Bredell approached the court in January to prevent the newly reconstituted Kannaland council from going through with the deal. Acting Judge Nobahle Mangcu-Lockwood, ruled in the local government’s favour, ordering the municipality to desist from proceeding with the signing of the deal and making six new political appointments.

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Bredell said “The provincial department had tried everything to get the council to cooperate, but it was to no avail. The council was determined to push ahead, leaving us ultimately with no choice but to approach the court.”

He added that given the financial crisis the municipality found itself in, there was no justification for the additional costs to the wage bill that would have undermined an economic recovery plan that was in progress.

“The province has been working hard since 2018 when the council was placed under financial administration to assist the council to recover financially.

We are grateful that the court has agreed with the province’s position in this matter,” he said. Bredell said Mangcu-Lockwood stated that the conduct by public officials and political officials from the municipality was harmful not only to the rule of law, but to the residents of Kannaland.

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The MEC said Mangcu-Lockwood described the council’s actions as “a recipe for chaos in governance”.

Bredell called on the Kannaland council to work with the department to ensure that existing financial recovery plans were seen through to completion. “It is in the best interests of the people of Kannaland to see the municipality restored to its full potential.”

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