The City of Johannesburg is in for more turbulence as the Metro is fighting to keep Floyd Brink in his position as City manager.
The City of Johannesburg is now on its way to the Supreme Court of Appeal after losing its application for leave to appeal against a High Court ruling that Brink’s appointment was invalid.
Brink was appointed as City manager in February this year despite, allegedly not meeting the vetting requirements. One Municipal expert warns the absence of an accounting officer could spell trouble for service delivery.
Service delivery and other local government programmes could be compromised in the absence of a City manager. This is because all council decisions have to go through an accounting officer for final approval. Decisions such as repairs to Bree Street, which was destroyed in the blast, could take longer without a City Manager.
“It simply means that the Municipal Manager as the law finds him is the Accounting Officer. This means that for everything that has to happen administratively, he takes full responsibility. That means there are no administrative work processes that can be concluded without the presence of an accounting officer who is the city manager,” says Dr Tim Maake, local government expert.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in Johannesburg is accusing the City of wasting tax payer’s money in its Supreme Court bid. This after the court ruled in the party’s favour in its application against Brink, citing his appointment was procedurally flawed.
“We are against this being pursued because we believe the funds that are used to pursue this should be used for service delivery. There is nothing stopping them from implementing the judgement and putting it out for re-advertising, there are a lot of professionals who might have the same qualifications and comply with the regulations,” says DA Joburg Caucus leader, Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjok.
But the City of Johannesburg is confident that another court will come to a different conclusion.
“The reason why is because the substantive argument had not been ventilated adequately for it to inform the final decision of the quarter ruling and that will be the basis of our appeal,” says Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda.
The city will have 90 days to appoint a permanent City Manager should the Supreme Court of Appeal uphold the high court decision.