The City of Joburg could be taken over by the provincial government after failing to pass its budget last week, Business Day reported. This is reportedly because mayor Herman Mashaba's planned tariff increases were rejected by the EFF, meaning the budget could not pass.
The city reportedly has until the end of the financial year in June to pass the budget or be taken over by the provincial government, and effectively be governed by the ANC again. A special council meeting will reportedly take place on Monday to review the budget.
A legal opinion sought by the city reportedly said the entire budget must be considered afresh.
The tariff increases were reportedly the only item which did not pass.
The DA, in its coalition with the EFF, needs the party's votes to pass the budget.
TimesLive reported that Mashaba was confident the impasse between the parties would be resolved soon as it was not "insurmountable". He reportedly said, however, that the situation was a "minefield of legal challenges".
According to Business Day, lawyer Robert Stockwell SC of Group 21 told the city that the budget in its entirety has to be approved in the same sitting.
Most of the tariff increases were from external increases. The electricity hikes proposed, of 7.37 percent, came from the National Energy Regulator of SA guidelines, and the water, sewerage and sanitation increases reportedly were based on Rand Water tariff increases.Presenting the city's budget two weeks ago, finance MMC Rabelani Dagada reportedly said the city's financial situation could be improved through revenue collection, according to Daily Maverick. He said the city had done "all that is possible" to keep tariff increases to a bare minimum "while safeguarding the city's financial sustainability".