Constitutional Court to mull demarcation appeal

The Constitutional Court will decide on Tuesday whether it can be directly accessed by the Matatiele municipality and others over a demarcation dispute.

The municipality—subject to possible redemarcation from the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal—wants the court to rule on the constitutionality of the Twelfth Constitutional Amendment and the Cross-Boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Act of 2005.

The municipality also wants a declaration that President Thabo Mbeki “failed to fulfil the constitutional obligations afforded to the municipality” by promulgating the Acts.

It charges that the principles of cooperative government have not been complied with, particularly with respect to the management of the dispute, the Constitutional Court said on Monday.

It claims that Parliament has exceeded its powers, contending that while it may demarcate provinces, the demarcation of municipalities is the preserve of the Municipal Demarcation Board.

The court said the respondents will contend that the Acts were passed in accordance with constitutional requirements, and that Parliament has the authority to demarcate provincial boundaries.

“In addition, these respondents contend that these Acts were promulgated for purposes of alleviating the administrative constraints of cross-border municipalities, in the interests of the national government.”

The speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces will apply for leave to intervene as respondents.—Sapa

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