Government to meet with Sakeliga on Friday regarding Lichtenburg crisis


The state attorney and members of government will meet with Sakeliga on Friday 30 September regarding the crisis in Lichtenburg and the greater Ditsobotla Local Municipality.

The meeting comes after demands by Sakeliga on 23 September, for urgent rectification of the Northwest Province’s chaotic and irrational intervention in the collapsed Ditsobotla Local Municipality. Businesses and residents in Ditsobotla are facing an escalated collapse of service delivery, following withholding by National Treasury of equitable share allocations and an  irrational decision by the provincial government to put the municipality under voluntary administration without appointing a new administrator.

Sakeliga has invited several supporters from business and the local community, among them Agri Northwest and the Lichtenburg Chamber of Commerce, assist during the meeting with government. Unless government satisfies Sakeliga that sufficient emergency steps have and is being taken by it, we expect to proceed with litigation on an urgent basis. We therefore remain in consultation with our legal team in preparation for an urgent application.

Sakeliga warns that not only a humanitarian, but also a constitutional crisis is unfolding in Ditsobotla, given the apparent complete inability of government at all levels to give effect to the constitutional provisions on rectifying local government failure. We have confidence in Sakeliga’s legal position and our ability to have the unconstitutionality of the conduct of government confirmed by the courts. At the same time, we caution that the solutions to such unconstitutionality in a context of extensive executive failure require careful and innovative litigation and comes with a significant degree of uncertainty. Our litigation strategy is therefore aimed at assisting businesses and the local community with as much short-term relief as possible, while laying a foundation for durable solutions that can only be developed over the long-term.

For information on the urgent letter sent last week by Sakeliga, click here.