Sakeliga has launched legal action to stop corrupt and failed municipalities from getting money from taxpayers, and create independent control over electricity and other services.
Legal papers are currently being served on two municipalities in the North West, the Minister of Finance, and others.
Sakeliga is asking the court for far-reaching, novel interventions that have never been applied at municipal level.
The interventions revolve around the establishment of a “special master” who takes control of electricity and water fees.
This is in addition to compulsory administration, and compulsory interventions by the national treasury’s “Municipal Finance Recovery Service.”
The special master must also compile evidence of corruption and related matters and report to Sakeliga, the respondents, and the court.
“What is new about this case is that it moves beyond temporary solutions. It seeks to prevent access by incompetent or corrupt municipal officials to water and electricity payments, which is what is required for a long-term solution,” Sakeliga said.
Sakeliga is requesting the court to appoint a special master – such as independent auditors – to take control of water and electricity payments.
The special master can then make payments directly to Eskom and water suppliers, and for maintenance of electricity and water infrastructure.
Only a remaining portion will be made available to the municipality and the administration team.
“The purpose of the court case is to save local economies, by providing a structural solution,” Sakeliga said.
Sakeliga said it is trying to defuse a situation that threatens to destabilise the whole country.