Section 139 interventions in South African local government, 1994-2015
Van der Waldt, Gerrit
MetadataShow full item record
Recent trends point to the fact that national and provincial government interventions in the local sphere of government in South Africa have become more commonplace. These trends can be seen, within the broader context of state dysfunction, to constitute a novel and discernible phenomenon, namely “interventionism”. Furthermore, the theoretical body of knowledge related to the phenomenon of state dysfunction suggests that issues of poor service delivery and “bad” governance are not exclusively at play in interventionism. Political factors that are indicative of state dysfunction may also serve as more covert reasons to intervene in municipalities in order to influence the balance of political power in a given province, municipality, or within a party itself. The purpose of this article is to analyse past interventions, premised upon Section 139 of the Constitution in local government, during the period 1994 to 2015. The intention is to explore both the trends (i.e. frequency analysis) and nature of such interventions (i.e. qualitative analysis through case studies and contemporary sources) and to make certain deductions regarding interventionism within the context of state dysfunction in South African local government. Factors are identified that suggest that electoral, factionalist and political motives may rival and surpass constitutional and governance reasons for implementing such interventions.