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This grassroots organisation wants to fire their municipality

What’s news?  

An activist organisation in the town formerly known as Grahamstown has gone to court in an effort to dissolve the Makana Municipality, because it has left the town in a “state of disaster”, according to the Mail & Guardian. The situation on the ground is so dire in the cash-strapped town that the Unemployment People’s Movement (UPM) says it has no choice but to have the whole council removed.

Why does this matter?

It is surely the first time that a community has become so gatvol with its municipality that it sees no other option than to go to court to fire the lot of them. Clearly, this community doesn’t think the electoral process is sufficient, or it can’t wait for another municipal election to come along.

It is a sign of desperation among a community in a collapsing municipality. But will it have ripple effects elsewhere? Could this inspire other communities to punish their elected leaders in the same way for failing to deliver services?

What’s going on?

Makhanda, as its now known, is now on its umpteenth round of water restrictions and, according to the UPM, “every aspect of running a municipality is found wanting”. What is a neglected community supposed to do?