Review of housing contractLocal government - judicial review - extension of 180-day period


In Asla Construction (Pty) Ltd v Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (894/2016) [2017] ZASCA 23, the SCA dealt with an appeal against an order of the High Court that set aside a construction contract.

The Municipality had previously appointed Asla to build houses in Duncan Village. Subsequently, it applied to the High Court, successfully, for the review and setting aside of the contract on the basis that proper procurement procedures had not been followed.

On appeal, the SCA considered the delay on the part of the Municipality in bringing the application. The provisions of section 7(1) of PAJA require a party to institute proceedings in the High Court without unreasonable delay and not later than 180 days of the action in question, viz. the award of the contract to Asla. Here, the municipality had brought its application after the expiry of the 180-day period and had failed to apply for an extension.


The SCA held that the Municipality had not furnished a full and adequate explanation for the delay. Furthermore, the SCA held that no extension should have been given by the High Court because of the severe prejudice that would be caused to Asla. Moreover, severe prejudice would be caused to the inhabitants of Duncan Village and the broader public interest. Consequently, the SCA held that undue delay on the part of the Municipality resulted in the validation of the contract.

The appeal was upheld with costs.

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