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Redetermination of muncipalities ahead of elections

10 Jul 2015

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has welcomed the release of the redetermination of the municipal boundaries by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

The objections to the redetermination of the municipal boundaries should reach the board within 30 days of publication of the notice in the relevant Provincial Gazette. A copy of the notice and maps can be downloaded from the MDB website.

On Friday, 3 July 2015, the board announced its preliminary decision to determine and re-determine municipal boundaries, which results in the total number of South African municipalities being reduced by 11 from 278.

MDB Chairperson Jane Thupana said, following the decision, municipalities in the Eastern Cape will be reduced by four, Limpopo by three, while Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Free State and North West by one each.

Minister Gordhan in January, February and April this year submitted a proposal to the board, in terms of section 22(2) of the Municipal Demarcation Act, requesting the board to consider the re-configuration of boundaries of certain municipalities before the 2016 local elections.

Thupana said the proposals followed an analysis in terms of the government’s “Back to Basics” programme, which revealed that a number of municipalities were not able to fulfil their constitutional obligations.

“Alongside other strategies that were said to have been put in place to address the challenge, it was suggested in some instances that the challenges were more structural and might be resolved through the re-determination of boundaries, hence the proposed re-determination of some municipal boundaries in the Eastern Cape, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and Gauteng,” said Thupane.

She said the board held public meetings to broaden public participation and obtain further views.

Members of the public shared their views, while additional written submissions, representations and views were received. “All cases were evaluated in terms of the demarcation objectives and criteria, and the board decided on 23 June 2015, to determine and re-determine municipal boundaries,” she said.

Affected municipalities

In the Eastern Cape, the Gariep and Maletswai local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area, the Nxuba and Nkonkobe local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area, and a portion of Tsolwana will be included into the boundaries of Inxuba Yethemba, and the remainder amalgamated with Lukhanji and Inkwanca municipalities.

In Limpopo, Mutale will be dis-established and its portions incorporated into the areas of Thulamela and Musina municipalities.

A new municipality will be established comprising portions of the municipal areas of Makhado and Thulamela municipalities, and the Aganang municipality will be dis-established and its portions incorporated into the areas of Polokwane and Blouberg municipalities.

The Fetakgomo and Greater Tubatse local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area, and Modimolle and Mookgopong local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area.

In Mpumalanga, the Thupana said Mbombela and Umjindi local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area.

Mier and //Khara Hais local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area in Northern Cape.

The Naledi local municipality will be included into the Mangaung municipal area in the Free State, and in the North West, the Tlokwe and Ventersdorp local municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area.

Meanwhile, West Rand District Municipality has been re-determined into a metropolitan municipality category, following Minister Gordhan’s request to the board.

Thupana said the board will proceed with public meetings during July in all constituent municipalities of the West Rand District Municipality. “The board will then consider the matter and a decision arrived at not later than August 2015,” she said.

Minister Gordhan has also congratulated the MDB on the timely release of the report ahead of the 2016 local government elections.

“This report indicates a possible reduction in the number of unviable municipalities. This is the initial phase of dealing with municipalities that are unviable, and that a further process to assess other municipalities will follow immediately after the 2016 local government elections,” said Minister Gordhan.

The Minister said he supported the board’s intention to publish, in various Provincial Gazettes, the determination and re-determination of municipal boundaries in various provinces, and that all interested parties should submit their representations to the Board within 30 days.

The board will publish its determination or re-determination of the municipal boundaries in the relevant Provincial Gazettes within the next few days.

The public will be able to submit written objections, if any, on the determinations and re-determinations.

The objections should reach the board within 30 days of publication of the notice in the relevant Provincial Gazette. A copy of the notice and maps can be downloaded from the MDB website.

“After the 30 days objection period, the MDB will consider all objections, and will either confirm, vary or withdraw its determination, and will publish its final decision in the relevant Provincial Gazette,” said Thupane. - SAnews.gov.za
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