Proposals for municipal boundary changes to be considered

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretoria - Just over 1 000 applications for municipal boundary changes were received from members of the public and stakeholders, but only 202 cases will be considered, says the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

On Wednesday, the MDB briefed the media on the legal and formal stage of the municipal boundaries redetermination process. This process is defined and outlined under section 26 of Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act.

Initially the MDB received 1 028 applications, which after initial assessment of eligibility were decreased to 202 cases.

"It is important to emphasise the fact that by publishing our intentions under Section 26, it does not mean a final decision has been taken. These proposals must themselves pass the legitimacy and public opinion test as well as all relevant requirements," said MDB chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu.

Reasons for the unsuccessful applications included changes having a negative impact on the socio-economic lives of the community; communities would be divided into two separate municipalities or along traditional authority boundaries and non-compliance with the law.

The 202 cases will be published under section 26 of Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act.
"As required by law, stakeholders will now be allowed at least 21 days to provide written submissions to the MDB," Mahlangu explained.

Even though it was not obligated to do so, after the 21 days the MDB could possibly hold public meetings, conduct formal investigations or do both to satisfy itself about the decisions that will need to be made, he added.

After the MBD makes a decision, aggrieved parties have 30 days to lodge complaints.

Mahlangu explained that cases of municipal boundary changes were categorised into Type A, B and C.

Type A refers minor technical changes that were necessitated by factors such as roads, rivers, mountains and cadastral boundaries, while Type B were medium scale redeterminations that may impact on a sizable geographic area and number of voters in one or all municipalities affected.

Type C were redeterminations which entailed a major and large scale municipal boundary change which would have a significant impact on geographic areas, number of voters, and the capabilities of the affected municipality.

Of the cases to be published, 111 are Type A, 72 are Type B and 19 Type C.

Gabi Gumbi-Masilela, CEO of the MDB, urged affected communities to make their views known when they were given the opportunity.

She said some cases were being published in terms of Section 26 to test public opinion.

No decisions on the redeterminations have been taken when the section 26 notices are published in the media, she stressed, adding that Section 26 notices merely reflected the MDB's intention to consider the proposed boundary changes.

More information and details can be obtained from the MDB's website and notices will be published in the media. -