Some municipalities in the province will look different in the run-up to the local government elections of 2016.
This is the result of the Municipal Demarcation Board’s (MDB) process to change the outer boundaries of some municipalities in such a way that some are disestablished, partially merged with others and new local authorities are established. Now that the process of finalising the outer boundaries of municipalities have been finalised, changes to the number and boundaries of wards can be addressed to allow for all the other preparations required to ensure that the 2016 municipal elections take place as scheduled.
Jane Thupana, Chairperson of the MDB, says in a media release that the board resolved on 23 June that Mutale Municipality will be disestablished and its portions incorporated into the areas of Thulamela and Musina Municipalities, while a new municipality will be established comprising of portions of the municipal areas of Makhado and Thulamela Municipalities. Aganang Municipality will be disestablished and its portions incorporated into the areas of Polokwane and Blouberg Municipalities, while Fetakgomo and Greater Tubatse Municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area. Finally, Modimolle and Mookgophong Municipalities will be amalgamated into one municipal area. The names of the new municipalities are not known as yet.
In determining the boundaries of the municipalities, the objective of the MDB was to establish an area that enables the municipality for that area to fulfil its constitutional obligations including the provision of democratic and accountable government for the local communities, the provision of services to the communities in an equitable and sustainable manner, the promotion of social and economic development and the promotion of a safe and healthy environment. It should further enable effective local governance and integrated development and have a tax base as inclusive as possible of users of municipal services in the municipality.
In order to attain the objectives, the MDB inter alia took into account the interdependence of people, communities and economies as indicated by existing and expected patterns of human settlement and migration, employment, commuting and dominant transport movements, spending, the use of amenities, recreational facilities and infrastructure and commercial and industrial linkages. Factors that also influenced the determination were the need for cohesive, integrated and non-fragmented areas and the financial viability and administrative capacity of the municipality to perform municipal functions efficiently and effectively.
According to Thupana, the MDB will publish notices in the Provincial Gazette within the next few days and the public will then have 30 days from date of publication of the notices to submit written objections.
The notices and relevant maps can be accessed on the MDB’s website www.demarcation.org.za. The MDB will then consider the objections and publish the final demarcation in the Provincial Gazette.
Written objections may be forwarded to the MDB at Private Bag X123, Centurion 0046. The fax number is 086 524 8643 and emails may be directed to [email protected]
Story: BARRY VILJOEN