Number of SA provinces to be reduced

2012-06-29 13:20

The ANC wants to reduce the number of provinces to make them more effective in delivering services, to integrate communities and try to break down tribal walls created by the apartheid setting.

The party recommends that government convenes a team of experts “within the shortest possible time” to start looking at how this can be done.

ANC national executive committee member Nomaindia Mfeketo said the conference “made a policy proposal that we review, we reduce and strengthen provinces”.

The party would be careful not to do this through a “thumbsuck,” Mfeketo said.

Conference mandated President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission “to deliberate on how we need to demarcate the provinces, what number of provinces do we need and what will be their responsibilities,” said Mfeketo.

The actual reduction of provinces might only take place after 2015.

“We’re not looking at 2014 by any chance. We are looking at a committee that will do a thorough work and come back to us by 2015.”

Mfeketo said the ANC’s key objective was ensuring that provinces serve South Africans better.

“We’re looking at how this country can be divided so that it serves every person who lives in the particular pocket in this country. It’s not only the social integration, it’s also about provinces that are financially viable and will be able to deliver services to their constituency.”

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Yunus Carrim promised the ANC would embark on “a massive consultation with the public” before reducing provinces because “this is a major issue”.

Mfeketo said the ANC was aware that it might not be easy to demarcate land that belongs to certain communities in what she called “a question of tribal boundaries”.

“We know it’ll be difficult to completely do away with what is seen as tribal boundaries, but we are hoping that we’ll be able to tamper with that apartheid setting.”

The commission that Zuma is tasked to appoint will only start its work after the reduction of provinces has been ratified by the national congress in Mangaung in December.

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