MDB chair to meet Midvaal, Emfuleni mayors

2014-01-30 19:02
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Johannesburg - Municipal Demarcation Board chair Landiwe Mahlangu will meet Midvaal and Emfuleni mayors next week about the merging of the two municipalities, the board said on Thursday.

"[This is] part of a briefing process with stakeholders to discuss the integration plan and addressing some of the unresolved concerns," the MDB said in a statement.

Mahlangu would meet Midvaal Mayor Bongani Baloyi in Meyerton on Monday and Emfuleni Mayor Greta Hlongwane at her office on Wednesday.

In October last year, the MDB announced that the Emfuleni, Midvaal and Sedibeng municipalities would be merged into a single metropolitan municipalty.

The merger was among 157 cases the board published, detailing what changes would be made to certain municipalities following the 2016 municipal elections.

The Emfuleni municipality incorporates Vanderbijlpark and Sebokeng. Midvaal includes Meyerton and Randvaal. Sedibeng covers Heidelberg and Ratanda.

The decision to merge the municipalities invoked both joy and disappointment.

Politically motivated

The DA, which runs the Midvaal municipality, opposed the merger and vowed to take the MDB to court, saying the decision was politically motivated.

The MDB denied bowing to any political pressure.

The ANC welcomed the MDB decision.

Mahlangu said that by 2016 there would be a reduction of 11 local municipalities and one district municipality.

Currently, there were 278 local, district and metropolitan municipalities in the country. KwaZulu-Natal was expected to be the most affected, with amalgamations expected to reduce the number of its municipalities from 61 to 54.

Mahlangu said the Independent Electoral Commission would be informed of the outcome of the board's final determination for it to assess its effects.

In August last year, MDB mooted a merger between Metsimaholo and Ngwathe municipalities in the Free State, because the proposal did not comply with legal requirements.

Violent protests against the merger had occurred in Sasolburg's Zamdela township.

- SAPA

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