Gauteng govt applies to merge Midvaal, Emfuleni

2012-05-31 14:37
Johannesburg - The Gauteng government has applied to merge Emfuleni with the DA-run Midvaal municipality to form a metro, according to a report on Thursday.

Gauteng local government and housing department head Mongezi Mnyani said the province had been studying how to increase the economic viability of municipalities, Business Day reported.

Mnyani said the province was exploring various options regarding Midvaal, including merging Emfuleni and Midvaal into a metro, or merging Midvaal and Emfuleni into a category B municipality, and including the Lesedi local municipality in the Ekurhuleni metro.

The changing of municipal borders would mean the Democratic Alliance would no longer run a town in Gauteng, the report said. The DA retained control of Midvaal region in last year's local government elections, despite efforts by the African National Congress to take control.

Mnyani denied it was a political move.

"There’s nothing political about it. We want to make sure municipalities are viable... to ensure seamless development across the province."

DA Gauteng local government spokesperson Fred Nel told Business Day on Wednesday there were "definitely political motives" behind the move, as metros had not always proven more viable.

Mnyani said the Midvaal municipality could make submissions to the Municipal Demarcation Board, which would ultimately make the decision.

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