Midvaal merger under consideration

2012-11-07 18:22
Gauteng provincial government (Picture: Sapa)

Gauteng provincial government (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Proposals to merge the DA-run Midvaal with Emfuleni are being considered, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) said on Wednesday.

Chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu said the institute had begun a credible consultation process on the 202 cases of possible municipal boundary changes.

"We know for a fact that it has become very clear to most people and to us that that corridor - Emfuleni and Midvaal - has become almost the new Midrand, in terms of the development happening there," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"When you designate an area to be a metropole, you are not rewarding anybody, but actually capacitating that municipality to have the status that is consistent with the challenges and the opportunities [appropriate] for that space."

The mooted Midvaal-Emfuleni merger was one of two proposals in Gauteng for re-classification by the MDB according to its "Type C Amalgamation and Categorisation".

MDB chief executive Gabi Gumbi-Masilela said the Type C schedule entailed "a major and large scale-municipal boundary re-determination which will have a significant impact on the geographic areas, number of voters and the capacities of the municipalities".

However, Gumbi-Masilela said for this schedule of categorisation to succeed, there was need for extensive motivation for the re-determination, accompanied by supporting evidence.

"There is also need for extensive research, high-level frameworks to guide the transformation, and high-level engagement processes to ensure inclusivity of all parties."

Initially, the MDB received 1 028 applications for the re-determination of boundaries. These were assessed and reduced to 202.

Mahlangu said no decision had been made on the boundaries yet. The proposals would be tested against legitimacy, public opinion, and the legal requirements.

The Gauteng government applied for the merger of Emfuleni and Midvaal to form a metro earlier this year.

The DA retained control of the Midvaal region in last year's local government elections, despite a spirited effort by the African National Congress to seize control.

The Gauteng government has denied that the application for a merger was a political move.

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