Municipal wards to increase by 10%
Pretoria - The number of municipal wards will increase about 10% in 2011, in time for local government elections, Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu said on Wednesday.
This would mean that, for the first time, all local municipalities would have a minimum of four wards and a maximum of 130, he told the Independent Electoral Commission in Pretoria.
"In the last elections of 2006 there were 3 895 wards and we are now seeing an increase of about 10% in 2011 with 4 227 wards," he said.
Since each ward had two councillors, this would mean there would be 664 new councillors.
Mahlangu said the increase was due, in part, to the migration of people to different wards.
'Wards will always change'
"You need to carve the wards much smaller in order to curb the increase. These wards will always change."
Most councillors would be in Kwa-Zulu-Natal with 1 954 (up from 1 829 in 2006), followed by the Eastern Cape with 1 161 (1 522) and Limpopo with 1 319 (1 239).
The province with the least councillors would be the Northern Cape with 471 (427).
"Today's signing is a milestone in celebrating municipal democracy. It is a remarkable achievement in short space of time," IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam said in receiving the ward demarcations.
Asked if the IEC would have the resources to process votes from the additional wards, Bam said: "We are able, when we do the budget, to make an increase in the budget, but there's never enough money."
Mahlangu said the communities affected by the demarcations would be visited and informed of the changes.
He said the handover followed an intensive process of drafting and consultations with the communities and other stakeholders.