News24

No gerrymandering: KZN ANC

2010-02-09 16:57

Verulam - The DA’s claims that certain KwaZulu-Natal Municipalities would be realigned before the upcoming local government elections was "a desperate attempt to gain political mileage", the ANC charged on Tuesday.

"The African National Congress (ANC) calls on the Democratic Alliance (DA) to desist from undermining the integrity of government institution and government leaders through petty politicking," said ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala.

DA local government spokesperson George Mari on Monday said his party was concerned about the reported attempts by co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube to realign municipal boundaries.

Any shifting of boundaries to enable the ANC to win wards would not be condoned by the DA, he said.

Zikalala said on Tuesday that the DA had deliberately raised the issue of boundaries to give itself an advantage in the next local government elections.

"It is well known that demarcation issues often evoke emotions and have never fully satisfied all concerned.

"This irresponsible statement by the DA casts aspersions on the integrity of the demarcations board as an independent body," he said.

The DA's "false and alarmist" allegations would make it difficult for the board to fulfil its mandate, said Zikalala.

"We urge all our people to disregard the ill-informed statements by the DA and to co-operate with the demarcation processes and calmly discuss all the sensitive issues," he said.

The DA said on Monday that it was responding to reports that certain municipalities would be realigned before the upcoming local government elections next year.

Mari said he would welcome the realignment of certain municipalities, particularly those without a rates base, to make them larger and financially viable.

The majority of KwaZulu-Natal municipalities failed to deliver services to communities because of corruption mismanagement, nepotism and incompetent municipal officials, he charged.

Mari called on the MEC to table all the proposals at local government portfolio committee level, prior to any changes being made.