SA needs to revisit composition of provinces – Mokonyane

2012-11-07 13:11

South Africa needs to look at the composition of provinces, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has said.

“This country must revisit the future or the status of provinces... we might have to reduce the size of provinces or there may be a creation of new provinces,” she said in a briefing on the implications of the Census 2011 results for Gauteng.

Have you seen our online census tool? Go here.

At its national policy conference earlier this year, the ANC adopted a proposal that the number of provinces in the country be reviewed.

This will be up for discussion at the party’s national elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Mokonyane said some provinces needed to be allocated more authority.

“Those are major policy choices we must not shy away from. Myself and the mayors of the metros said we believe we can be reorganised differently in the interest of development of this country.”

According to the census, Gauteng’s population increased by 2.9 million people between 2001 and 2011.

This was the result of natural growth and migration from other provinces, and around the world.

Mokonyane said only 56% of Gauteng’s population was born in the province. The figure was 92% in KwaZulu-Natal and 72% in the Western Cape.

At current annual average growth rates, it was projected Gauteng would have as many as 15.6 million people by 2020, at which point it would house 26.5% of the country’s population.

“This means that more than one quarter of the entire population would be housed in an area measuring 1.4% of the total land area of South Africa.”

Mokonyane said Gauteng would work with the National Planning Commission to develop a national urban development strategy.

“We believe the urban development strategy will ensure the province remains the country’s key economic node.”

Rapid population growth placed a burden on public services such as health and safety, and education.

“The figures therefore demonstrate rapid urbanisation, a phenomenon that has become evident across the world.

“While cities play a crucial role in fostering economic productivity and innovation, they need to be properly planned and effectively managed.”

Mokonyane called on the national government to allocate financial resources in accordance with provinces’ needs.

The movement of people from other provinces into Gauteng meant that the current funding structure needed to change.

Gauteng and its municipalities had to pursue policies which would address the high population density.

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