KZN councils may merge

2012-11-08 00:00

KWAZULU-Natal could see some of its 61 municipalities merged if certain applications to the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) are approved next year.

Fifty-one municipalities have applied for municipal boundary changes.

Yesterday the MDB released details of municipalities which had applied. Only 202 cases were considered for possible boundary changes.

They were selected from among 1 028 applications received.

Board chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu said KZN was one of the provinces with the highest number of applications for municipal boundary changes.

“We considered 51 municipalities in the province that may be changed after the process, which could be in August next year,” he said.

Of the 51 municipalities, 12 required minor adjustments — which would involve technical changes — 28 could see see their boundaries fall within other municipal areas, while 11 would need significant changes that could result in some municipalities merging or amalgamating.

“The possible outcome is that KZN might have [a reduced] number of municipalities once the final stage has been completed,” Mahlangu said.

A total of 826 applications were rejected, and applicants would be informed in due course.

“It is important to emphasise the fact that by publishing our intentions under Section 26, it does not mean a final decision has been taken.

“These proposals must themselves pass the legitimacy and public opinion tests as well as all relevant legal requirements,” said Mahlangu.

He added: “As required by law, stakeholders will now be allowed at least 21 days to provide written submissions to MDB.

“Even though not obligated to do so, after the 21 days we might hold public meetings, conduct formal investigations or do both so as to satisfy ourselves about the type of decision that will have to be made.”

After the MDB had made a decision, the aggrieved parties would have 30 days to lodge complaints.

“Our target is to submit the work we would have completed to the Independent Electoral Commission by August 2013 to allow time for further preparations that would be required as a result of decisions made,” added Mahlangu.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said the MEC, Nomusa Dube, would make a statement only after the MDB — an independent body — had consulted her.

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