Metro status for Msunduzi?

2008-03-13 00:00

The Msunduzi Municipality is more confident that it is ready to become a metropolitan municipality after receiving news that the Municipal Demarcation Board has proposed that the municipality be re-determined into a category A municipality.

"That would be very nice. It has been our dream for years to become a metro and we have constantly been working towards this dream," said Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo.

City manager Rob Haswell said that as a category A municipality, the council could access more funding to fast-track service delivery. "It would be great news if the proposal is accepted as we have suffered for years as a category B municipality and a change is long overdue," said Haswell.

Asked whether the municipality is ready to become a metropole with all its current problems, Haswell said that with the additional funding, the municipality would be able to function optimally.

"We have always functioned as a category A municipality, in that we have performed well, sometimes above expectations," said Haswell.

The demarcation board has the authority to determine and re-determine municipal boundaries.

Speculation is that the demarcation board could include more than one centre in Msunduzi. For example, they may be looking at incorporating Hilton, Howick and Camperdown into a new metro, but no confirmation of this has been received. Pinetown is linked with Durban, and Uitenhage with Port Elizabeth.

Hillary Monare, CEO of the demarcation board, said that if the proposal is accepted by the public after the submission of views by all relevant stakeholders, Msunduzi would have exclusive legislative authority.

"The municipality would no longer be part of the uMgungundlovu District and would function similarly to the eThekwini metropolitan and all other metros," said Monare.

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