25 January 2013

South Africa: Joint Media Statement By Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (cogta) Minister and the Municipal Demarcation Board On the Demarcation Process

press release

Photo: SABC Digital News
Police on alert in Sasolburg.

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi held a meeting with the Demarcation Board in the afternoon - Thursday, 24 January 2013 - to discuss matters relating to the proposed amalgamation of Metsimaholo and Ngwathe local municipalities, in the wake of the public protest which resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of property in Zamdela.

The meeting noted and agreed that the Minister's public announcement to put the demarcation process on hold was in the interest of peace and stability in the area of Metsimaholo.

The Minister and the Board further agreed that the redetermination of municipal boundaries is an important process to ensure viability of municipalities, and that the public consultation is very crucial to ensure integrity of the process. The Minister and the Board also urged all stakeholders that this matter is managed effectively to ensure that it serves the general interest of the affected communities, rather than narrow interest.

Pursuant to this point, the parties have agreed to collaborate closely within their respective mandates to ensure a concerted effort towards the building of an effective and efficient local government system.

The Minister and the Board have agreed to identify similar cases (proposed amalgamation) that may exhibit potential for violent protests in other parts of the country in order for government to intervene.

The board has reassured the Minister that the process was in full compliance with the law and beyond reproach. The meeting noted that the Minister has established a demarcation process review task team, which will assist the Minister to monitor and review the process discussed above. The Board will endeavour to cooperate fully with the Ministerial Task Team.

The Minister reaffirmed his confidence in the Municipal Demarcation Board's (MDB) ability to discharge its mandate in accordance with applicable law.

Issued by: Department of Cooperative Governance

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