Municipal Demarcation Board, SALGA, South African Cities Network: Strategic Plans 2012

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

27 February 2012
Chairperson: Ms D Nthengethwa (ANC) Acting
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Meeting Summary

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), in its presentation, focused on its strategic objectives and budgets. MDB summarised issues raised in previous meetings and noted that visits to all affected municipalities at metro district level to consult on 558 proposed technical changes, had begun. New submissions were received and submission deadlines were extended to 20 January 2012. The MDB also visited and addressed all Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders and one local House. It met with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and commissioned a legal opinion to deal directly with legally contentious and complex submissions. Currently new requests were being analysed and mapped and a database of re-determination was being developed.

The strategic focus of the MDB was outlined for the financial years 2012 to 2015. The broader objectives would be to continue to review municipal boundaries while enhancing operations and stakeholder relations. It would also seek more money from the Treasury.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) focused on its strategic objectives for the years 2012 through to 2017 and its annual performance plan for 2012/13. SALGA spoke about municipalities that were in trouble. In response to ailing municipalities it had developed apex priorities that would focus on fiscal and financial management, legislative and policy review and municipal capacity building. The image of local government needed re-branding. SALGA would build capacity for scenario planning and develop a guide for municipalities to assist in responding to disasters. It continued to explore alternative sources of funding.

It was noted that absenteeism of the SALGA Chairperson at Committee meetings undermined the work of the Committee.

The South African Cities Network (SACN) looked at its Business Plan 2011 to 2016. SACN was a knowledge management organisation that would work to transform the built environment function and improve the image of local government. The nine largest municipalities were included in the network but would be expanded to include at least thirteen municipalities.

The foci of SACN over the next five years would be to support member cities by dealing decisively with the vulnerabilities of cities. The meeting noted that a crisis emerged in terms of disaster management and climate change when people migrated from rural areas in large numbers to cities and it required strategies to mitigate the impact of urbanisation. SACN would facilitate the development of well governed and sustainable cities. A need exist for the development of a national urban development policy.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed everyone to the meeting and commented that the State of Nation Address by President Zuma set ambitious targets for the country to combat inequality, poverty and unemployment. He noted that the legislation that enabled the MDB to fulfil its mandate needed to be updated.

Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) Strategic Plan and Budget 2012 to 2015
Mr Lindiwe Mahlangu, MDB Chairperson, presented the Strategic Plan and Budget 2012 to 2015. He noted that the presentation included an update on the previous meeting to clarify the mandate of the Board, demarcation processes including enhancements and focus areas.

He summarised MDB’s activities since the previous meeting with the Committee, which included visits to all affected municipalities at metro district level to consult on 558 proposed technical changes. New submissions had been received and therefore submission deadlines had been extended to 20 January 2012. The MDB also visited and addressed all Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders and one local House. It met with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and commissioned a legal opinion to deal with legally contentious and complex submissions. Currently new requests were being analysed and mapped. A database of re-determination
of municipal boundaries was being developed. In May/June 2012 MDB would commence with second round of visits to municipalities to consult on new requests.

He stated that the strategic plan should guide the Committee to resolve issues with problematic boundaries. He noted that the term of the current Board would end in 2014 and that it had a responsibility to attract new members with appropriate capabilities.

The strategic focus of the MDB would be to continue to review municipal boundaries and to enhance operations and stakeholder relations. It would also seek more money from the Treasury (see document).

Discussion

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