Municipal Structures Bill: discussion

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

07 September 1998
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Meeting report

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
8 September 1998
MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES BILL: DISCUSSION

Documents handed out:

Proposed amendments to Municipal Structures Bill [B68-98]

SUMMARY
The committee discussed generally clauses 5 to11 of the Municipal Structures Bill [B68-98]. Much of the discussion dealt with the unclear typology contained within these clauses.

DETAILED MINUTES
Clause 5
This deals with the declaration of metropolitan areas. According to clause 5 of the Bill:
When declaring an area as a metropolitan area the Minster identifies the area by designating the core city but must leave the determination of the outer boundaries to the Demarcation Board.

Several ANC MPs had a difficult time understanding how the boundaries of a core city would be determined. This issue was not resolved at this meeting.

Clause 6
Clause 6 of the Bill deals with which parts of category C areas in which category B municipalities are not viable. According to Clause 6, " if a part of an area that in terms of section 3 must have municipalities of both category C and category B, is declared in terms of subsection (2) as a sparsely populated area (SPA), that part does not have a category B municipality. Several ANC MPs felt that the phrase "sparsely populated" was unclear. An ANC MP wondered if the "sparsely populated" designation was purely demographic or was it a description of the economy of the particular area. In other words, could a prosperous region with a small population be considered a sparsely populated area? An MP from one of the opposition parties pointed out to the ANC MP that "sparsely populated" areas are defined in the Demarcation Act.

An ANC MP mentioned the need for a ward system, especially in the SPA’s. Finally, clarification of the phrase, " traditional authority" was requested. The ANC MP was of Indian extract and he gave the example of his uncle who adhered to the definition of "traditional authority" (line 31) as defined by his uncle’s native village in India.

Chapter 1, Part 2 of the Bill.
This deals with types of municipalities that may be organized. This discussion centered around the overall typology of Chapter 1, Part 2 of the Bill. Mr P Smith (IFP) stated that Chapter 1, Part 2 is rife with unconstitutional typology. Mr. Smith wanted Chapter 1, Part 2 of the Bill to delineate clearly the link between the types and categories of municipalities. As it currently stands, according to Mr. Smith, it is not clear to him what municipality type belongs to which category. Mr. Carrim responded by saying that the ANC thinks the Bill is sound and any challenges to its constitutionality must be pursued in court. Mr. Carrim did add that the typology of Chapter 1, Part 2 could be made clearer.

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