The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs says the number of municipalities in the country will decrease from 278 to 257. As related, the re-demarcation is completed and the new municipalities of the country will come into being on the date of the elections.
You’ll recall that it was requested of the Municipal Demarcation Board to investigate the re-demarcation of 34 non-viable and dysfunctional municipalities last year.
As stipulated in the objectives of the Back To Basics program, the intent is to boost the operations of the local government. And earn improved service delivery with enhanced economic development at the grass root levels.
The department, along with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) reportedly briefed the Select and Portfolio Committees on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in Parliament about the development.
According to the department, “the parliamentary committees were briefed on steps being taken by national and provincial government to ensure that re-demarcated municipalities that are merging to optimize their viability are ready to continue serving their communities after elections.”
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that already, a Municipal Demarcation Transition Committee is working to ensure that issues related to the re-demarcation are initiated in accordance with the law.
Such issues include bylaws and policies, human resources, finance, the adoption of a revised Integrated Development Plan, the naming of new municipalities and the location of council chambers.
Meanwhile, SALGA briefed the Committees in Parliament on the initiatives introduced to ensure that the newly elected Councillors are carried along and coached on the essential obligations of their offices. As captured in the Back to Basics program, the obligations outlined include:
- Putting people first,
- delivery of quality basic services,
- ensuring good governance,
- ensuring sound financial management,
- and building strong institutions.