Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) Chairperson Thabo Manyoni has encouraged communities to participate in the creation of electoral wards for the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE) to enable free and fair elections.
The board said they are working hard to promote active public participation in the ward delimitation process ahead of the 2021 LGE.
“We appeal to all community members to engage the MDB on the first draft set of wards and provide proposals on how their wards should be configured. When we announce the final wards in July 2020, we should have the comfort of knowing that the process was transparent and decisions taken have, as far as possible, embraced inputs from our stakeholders and communities,” he said.
In 2018, the MDB took a decision not to conduct municipal boundary re-determinations until after the 2021 LGE.
“With the outer-boundary redeterminations concluded, the focus has now shifted to the ward delimitation process. In this regard, all applications and concerns about municipal boundary redeterminations from various communities will be examined after the 2021 LGE,” the board said.
The MDB delimits wards for the purpose of local elections after consultations with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
This process is preceded by the sequence of events: (i) the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) publishes the formulae for determining the number of councillors for different categories of municipalities; (ii) the MECs responsible for local government use the formulae to determine and publish the number of councillors; (iii) MDB determines and confirms the number of wards by dividing the published number of Councillors by two.
“It should be noted that, the MDB has no influence to determine the formulae nor the number of councillors, and therefore appeals to stakeholders not to make representations to the MDB to change the formula, increase or decrease the number of Councillors or the number of wards.
“To this end, the MDB is pleased that all provinces have published the number of Councillors on time, and this has enabled the Board to commence with the technical sessions process with municipalities with a view to conclude the configuration of the first draft set of wards by the end of October 2019,” the board said.
A nationwide public consultation process on the first draft set of wards is set to commence in February 2020 to April 2020.
The public will be notified of the dates and venues of consultation meetings once they are confirmed with the municipalities.
This information will also be available on www.demarcation.org.za and on social media platforms.
MDB is South Africa’s municipal demarcation authority, whose mission is to deepen democracy and facilitate the socio-economic transformation of the country for the benefits of its citizens. – SAnews.gov.za