NEWS & ANALYSIS

ANC KZN welcomes municipal mergers in province

Sihle Zikalala says move will help address the shortage of skills in some municipalities

ANC STATEMENT ON PROPOSED MERGER OF KZN MUNICIPALITIES

16 October 2013

The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal notes the proposed merger of some municipalities which will see the number of KZN councils reduced from 61 to 54 after the next local government elections in 2016.

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) yesterday announced that the combined municipalities will include Vulamehlo and Umdoni in southern KZN; Hlabisa and The Big 5 False Bay on the far North Coast; Umtshezi and Imbabazane in the KZN Midlands; Ezinqoleni and Hibiscus Coast on the South Coast; Emnambithi/Ladysmith and Indaka in northern KZN, KwaSani and Ingwe in the Drakensberg region; and Ntambanana/Mthonjaneni and Umhlathuze on the North Coast.

We move from a premise that this proposal has emerged out of an intensive consultation process which included all stakeholders such as political parties, Amakhosi and other critical partners of our communities. These stakeholders made submissions and were invited to further provide support for their submissions where the initial submissions were not considered.

"As the ANC, we welcome the ruling of the demarcation board to merge some municipalities. We strongly believe that this move will help to deal with the shortage of skills in some of our municipalities in this province. The ANC has been instrumental in calling for a rethink of our municipalities as we believe that will ensure there is sharing of services and skills thus enhancing the much needed service delivery. The reality is that some of these municipalities need to be integrated," said ANC provincial Secretary, Cde Sihle Zikalala.

While the ANC welcomed the demarcation board's decision, it was concerned that some of the submissions made during the consultation process had been pushed to the periphery, Zikalala said.

"We are of the view that some views raised during the consultation process need further attention. One of the submissions made was for a metropolitan status for the Umgungundlovu District which has seven local municipalities. The ANC believes that this needs further processing as this will open new opportunities for additional state funding, private investment and development for the district," said Zikalala.

Statement issued by Sihle Zikalala, ANC KwaZulu-Natal, October 16 2013

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