Municipal Demarcation Board extends activities during lockdown

The MDB commenced with the ward delimitation public consultation process in February. The process was to conclude in April.

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has commended government through the National Coronavirus Command Council, for efforts taken to mitigate against the devastating effects of Covid-19.

The MDB believes government has prioritised the lives, well-being and health of all South African citizens.

In February, the MDB commenced with the ward delimitation public consultation process, reports Bedfordview and Edenvale News.

The process was to conclude in April.

However, in March, the process had to come to a halt as the MDB suspended all the public consultations in response to the declaration of the Covid-19 national state of disaster and the lockdown.

The MDB had planned to complete the ward delimitation public consultations in municipalities in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and the Western Cape provinces by the end of March.

However, three municipalities in the Eastern Cape, one in the Western Cape, eight in Gauteng and seven in KwaZulu-Natal could not be covered.

Public consultations in Limpopo, the Free State, the Northern Cape and the North West were scheduled for April.

These had to be postponed.

Mpumalanga is the only province where all scheduled meetings were concluded.

The MDB has assured South Africans that it remains committed to citizen engagement and it is doing everything in its power to ensure that members of the public continue to have a say on how their wards should be configured.

Although the country has moved from level five to level four lockdown, there are still regulations that restrict the MDB from continuing as normal in relation to engaging citizens regarding the ward delimitation process as was the case before the declaration of a national state of disaster.

After a thorough analysis and consideration of the overall impact of the lockdown on the overall ward delimitation programme, a revised programme was developed with new timeframes.

  • Batch One – Municipalities where public meetings have taken place:

The date for written submissions has been extended from May 15 to May 31.

Members of the public and all stakeholders who have not yet submitted have until then to submit their submissions on how their wards should be configured.

In June, the MDB will consider all submissions made during batch one and determine wards for publication in provincial Gazettes.

All wards will be published in Provincial Gazettes in July.

Anyone aggrieved by the wards as published will be allowed 14 days to submit written objections.

In August, the MDB will consider all objections received during batch one and determine and publish final wards in Provincial Gazettes.

Final wards for phase one will be handed over to the IEC by September.

  • Batch Two – Municipalities where public meetings were suspended:

In case the circumstances regarding the management of the spread of Covid-19 do not improve and the level of lockdown or conditions thereof are not adjusted to a level that will allow for gatherings or public meetings by May 31, the MDB will consider all outstanding public meetings cancelled.

However, the period for making written submissions for members of the public in batch two municipalities will be extended to July 31.

In August, the MDB will consider all written submissions for batch two and determine wards for publication in Provincial Gazettes.

All wards will be published in Provincial Gazettes in September.

Anyone aggrieved by the wards as published will be allowed 14 days to submit written objections.

In October, the MDB will consider all objections received in batch two, determine and publish final wards in Provincial Gazettes.

Final wards for batch two will be handed over to the IEC by November.

The ‘new normal’ dictates that new technological methods to replace physical sessions be adopted in order to flatten the curve.

“Given the unchartered territory we are traversing, we are fully committed to support the Government in the fight against the virus and abide by the set regulations.

“In the interest of providing an equal opportunity to all community members to participate meaningfully to determine their own wards, we urge them to submit written submissions by email to registry@demarcation.org.za,” said Thabo Manyoni, chairperson of the MDB.

Ward delimitation and public consultation information such as draft maps and submission forms have been distributed to all municipalities and are also available on the MDB website www.demarcation.org.za or on request by calling the MDB on 012 342 2481 for assistance on any query related to ward delimitation.

The MDB is aware that conditions on the ground are changing all the time bringing with them a lot of uncertainty as the country continues its efforts to fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

In this regard, the MDB will provide the necessary updates in line with regulations imposed during the lockdown period.

The MDB appeals to communities to stay home, wash their hands, practice physical distancing and wear a mask when in public spaces.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.



today in print

today in print