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Johannesburg - The municipal demarcation board's (MDB) proposed mergers of certain municipalities within KwaZulu-Natal was welcomed by the provincial ANC on Wednesday.
The mergers proposed by the MDB would result in the number of councils within the province reducing from 61 to 54 after the local government elections in 2016, the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal said in a statement.
Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said the party welcomed the board's rulings as it strongly believed this would help deal with the skills shortage in some of the province's municipalities.
“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,” he said.
“The reality is that some of these municipalities need to be integrated.”
The ANC said it was, however, concerned that some submissions made to the board during the consultation process had been pushed to the periphery.
“We are of the view that some views raised during the consultation process need further attention,” said Zikalala.
“One of the submissions made was for a metropolitan status for the Umgungundlovu district, which has seven local municipalities.”
The ANC believed this required further processing as it would create new opportunities for additional state funding, private investment and development for the district.
The MDB announced the amalgamation of the municipalities:
Vulamehlo and Umdoni; Hlabisa and The Big Five False Bay; Umtshezi and Imbabazane; Ezinqoleni and Hibiscus Coast; Emnambithi, Ladysmith and Indaka; KwaSani and Ingwe; and Ntambanana, Mthonjaneni and Umhlathuze.