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Sasolburg - The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) decides on municipal demarcation boundaries reviews and changes, chairman Landiwe Mahlangu said on Wednesday.
“The MDB, however has to take into account the views of the other stakeholders, including the minister (Richard Baloyi).”
Zamdela residents in the Free State started protesting on Sunday in opposition to the proposed merger, in 2016, of the Matsimaholo local municipality in Sasolburg with the Ngwathe municipality, under which Parys falls.
Two people were killed and nine injured during the protests, which turned violent.
Sasolburg, Deneysville and Orangeville fall under Metsimaholo.
Co-operative Governance and Public Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi announced on Tuesday that the merger would not immediately go ahead.
Mpho Lekgoro, Baloyi's chief of staff, said the national task team, set up late last year and headed by Baloyi, would review the MDB's demarcation proposal.
“The demarcation process is a board process, so they take the decision. Now there is turmoil in that area... so what the minister has done is stop the process,” Lekgoro said.
“He said to them 1/8protesters 3/8 'don't cause turmoil, stop the protest, I will take the process into review'.”
Lekgoro said the task team would engage with the MDB.
Mahlangu said the board and Baloyi met regularly to discuss issues of “mutual concern”.
“The board will meet the minister soon in the light of developments in Metsimaholo/ Ngwathe,” he said.
The process to review boundaries started in June 2011.
The proposal for the Metsimaholo/ Ngwathe merger was received by the board on December 15, 2011.
Mahlangu said the MDB issued a circular on June 28, 2011 to all affected municipalities, members of provincial executive committees responsible for local government and other parties involved to inform them of the proposal.
Further circulars were issued on November 9, 2011 and April 5
last year outlining processes and requirements in the review process.
He said the board held four meetings between 2011 and 2012 with interested parties.
Notices were also published in four newspapers last year.
Section 26 notices were sent to affected municipalities, the MEC, mayors, speakers, and municipal managers.
“The closing date for all public views and representations in terms of section 26 was 10 December 2012,” said Mahlangu.
“A total of 28 submissions were received, mainly from local residents of Metsimaholo local municipality.”
He said the MDB would consider all views and representations submitted to it on Thursday January 24. - Sapa