Durban - The eThekwini Municipality may find itself without key economic zones, including King Shaka International Airport and parts of Cato Ridge, if boundary proposals before the Municipal Demarcation Board get the green light.
Among several proposals made is a call for the airport to fall under KwaDukuza Municipality which is part of iLembe District Municipality, while another calls for part of Cato Ridge to be incorporated into uMgungundlovu District Municipality which is made of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.
Another proposal calls for oThongathi and Hazelmere Dam to fall under the Ndwedwe Municipality, which is under iLembe District.
EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda alluded to the boundary proposals in a meeting of the executive committee held in oThongathi Town Hall last week.
He said some were eager to take over the airport, saying the discussions would have to consider all concerned parties.
Some of the proposals include:
- Redetermination of the municipal boundaries of KwaDukuza Local Municipality, iLembe District Municipality and eThekwini by excluding two wards (58 and 62) from the municipal area of eThekwini by including them into the municipal areas of KwaDukuza Local Municipality.
- Redetermination of the municipal boundaries of eThekwini, Ndwedwe Local Municipality and iLembe District Municipality, by excluding the town of oThongathi and Hazelmere Dam from the municipal area of eThekwini and by including them into the municipal areas of Ndwedwe Local Municipality and iLembe District Municipality.
- Redetermination of the municipal boundaries of Mkhambathini Local Municipality, uMgungundlovu District Municipality and eThekwini by excluding Mkhambathini Local Municipality from the municipal area of uMgungundlovu District Municipality and by including it into eThekwini.
Local government expert and former demarcation board chairperson Mike Sutcliffe called for cool heads from everyone engaging with the proposals, pointing to its lasting effect in the province’s and the country’s make-up. He raised questions about some of the proposals, saying they could be informed by service-delivery challenges and governance issues, with proposed demarcations offering a prospect of income injection.
“The fact is a lot has to be considered, for instance, in Cato Ridge because it is an industrial area its water demands are up to that level and therefore some of the questions that must be asked are whether the district has an engineering and planning capacity to meet such a demand,” Sutcliffe said.
He called on all concerned to approach their municipalities to determine the source of such problems and seek ways of resolving them as opposed to looking at the demarcation board as the answer to their problems.
ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said that they had tasked their regions to engage with the proposals and formulate their positions.
“The regions will then make submissions to the province which will inform a position that will be taken by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal on the demarcation process and its proposals, the spokesperson explained yesterday, stressing that they did not want to see any tensions emerging between the regions.
He added that regions with common interests would form a cluster to have such a discussion. “This means that the General Gizenga Mpanza, Moses Mabhida and eThekwini regions will be a cluster, and those municipalities in the north will also form a cluster,” he said.
ANC General Gizenga Mpanza region secretary Siphesihle Zulu said they were still awaiting a report from a committee made up of municipal representatives forming iLembe District Municipality’s technical committee on the proposals and their implications.
“We are not approaching this process with any level of hostility but we want to see Ndwedwe Municipality developing some form of economic activity without relying on government grants.
“At the moment, Ndwedwe residents spend their income in either oThongathi or Verulam which are under eThekwini,” said Zulu. The meeting is set to take place tomorrow.
According to the demarcation board’s Barileng Dichabe, a total of 228 proposals have been received across the country, with KZN receiving 90 proposals, making it by far the province with the highest number of submissions.
The proposals are now out for public comment and the board has appealed to all stakeholders to make their inputs.
She stressed that during the period only written views and representations will be considered.
To view the proposals go to https://www.demarcation.org.za/