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DA to oppose proposal to amalgamate uMngeni Municipality with neighbouring towns

uMngeni Local Municipality mayor Chris Pappas, seated at a table, speaks during a meeting.

uMngeni Local Municipality mayor Chris Pappas. The DA says it will oppose a proposal to amalgamate the municipality with neighbouring towns. File Picture: Facebook

Published Apr 13, 2023


Durban - The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has vowed to use every legal means available to fight the proposal to have the party’s only municipality under its control in the province amalgamated with two ANC-run councils.

This follows the Municipal Demarcation Board’s call for written submissions from the public and interested parties on the proposed amendments to municipal outer boundaries across the country.

The ANC in the Moses Mabhida Region, which is made up of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding towns, has made clear its support for a proposal to have uMngeni Municipality, which has Howick as its town, amalgamated with Mpofana (Mooi River) and Impendle municipalities.

UMngeni was won by the DA during the 2021 local government elections, and has been seen by some as a model of good governance and service delivery under mayor Chris Pappas.

Samora Ndlovu, ANC Moses Mabhida Region secretary, said they wanted to merge the three municipalities, saying such a move would enhance service delivery. He contended that under the current arrangement the municipalities were not financially viable.

“We are of the view that it makes sense for the three municipalities to be made into one as there could be a wider financial base as opposed to the current setting,” said Ndlovu.

He denied that the proposal was motivated by politics.

However, KZN DA leader Francois Rodgers insisted that the move was informed by the ANC’s service-delivery failures, which he said had been laid bare since the DA took over uMngeni Municipality in 2021.

“This is a political move by a party that has been shown what good governance is about and cannot stand this, and that is why they now want to collapse the municipality by merging it with Impendle and Mooi Mpofana,” he said.

He vowed to use every legal means possible to fight the amalgamation and called on other parties to do the same.

“We will fight tooth and nail against such a move and we believe that everyone concerned should use the chance to express their opposition to the proposed amalgamation by making their submissions during this period,” said Rodgers, adding that ANC leaders had become uncomfortable about Pappas’s achievements over the past months, and the positive feedback he had received from the public.

The Demarcation Board’s Barileng Dichabe said they had received a lot of feedback since the invitation for inputs was issued almost two weeks ago.

“It is difficult to determine how many comments we have received so far, and this is an exercise that we will undertake once the window for submissions has been closed at the end of the month,” she added. Dichabe said part of the feedback they had received included questions on how people could make their submissions.

According to the board, a total of 228 proposals were made across the country, with KZN having 90 proposals, the largest number when compared with other provinces in the country.

For information on the proposals and how to comment, go to