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ward delimitation process, the MDB first embarks on a technical consultation process to develop draft wards in consultation with municipal officials (GIS and planning officials). This is followed by an extensive community consultation process on draft wards. This allows for members of the community to make proposals on how they would want their wards configured. After the consultations the MDB determines wards and publishes them in provincial gazettes -any aggrieved person can object in writing within 14 days of publication. After the 14 days, the MDB considers all the objections received and either, confirm,vary or withdraw wards. Decision on final wards is then published in provincial gazette. The final step is to submit the ward boundaries to the IEC for local government elections. How different is the municipal boundary determination process? When a proposal for a municipal boundary change is received by the MDB either from the Minister, MEC or on someone’s own initiative, the MDB may decide to publish its intention to consider such a proposal in newspapers inviting members of the public to submit their views and representations in writing (Section 26 MDA), within a period not less than 21 days of the publication. After the expiry of submissions period the Board considers the submissions and decide to either not change the boundary or change the boundary or conduct public meetings and/or conduct formal investigations. In an instance

where the Board conducts investigations and public meetings, the Board will consider results thereof and decide whether to change the boundary as proposed or not. (Section 27, 28, 29 MDA). If the Board decides to change the boundary it publishes its decision in a provincial Gazette inviting anyone aggrieved by a decision of the Board to submit objections (Section 21 MDA), within a period of 30 days. After the end of the objections period, the Board considers all the objections and decides to either withdraw or vary or confirm its decision

as published. A final decision is then published in a provincial Gazette (Section 21(5) (MDA). This can take around two years prior to the LGE. In 2018, the MDB concluded technical the municipal boundary re-determination process. Between 2019 and 2021 the MDB could not conduct any municipal boundary re-determinations, that process will commence after the 2021 local government elections. That was done to allow the MDB time to delimit wards and the IEC to prepare for the local government elections. Where can the various communities follow the process of the determination of their municipal boundaries? New ward boundaries for the 2021 local government elections were handed over to the IEC in December 2020. Information is available on the MDB website. To further assist communities an App, #KnowYourWards, was developed. Through this App, communities are able to use their address and drop a pin of their location to determine which wards they belong to – as well as the extent of their wards. In 2018, the MDB finalised the Municipal Capacity Assessments that will assist in ascertaining whether municipalities have the requisite capability to fulfil their Constitutional obligations. This will enable us to advise the responsible MECs, with conviction, on the adjustment of powers and functions between local and district municipalities.

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Municipal Focus Magazine - Volume 51