The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) welcomes the first ever Demarcation and Spatial Transformation conference by the Municipal Demarcation Board to be held between 23rd and 24th June 2016.
The Municipal Demarcation Board is an independent authority responsible for the determination of municipal boundaries. The Board’s status as an independent authority is also protected by section 3 of The Local Government – Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998, and various judgments by the Constitutional Court.
The demarcation process in South Africa is currently posing multiple challenges such as community objections which are sometimes accompanied by objections, demands and violent protests. It is important to note that the demarcation challenges in South Africa demands a collective response and action by all role players and stakeholders as it cannot only be easily resolved by the Demarcation Board alone.
The democratic Local government has since its establishment registered significant progress and this conference is an opportune time when local government mandate is about to be refreshed with the local government elections scheduled to take place on 03 August 2016.
It is important that this conference look at the demarcation trends, sustainability and viability of municipalities, public and stakeholder participation, ward delimitation as well as the metropolitan system of governance. We believe that this conference will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders and role players to begin the process of dialogue around the complex issues of demarcation in the country.
It is encouraging that the conference will be bringing together all this role players experts, law makers, government departments, public sector institutions, academics and researchers. This will definitely go a long way providing direction, consensus and uniformity in our approach to demarcation.
As CoGTA we hope that the outcomes of this conference will assist to move us forward and further strengthen our democracy through the work of the MDB and where possible even recommend necessary and possible changes, either legislative or otherwise.
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