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Section 21(5) Notices

Ward Objection Form




Types of Boundary Redeterminations


The Board undertakes three broad types of municipal outer boundary determinations where the criteria are applied differentially and the data requirement and motivation also vary. 

Type A - Technical and minor boundary re-determinations: This re-determination entails a small scale boundary adjustment and/or alignment with a minor impact on the geographic area, and with a negligible or no impact on the number of voters, and on the capacity of the affected municipalities. The outcome of this redetermination is the correction and/or alignment of a municipal boundary with physical or natural features such as roads, rivers, and mountains; or cadastral boundaries (parent farm boundaries) or a combination of the two.  Alignment to cadastre may be necessary where, for purposes of property valuations and rates, a property has to be under the jurisdiction of one municipality rather than being split between two or more  municipal areas. 

Type B – Consolidation and Annexations: This is a medium scale boundary re-determination that may impact on a sizable geographic area, and number of voters in one or all the municipalities affected. This type of determination may impact on ward arrangements but will not, or will not materially, impact on the capacities of the affected municipalities to deliver services. The outcome of this type of boundary adjustment is the correction of boundary anomalies that affect service delivery, and to promote integrated communities and economies. 

Type C – Amalgamation and Categorisation: This type of re-determination entails a major and large scale municipal boundary re-determination which will have a significant impact on the geographic areas, the number of voters, and the capacities of the affected municipalities. The outcome of this type of re-determination includes the merging of adjacent municipalities; the splitting of   municipal areas to create municipal areas which will result in that the responsible MEC will need to disestablish an existing municipality or municipalities, and establish a new municipality or municipalities. Also included in this type is the categorisation of metropolitan municipalities with or without boundary changes.  This type of request requires extensive motivation and a significant amount of supporting evidence.  Where a request is submitted for the categorisation of a municipality into a metropolitan municipality, such a request must satisfy the criteria outlined in Section 2 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998, in addition to the criteria set out in section 24 and 25 of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998. Attention is also drawn to the fact that the MDB may determine that an area must have a category A (metropolitan) municipality, only after consultation with   the National Minister responsible for local government, the MEC for local government in the provinces concerned, and SALGA. 





Alignment of Departmental Service Boundaries to Municipal Boundaries 



The Cabinet Resolution that all service delivery departments endeavor to align their functional boundaries to the constitutionally proclaimed municipal boundaries, has provided a sound basis for the Board to assist in the alignment process with a view to improve the spatial configuration of, and service delivery in South Africa. 

A survey was conducted early in 2002 to establish the progress and nature of service delivery boundary alignment of current national and provincial departments. A similar exercise was also undertaken in July 2006 in view of the Constitutional Twelfth Amendment Act, 2005. According to the correspondence received, the municipal structures were followed in the majority of the cases. Most notably the district council boundaries were followed, but where there were deviations, the local municipal boundaries were adhered to.

Summaries of the departments that responded, alignment status and maps indicating their boundaries can be accessed from the MDB. Although responses from departments were in general good, some departments still need to attend to this matter.

Key Points 

1. To build a strong local government, including: 

    • Re-assessing the current distribution of functions and powers; 

    • A clear framework for national and provincial interventions in local government. 

2. To build a stable institutional and administrative system, including resolving: 

    • The division of powers and functions between district and local municipalities 

    • Cross border municipalities; and 

    • The role of traditional leaders. 

3. To deepen democracy and accountability, including: 

    • Support for ward committees. 

4. To accelerate service delivery and development, including: 

    • Assistance in implementing government policy on free basic services. 

5. To ensure financial viability, including: 

    • Reviewing the intergovernmental fiscal system and the allocation of the equitable share; and 

    • Accessing financial markets through municipal private sector partnerships.

Summaries of the departments that responded, alignment status and maps indicating their boundaries can be accessed by following the links per province above. Although this was a good response, some outstanding Departments still need to be co-opted in the process.

We would like to request each department that has not yet responded to please do so by contacting Mfanafuthi Gama ( or (Tel (012) 342 2481 or Fax at (012) 342 2480.

2. Scope of work

The Board has been actively engaging with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in aligning the magisterial districts, the police station wards and the police area districts with the municipal boundaries. 

While the magisterial district boundaries are essentially finalised, proclamation of the boundaries have been put on hold to ensure that there is proper alignment with the police station wards area districts and cadastral boundaries, and where possible with municipal boundaries. This is due to the close functional linkage between Justice and Police. The Board is providing information and maps to the role players and acts as a coordinator in the process. Alignment has progressed well and it is anticipated that the process be finalised by August 2007. Other service delivery departments are being followed up on a continuous basis to obtain new and updated information on their functional boundaries. 

3. Way Forward

The Board is in a process of developing a 'boundary alignment database' containing all the functional boundaries captured up to date. This database will form the basis for establishing the relationship between the municipal and all other service delivery boundaries. This will also be linked to the database covering the re-determination of municipal boundaries. The alignment and re-determinations database will form the basis for establishing which organisation’s service delivery boundaries are affected by a re-determination of a municipal boundary which can then be notified to establish the impact of the boundary change for possible further alignment. 

3.1 Verifying the Boundaries

Each service delivery department is requested to verify and provide comments on the boundaries as captured by the Board by contacting Mfanafuthi Gama ( Tel (012) 342 2481 or Fax at (012) 342 2480. The process of verification would include a questionnaire that would be sent to departments for it to be filled and also maps showing the current MDB boundaries against other departmental boundaries. All the maps would be made available on the Boards website, and MDB GIS data is already available for download.

3.1.1 Verification of South Africa Police Service and Department of Justice Boundaries

Maps depicting proposed magisterial and SAPS precincts would be given out on CD and also posted on your website for download. A coded script has been written to run maps circulation amongst stations and area commissioners also magistrates. A circular has to be formulated to which advice it to be given out on procedures available for processes to be followed for a boundary re-determination. The verification is to be linked to DEMS investigations so that cases that affect both the municipal boundary and other service boundaries could be looked at concurrently, and cases that are similar in nature could be solved swiftly and concurrently.

    • Consultative workshops March: 

        o Mpumalanga and Limpopo (31 February 2007)

        o Northern Cape and North West ( 15 March 2007)

        o Gauteng (5 March 2007)

        o Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal (12 March 2007)

        o Western Cape (16 March 2007)

        o Free State (19 March 2007)

        o Kwa-Zulu Natal (28, 29 march 2007) 

    • Public Participation

        o April/ June 2007

    • Cabinet Approval

        o July 2007

    • Proclamations

        o August 2007

Key Strategic objectivesIndicators• Alignment of governments’ service delivery boundaries with constitutional/municipal boundaries. • Enhancement of service delivery, resource rationalisation and development.

• Creation of point to point descriptions of the magisterial districts and municipal boundaries.

(a) A point to point description is to be formulated for the formulization of a narrative description of where boundaries are running. This process is to be undertaken jointly by the Department of Justice and the Municipal Demarcation Board sharing resources for a successful completion of the project. 

• Comprehensive database of well aligned administrative and functional boundaries, providing a source framework in referencing almost all other data in the country

• Compilation of a national report of non alignment between magisterial districts and municipal boundaries.

• Supply of a GIS file to the SAPS and DOJ&CD and all stakeholders involved, or interested in the process

• Provision of Maps to all stakeholders. 


• Defining SAPS and Justice boundaries.

• Consultation with stakeholders

• Consolidation of inputs

• Verification of proposed boundaries 

• Proclamation by relevant government department.



3.2 Verification of other service boundaries.

3.2.1 Survey (Faxes to government departments)

A standard letter to be sent to all affected departments to highlight the impact of the recent Constitution Twelfth Amendment Bill and the Cross-boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Bill which did away with all cross border municipalities and also boundary changes in several municipalities i.e. Nkonkobe and Buffalo City. A questionnaire would also be sent to departments to ascertain the need for a stakeholder’s workshop and also to ascertain their level of alignment to other functional boundaries.


3.2.2. Monitoring of boundary Change

Before the Board considers any determination or re-determination of a boundary, the Board must publish a section 26 notice in a newspaper circulating in the areas of the affected municipalities -

    • stating the Board's intention to consider the matter; and

    • Inviting written representations and views from the public within a specified period (which may not be shorter than 21 days). 

When the Board publishes a notice it must convey by radio or other appropriate means of communication the contents of the notice in that area.

The Board must send by registered post, electronic means or by hand a copy of the notice to -

    • the MECs for local government in the two provinces; 

    • each municipality that will be affected by the Board's consideration of the matter; 

    • the magistrate concerned if any magisterial district is affected; and

    • The provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders concerned if the boundary of a traditional authority is affected, and invite them to submit written representations or their views on the matter to the Board within the period not less than 21 days.

    • When the period (at least 21 days) for written representations and views has expired, the Board – 

    • must consider all representations and views submitted to it; and 

    • may take a decision on the re-determination or, before it takes such a decision 


    1. hold a public meeting; 

    2. conduct a formal investigation; or 

    3. do both.

When considering the matter the Board must also take into account the objects and factors provided for in section 24 and 25 of the Demarcation Act.

The Board must then publish its determination or re-determination in the relevant Provincial Gazette. Any person aggrieved by the determination may, within 30 days of publication of the notice, submit objections in writing to the Board. 

After the 30 days have lapsed the Board must – 

    • consider any objections; and 

    • either confirm, vary or withdraw its determination. 

Should the Board decide to confirm its determination such confirmation is published in the Provincial Gazette. The Board must then send particulars of the determination to the Electoral Commission. If the Electoral Commission is of the view that the boundary determination –

    • will affect the representation of voters in the relevant councils the boundary changes will only take effect from the date of the next elections; 

    • will not materially affect the representation of voters in the councils, the determination will take effect from a date to be determined by notice in the Provincial Gazette by the MECs responsible for local government in a province.

From the above it is clear that the Board may determine or re-determine a municipal boundary but if the representation of voters in a council is affected the new boundary will only apply as from the date of the next local elections. It should be noted that the process to change the boundaries of cross-boundary municipalities, is more complex. In addition to the above process the Board must also get the concurrence of the relevant provincial legislatures and the determination or re-determination must also be authorised by an Act of Parliament. 

Cases that arise after the process above has been competed would be dealt with after a notification has been forwarded and concurrence to align or deviate has been received, a motivation therefore would have to be forwarded to the Board. In instances where change is necessitated all stakeholders would be informed and a decision would have to be made whether they would align or not. 

3.2.3. Update website

All maps, notices to be posted on the website on or request can be sent to

Background to Municipal Boundaries

South Africa's Constitution (1996) sets out a vision for local government and requires of local government to provide equitable and efficient services, build local democracy, promote social and economic development, collect revenue, ensure safe and healthy environments, and create a generally viable and sustainable system of local government.

The drawing of new municipal boundaries was one of the first steps in a local government transformation process that aims to give substance to the Constitution's vision. Demarcation was and it not meant to solve all the problems that municipalities face, but set the structural conditions within which the other processes of transforming and developing local government can take place.

During the period 1999/2000 the Board successfully rationalised the total number of municipalities for 843 to 284.  Six metropolitan municipalities, 47 district municipalities and 231 local municipalities were demarcated within a period of some fifteen months.

This was a daunting task for a new Board that, at that time had no staff, infrastructure and a decent budget.  To complete the task prior to the 5 December 2000 local elections strict adherence to timeframes was necessary and the Board dealt with the process in different phases:

Ongoing work in developing policy statements on demarcation matters.  

PHASE II:The finalization of metropolitan (Category A) and district (Category C) municipality boundaries (August 1999 - February 2000).

PHASE III: The finalization of local (Category B) boundaries (December 1999 to end August 2000). 

PHASE IV: The delimitation of ward boundaries (March - August 2000).

PHASE V:The determination of boundaries for cross-boundary municipalities.

This major spatial restructuring took place prior to the 5 December 2000 local elections.  Due to the stringent time frames that the MDB had to work to, it was decided at the very outset that a technological approach would have to be taken to ensure the timeous completion of the re-demarcation for the 2000 local government elections.  The MDB outsourced its IT/GIS activities for the project to DataWorld.  However, only the technical aspect of the work was contracted out, and the MDB invested in developing its own GIS infrastructure.  

The short term goal was to build a database on all available spatial data in South Africa that was applicable to the demarcation work of the MDB, with the long term vision being for the MDB to develop its own GIS capacity once the initial demarcation was complete.

The spatial database was then the foundation that informed the MDB throughout the demarcation process, from the initial identification of the nodes for metropolitan and district nodes, to the demarcation of the six metropolitan (Category A) and 47 district (Category B) municipalities, after which 231 local (Category C) municipalities were demarcated.  Due to the disestablishment of cross-boundary municipalities in 2005, the number of district municipalities was reduced to 46.

After the 05 December 2000 local elections the Board started a process to further refine municipal boundaries.

For the term of office of the first Board (2000 – 2005) the following statistics is provided:

EASTERN CAPE 55 31 24 30
KWAZULU-NATAL 61 20 41 36
FREE STATE 13 2 11 4
GAUTENG 16 8 8 11
LIMPOPO 32 8 24 14
NORTH WEST 15 3 12 6
WESTERN CAPE 17 9 8 16


12 34


For the term of office of the first Board (2006 – 2009) the following statistics is provided:

EASTERN CAPE 22 2 6 10 4 25
KWAZULU-NATAL 19 4 3 9 3 25
FREE STATE 5 1 2 2 0 10
GAUTENG 6 1 3 2 0 11
LIMPOPO 12 1 3 7 1 17
NORTH WEST 4 0 2 1 1 9
NORTHERN CAPE 5 5 0 0 0 18
MPUMALANGA 2 1 1 0 0 4
WESTERN CAPE 11 5 0 4 2 16


In dealing with the implementation of the Board’s mandate advanced knowledge of the relevant provisions in the Constitution, the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998, and the Local Government:  Municipal Structures Act, 1998 is essential.

The Constitution deals with the Board’s mandate pertaining to demarcation of municipal boundaries, the electoral system for local government, and the powers and functions of municipalities.

The Board’s mandate pertaining to the determination of municipal boundaries is provided for in detail in the Local Government:  Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998, and its mandate pertaining to ward delimitation, capacity assessments, and district management areas in the Local Government:  Municipal Structures Act, 1998.

Constitution of South Africa

Municipal Demarcation Act

Municipal Structures Act

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