• Who is the MDB?

    • The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is an independent authority that is responsible for the determination and re-determination of municipal boundaries. The MDB was established on 01 February 1999 in terms of Section 155 (2)(b) of the Constitution of South Africa, 1996 and the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (MDA).
    • The Board comprises of 9 board members who are appointed by the President of the Republic for a five year term. Except for the Chairperson who is a full time member, the rest of the board members serve on a part time basis.
    • The Board has one national office which is situated in Centurion, Pretoria.
  • What does the MDB do?

    • The MDB is responsible for the determination and re-determination (demarcation) of municipal boundaries as well as the delimitation (demarcation) of ward boundaries within municipalities for the purposes of local government elections.
    • The MDB is also responsible for the determination of the categories of municipal areas as Category A (Metropolitan), Category B (local) and Category C (districts).
    • The Board also conducts municipal capacity assessments to determine if local and district municipalities have the capacity to perform and exercise local government powers and functions.
    • The MDB also provides an advisory service to the authorities in respect of any matters related to the Municipal Demarcation Act.
  • Does the MDB determine the number of Councillors?

    • No, the MDB does not determine the number of Councillors. The formulae published by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs calculates the number of councillors, thereafter the MEC’s responsible for local government can deviate by ten percent and publish the number of councillors. The published number of councillors is used to calculate the number of wards. The MDB appeals to stakeholders not to make request to the MDB to change the formulae, increase or decrease the number of Councillors or the number of wards.
  • Which voter’s roll is used to delimit wards for the 2021 local government elections (LGE)?

    • The voters roll to be utilised to delimit wards for the 2021 LGE was certified in March 2019 before the national and provincial elections.
  • Who does the MDB report to?

    • The MDB is an independent statutory body that reports directly to Parliament.
  • What does the process for re-determination of municipal boundaries entail?

    Step 1: Section 26

    On receipt of a municipal boundary re-determination request or its own initiative the MDB may embark on the section 26 process in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998.That requires that the MDB publishes a notice in newspapers circulating in the affected area.

  • Does it mean that the board has taken a decision when a section 26 notice is published?

    • No decisions on the redeterminations have been taken when the section 26 notices are published.
  • What is the purpose of a section 26 notice?

    • Section 26 notices merely reflect the MDB’s intention to consider the proposed boundary changes. Members of the public are requested to submit written submissions within a period of note less than 21 days.
  • How should members of the public motivate their submissions?

    • Comments on the proposed re-determinations should be motivated taking into account section 24 and 25 of the Demarcation Act, 1998, and in the case of metropolitan areas, also to Section 2 of the Structures Act, 1998.
  • Step2: When the period for written submissions in terms of section 26 has expired what does the mdb do?

    • The MDB-
      • Must consider all representations and views submitted to it; and
      • May take a decision on the determination or, before it takes such a decision-
      • Hold a public meeting;
      • Conduct a formal investigation; or do both.
      • MDB not obliged to hold public meetings and conduct formal investigations.
      • However, should it decide to do so sections 28, 29 and 30 of the MDA would apply.
  • Step 3: Section 21 ,After the board has resolved to re-determine municipal boundaries how will members of the public know about such a decisions?

    • The determination or re-determination will be published in the relevant Provincial Gazette.
  • What is the purpose of a section 21 (MDA) notice?

    • For members of the public to know about the decision of the Board
    • For any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board to submit written objections.
  • How many days are allowed for aggrieved persons to submit objections?

    • Within a period of 30 days from the publication date.
  • Does the mdb allow for any extensions of the objection period?

    • No extension of this period is legally possible.
  • Does the board consider objections received after the closing date?

    • Any objection received after the closing date will be rejected.
  • After considering all objections what does the MDB do?

    • The MDB may confirm, vary or withdraw its determination or re-determination.
  • How will the public know about the final decision of the board?

    • In terms of the MDA the MDB must publish its decision in the relevant Provincial Gazette. This concludes the role of the MDB.
  • What happens after the MDB has published its final decisions?

    Step 4: The MDB must provide particulars of its re-determinations to the IEC.

    What is the role of the IEC?

    • In terms of section 23 of the MDA, the IEC considers the re-determination and publish its view in the relevant provincial gazette. The IEC must indicate if the redetermination affects the representation of voters in any of the affected municipal councils.
  • When does a municipal boundary re-determination take effect?

    • A re-determination or determination takes effect on the date of next local government election or at the beginning of the next municipal financial year.
  • Who determines the date of effect?

    • The MEC responsible for local government in the relevant province determines the date of effect.
  • What are the considerations for determining the date of effect?

    • If the redetermination does not affect the representation of voters in any of the affected municipal councils, the redetermination takes effect on the commencement date of the municipal financial year following the date of publication of the notice effecting such re-determination.
    • If the redetermination affect the representation of voters in any of the affected municipal councils, the redetermination takes effect on the date of the next local government elections.
    • The inputs from the Minister of Finance.
  • How will the public be informed about the date of effect?

    • The MEC must publish the date in the relevant Provincial Gazette.
  • When does the MDB determine/re-determine municipal and ward boundaries?

    • The MDB demarcates municipal boundaries in a period between local government elections. This is due to the fact that municipal boundaries have to be in place for each local government election.
    • Ward boundaries are delimited before each local government election after the completion of municipal boundary re-determinations. This is because local elections have wards as basis (ward councilors are elected for each of the delimited wards).
  • Who can request a boundary change?

    • Apart from the MDB’s own initiative, a request can also be made by the Minister or MEC, or on request from a municipality with the concurrence of any other municipality affected by the proposed determination or redetermination (Section 22).
    • In terms of the Municipal Demarcation Act, any member of the public may propose a municipal boundary re-determination. However, the MDB would prefer that there would be proof that there has been prior consultation with the affected communities.
  • What does the Board consider when determining municipal boundaries?

    • The criteria for municipal boundary demarcation is found in the MDA Sections 24 and 25.
    • Section 24 provides the main objectives for municipal boundary demarcation which states that the demarcation of an area would:
      • Enable the municipality for that area to fulfil its constitutional obligations, including-
      • The provision of democratic and accountable government for the local communities;
      • The provision of services to the communities in an equitable and sustainable manner;
      • The promotion of social and economic development; and
      • The promotion of a safe and healthy environment;
      • Enable effective local governance;
      • Enable integrated development; and
      • Have a tax base as inclusive as possible of users of municipal services in the municipality.
  • Section 25 provides factors to be considered:

    • The interdependence of people, communities and economies as indicated by;
    • Existing and expected patterns of human settlement and
    • Employment;
    • Commuting and dominant transport movements;
    • Spending;
    • The use of amenities, recreational facilities and infrastructure; and
    • Commercial and industrial linkages;
    • The need for cohesive, integrated and unfragmented areas, including metropolitan areas;
    • The financial viability and administrative capacity of the municipality to perform municipal functions efficiently and effectively;
    • The need to share and redistribute financial and administrative resources;
    • Provincial and municipal boundaries;
    • Areas of traditional communities;
    • Existing and proposed functional boundaries, including magisterial districts, voting districts, health, transport, police and census enumerator boundaries;
    • Existing and expected land use, social, economic and transport planning;
    • The need for coordinated municipal, provincial and national programs and services, including the needs for the administration of justice and health care;
    • Topographical, environmental and physical characteristics of the area;
    • The administrative consequences of its boundary determination on-
    • Municipal creditworthiness;
    • Existing municipalities, their council members and staff; and
    • Any other relevant matter; and

    The need to rationalize the total number of municipalities within different categories and of different types to achieve the objectives of effective and sustainable service delivery, financial viability and macro-economic stability.

  • Is the MDB responsible for provincial boundary changes?

    • The MDB has no mandate for demarcating provincial boundaries.
    • Provincial boundary demarcations are a competence of Parliament through a constitutional amendment.
    • Representations regarding changes to municipal boundaries affecting provincial boundaries need to be submitted to national Minister responsible for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • What is the total number of municipalities in South Africa?

    EC 2 31 6 39
    FS 1 18 4 23
    GT 3 6 2 11
    KZN 1 43 10 54
    LIM 0 22 5 27
    MP 0 17 3 20
    NC 0 26 5 31
    NW 0 18 4 22
    WC 1 24 5 30
    TOTAL 8 205 44 257
  • Number of wards in South Africa? (2016 Local Government Elections)

    Eastern Cape 33 705
    Free State 19 309
    Gauteng 9 529
    KwaZulu-Natal 44 870
    Limpopo 22 566
    Mpumalanga 17 400
    North West 26 407
    Northern Cape 18 204
    Western Cape 25 402
    TOTAL 213 4392
  • What is technical municipal boundary alignment?

    • This is a municipal re-determination process where the MDB makes minor municipal boundary adjustments to correct technical misalignment of municipal boundaries to either address split settlements or align municipal boundaries to either cadastral boundaries, natural or man-made features (e.g. farm boundaries, rivers, roads). This is mainly aimed at improving the quality of boundaries by providing clearly defined boundaries. This normally do not affect a large size of the population.
  • What are the categories of technical municipal boundary misalignment cases?

    1. Cadastre Misalignment Municipal boundary not aligning to cadastre, such as farm boundaries (minor shifts)
    2. Split Farms Municipal boundary splitting parent farms into separate portions (i.e. one portion in one municipality, another portion in another municipality)
    3. Split Settlements Municipal boundary splitting communities in villages or settlements
    4. Split Traditional Communities/Areas Municipal boundary splitting traditional council or traditional community areas into different municipalities
  • Is there a different legal process followed by the MDB in the technical municipal boundary re-determination process?

    • The MDB still follows the same legal municipal boundary re-determination process.
  • What is a major municipal boundary re-determination?

    • This is a municipal re-determination where the MDB demarcates municipal boundaries by either amalgamating two or more whole municipalities or annexations wherein huge portion(s) of one municipality is excised from one municipality to the other or categorization of a municipal area from one category to the other e.g. a category B local municipality is re-categorised into a Category A metropolitan municipality.
  • Does the MDB conduct feasibility studies or research before taking final municipal boundary decisions?

    • Yes, because with proper research conducted credible knowledge is generated that eventually would make the Board to have the ability to make sound and informed decisions on demarcation processes, such as, ward delimitation, categorisation of ordinary municipalities into metropolitan municipalities and other demarcation processes. Furthermore, research would afford the Board the opportunity to create spatial knowledge hub which is indispensable for driving spatial transformation.