Government is re-determining municipal boundaries in an effort to deal with financially non-viable municipalities.
Among the communities that stand to benefit from this action are the people of Malamulele who had previously placed pressure on government with their protests action demanding an independent municipality.
A new municipality will be formed on the eastern side of Vhembe District, giving residents the independence for which they had fought.
Dr Isaah Ndambi, the Malamulele task team spokesperson, says that their efforts where successful as a result of strong case made in their presentation to the Municipal Demarcation Board.
Everybody in Malamulele is happy about the decision that has been taken by the demarcation board.— Dr Isaah Ndambi, Malamulele task team spokesperson
Ndambi hopes that development, better infrastructure and improved service delivery will come from this decision.
Did the Municipal Demarcation Board buckle down to political pressure?
Jane Thupana, Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board, denies that the decision was as a result of succumbing to political influences.
Thupana says that the board was recently approached by Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan to reconsider their initial decision to deny the municipal request in January 2015.
Quite a number of municipalities are dysfunctional. Minister Gordhan suggested that structural boundary changes might resolve some of the challenges. This affected 90 municipalities nationwide. The board looked at these cases.— Jane Thupana, Chairperson of the Municipal Demarcation Board
According to Thupana, the board re-evaluated many different municipal consolidations, as proposed by Minister Gordhan.
She says that Malamulele is not the only community affected by these revisions.
Some changes have been announced, whilst others will wait until after local government elections in 2016, as they require further investigation.
Municipal IQ’s Karen Heese says that the demarcation board has done well considering the difficult circumstances of the revisions.
Heese says the decision should not be seen as a folding to community pressure.
@RediTlhabi This demarcation board is playing more politics than anything. Same thing happened in Khutsong and Hamanskraal among others— Sizwe Hadebe (@sizwehadebe) July 8, 2015
Viva 2016 elections viva congratulations Malumulele for making noise at the right time @RediTlhabi— TellMeWhatIv'eDone (@ololethu) July 8, 2015
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This article first appeared on 702 : New structural divisions grant Malamulele its own municipality