By Solly Msimanga MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Chairperson:
This past weekend residents of the West Rand came out in their numbers to object to the proposed creation of a metropolitan municipality.
On Saturday and Sunday the DA ran a coordinated awareness campaign throughout the Merafong, Mogale City, Westonaria and Randfontein local municipalities, informing residents of the proposals, and that the deadline for objections expires on 5 June.
Residents were completely unaware of the proposals and the deadline, but immediately undertook to lodge their objections with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), and signed the DA’s petition opposing the metro – which would be lodged as part of our objections.
The DA is strongly opposed to merging these local municipalities into a metro, as we believe that cooperative governance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his provincial counterpart Jacob Mamabolo had other avenues to address the host of administrative governance issues plaguing these municipalities.
The Tshwane experience has also shown that service delivery has not improved when merging poor performing municipalities, despite the fact that municipal rates were increased – as the debt burden is simply too much to bear.
Tshwane had to absorb a cost of R1 billion to accommodate the merge, and was only compensated R20 million by the provincial government.
This week, the MDB is scheduled to host public participation meetings in each of the four municipalities, and the DA calls on the greater public to arrive in their numbers and raise their concerns and/or objections with the board.
The meetings are scheduled as follows:
- Tuesday 2 June, Randfontein Council Chamber at 14h00
- Wednesday, 3 June, Mogale City, Centenary Hall at 15h00
- Thursday 4 June, Westonaria, Banquet Hall at 15h00
- Friday 5 June, Carletonville Civic Centre at 15h00
The DA will remain at the forefront of the battle for better service delivery and to prevent the formation of a dysfunctional West Rand Metropolitan Municipality.