Municipal Demarcation Board Formal Hearing

Today the Hon Mayor of GKM, Cllr NW Tekile, led a delegation consisting of Councillors and administrative leadership as they converged at Olivewood Private Estate and Golf Club for a formal hearing with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB)

This Formal hearing was prompted by the Municipal Demarcation board process which was initiated in 2022 after proposals were received for the re-determination of municipal boundaries. Various Municipalities, interest groups and individuals had submitted proposals and GKM was affected following proposals that parts of Ward 1 (Chintsa) and ward 5 (Kei Mouth) be demarcated into BCM. Both parties as well as the District Municipality were invited into the formal enquiry by the MBD so as to make presentations on why the objected or were for this move.

Amathole District Municipality (ADM), Buffalo City Metro (BCM) and Stakeholders attended this session with the intention to represent their views. Chairing the session, the Hon Speaker of GKM, Cllr N Mgema welcomed all stakeholders and thanked them for coming to the meeting to ensure that their voices are heard. She then handed over to Hon Cllr Z Patuluko (Ward 5 Cllr) to open the session in prayer. MDB then gave a process outline detailing when this process started to where it would end.

Mayor Tekile then tabled a presentation in support of why Great Kei should remain as it is, specifically in reference to the 2 wards.
* Great Kei has over the past 2-3 financial years invested a great deal of financial resources to these wards in the form of High Impact Projects such as the OTP (Office of the Premier ) Funded STR (Small Towns Revitalisation) road surfacing, paving, construction of community halls and upgrading of roads.
* The Municipality received 77% (2021/22) and 76% (2022/23) of their revenue from these areas, so a move would affect not only the DORA (Division of Revenue Act) funded Equitable Share, however it would affect the Revenue base which ultimately affects the delivery of services to our communities.

Municipal Manager Mr L Mambila gave a report on the Financial Viability and how GKM had worked to improve its financial situation from an adverse one where the municipality was heavily reliant on overdrafts to being financially stable. Key in our progress was having a funded budget for the past 3 financial years.

The Demarcation Board applauded the municipality for the clearly crafted and concise presentation baring all, as this put all the facts to be considered on the table, this he said made it easier for the board to take an informed decision.

Mr M Sotshana from BCM then tabled a presentation which outlined the Metros position on the redetermination of ward 1 & 5 into BCM. Following the views expressed by GKM and stakeholders, they will be submitting a formal mandate in line with MDB timelines of 5 days. Mr Sotshana, in ending his presentation , mentioned that this was not a process initiated by the city council.

Hon Speaker of ADM Cllr O Mgunculu welcomed the presentation by BCM and he stated that as the District Municipality they were in full support of Local Municipality’s when it came to the redetermination of outer boundaries process. He further went on to state that ADM had planned water and sanitation projects for Chintsa and Haga Haga in this Financial year which were currently being implemented.

Following todays hearing, the Board will consider all objections received and then confirm, vary or withdraw the redetermination. The final decision will be published in the provincial gazette in terms of Section 21 (5) of the Municipal Demarcation Act. The IEC, Minister of Finance, COGTA MEC’s and stakeholders must be notified of the final decision, the period envisaged for the process to be finalised and communicated is January 2024.

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