The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) says municipal boundaries are set and will remain that way for the 2019 national and provincial elections, which are expected to take place in May.
The board said it worked very closely with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) and added that “even as we do our planning for ward limitations, it starts with the IEC”.
“Our timing in delivering wards must be on time [because] the IEC needs to deliver the elections,” chairperson Jane Thupana said at a briefing in Tshwane on Wednesday.
The MDB is an independent constitutional institution that determines and reviews municipal boundaries. If demarcations are not set, the IEC cannot complete its voter registration roll.
“Everything is covered. We do not play a role in these upcoming elections. The only thing that the IEC would need to know from us is if the municipal boundaries have shifted between 2015 and 2018.
“The IEC is currently concluding its voters’ roll. That voters’ roll is cemented according to municipalities, hence the boundaries are significant,” Thupane explained.
The briefing comes days after the IEC completed its final voter registration weekend where sporadic service delivery protests nationwide prevented some people from registering.
“The fact of the matter is that communities still have wounds from some of the decisions made in 2015.
“The greatest challenges have emanated from several municipalities being unable to deliver on their constitutional obligations in terms of service delivery,” Thupane added.
As a result, 140 voting stations were unable to begin the process of voter registration.
Police were also deployed to Vuwani in Limpopo over the weekend after the Makhado Demarcation Task Team encouraged residents to boycott the process as a way to have their demands resolved.
Residents are demanding that their area be returned to the jurisdiction of the Makhado Local Municipality. The area was incorporated under the newly established Collins Chabane Local Municipality five years ago.
Any potential conflicts that relate to municipal boundaries will be addressed after the 2021 local government elections.