Municipalities to merge after elections

MBOMBELA – The merger of the two local municipalities, Umjindi and Mbombela, will officially come into effect right after the local government elections, which are scheduled for August 3.

This was officially announced by the MEC for Cogta,Ms Refilwe Mtsweni during a press conference held last week at the Ehlanzeni Local Municipality.

“Our task teams are racing against time to ensure that an amalgamated municipality is ushered in immediately after the local government elections.

A number of initiatives have been initiated since the approval of this merger, including the establishment of the two task teams -the political change management task team and technical task team – to guide this process,”said Mtsweni.

The MEC revealed that the municipality would be known as the City of Mbombela. This is in line with government’s plan of turning this municipality into a unique metro. If the status is granted, this would be the first-ever metro in the province.

Mtsweni added that everything was in order for this much-awaited amalgamation, which is believed will enhance the financial viability of the municipalities, which will soon be combined as one.

“Consultations with organised labour and the internal stakeholders for both municipalities have been done and this process is ongoing.
A draft organogram has been developed and is nearing completion, after the extensive consultation process that we just had now. The communications and marketing strategy that seeks to guide the communication work has been adopted. The processes about this merger have been communicated to our communities and community structures in both municipalities through public participations and media platforms,” she said.

It has been eight months since the municipal demarcation board has approved the amalgamation of these two municipalities, and a number of community members from both municipalities are slowly beginning to see the bigger picture and the benefits of such a merger.

These are the only two municipalities who were approved in the province, with the other proposed ones having being deferred to 2019. She said to speed up service delivery, they would set up satellite offices in all the strategic areas within these two municipalities.

  AUTHOR
Mbekezeli Mbuli
News Editor

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