GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - In the build-up to preparing a strategical election campaign for the 2021 municipal elections, political meetings on the selecting of proposed ward councillors to stand as candidates, are put on hold due to the national state of disaster.
In November 2019, the Municipal Delimitation Board (MDB) already declared that the Dr Beyers Naudé Municipal Council will see three fewer councillors seated after municipal elections, with two less wards. The three less councillors will be two ward councillors and one proportional.
A public participation process was called by the MDB, to decide on the boundaries for the new 12 wards, where two of the existing 14 wards will have to be integrated into.
Thabo Moses Manyoni, chairperson of the MDB, gave notice on 11 May that he and his team were forced to change their approach of delimitation consulting process, following the declaration of a state of disaster and lockdown, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The MDB has been implementing a two-pronged approach. Besides hosting public meetings, the MDB has allowed members of the public to simultaneously make written submissions. The due date for written submissions was extended from 30 April 2020 to 15 May 2020.
"The MDB has considered the overall impact of the suspensions on the overall ward delimitation programme. Consequently, a revised programme was developed with new time frames," Manyoni said.
The revised ward delimitation programme will be as follows: due date for submission of written submissions (31 May), finalise draft wards for determination after receiving inputs from public meetings and written submissions (June), present draft wards to the board for determination (July), the publication of determined wards for objections (July), consideration of objections received (August), determination of final wards by the board (August), publish final wards (September) and ward handover to Independent Electoral Commission (September).
The Demarcation Board is an independent authority that rules on the delimiting of ward boundaries and the total and the total electoral wards within municipalities.
After the August 2016 municipal elections, 27 councillors, consisting of eight ANC ward councillors and six DA ward councillors, together with 13 proportional councillors (seven ANC, six DA), were sworn into the Doctor Beyers Naudé Local Municipal council. In 2021, only 24 seats (12 wards, 12 proportional) will be filled, from where the municipality will be ruled.
The date for the 2021 elections must be proclaimed by the President.
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