Free state might get new district municipality

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SABRINA DEAN –
There is a possibility that the Free State will get a new district municipality incorporating the Naledi, Setsoto and Mantsopa local municipalities.
Municipal Demarcation Board Chairperson Landiwe Mahlangu briefed media in Pretoria yesterday about the process currently underway for the redetermination of boundaries of municipalities in KZN, the Free state and Gauteng.
He told Bloemfontein Courant the board is looking into a proposal that would see Naledi, Setsoto and Mantsopa excluded from Xhariep and Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipalities respectively. The proposal is that the three local municipalities bordering Lesotho be incorporated to form the new Naledi District Municipality.
“The current proposals that we are looking at in the Free State will be the subject of a public participation process,” said Mahlangu.
The board said in a statement this process is done as per the requirement of section 27 of the Municipal Demarcation Act. “In terms of the Act, this process allows the MDB to consult with the affected communities and stakeholders to continue with further investigation as per the legislative requirement before making a final decision,” it said.
Another potential change on the cards will see the town of Soutpan and the Kgomotsong community being incorporated into Mangaung. The small town is currently part of the Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality.
Mahlangu says the board is still considering the proposals and they intend completing public meetings at affected municipalities by the end of April. “There may be follow up meetings, we can’t rule that out,” he said.
He is calling on all interested and affected people to participate in the process.
He says the dates of public meetings will be advertised via notices in local newspapers and radio announcements, as well as on the MDB website www.demarcation.org.za.