The South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Michael Masutha, has published a proposed amendment to the South African constitution in order to allow for the “redetermination of the geographical areas of the provinces of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and the Northern Cape.”
The notice published in government gazette No. 41276 proposes that Matatiele Local Municipality be re-determined from the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province to Harry Gwala District Municipality in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. And that Ba Ga Mothibi be re-demarcated from Greater Taung Local Municipality in the North West Province to Phokwane Local Municipality in the Northern Cape Province. The change of provincial boundaries in South Africa requires a constitutional amendment, with the threshold for passage set at two-thirds at the National Assembly, and six provinces at the National Council of Provinces.
Both Matatiele and Ba Ga Mothibi have been the subjects of political contestation and bargaining, with the residents and traditional authorities in these areas wishing to be relocated to neigbouring provinces because of perceived service delivery differences across provinces, and historical connections to the proposed provinces.
Affected or interested parties have until 28 February 2018 to submit their written comments, and can do so by emailing the following department officials: T Skhosana (ThSkhosana@justice.gov.za) or E Steyn (Ensteyn@justice.gov.za).