|Metro process is delayed
||28 Sept 2015
The process of merging Emfuleni and Midvaal Local Municipalities into a single authority (Vaal Metro) in on hold and will continue after 2016 Local Government Elections. This is a message from Sedibeng District Municipality Executive Mayor Mahole Simon Mofokeng, ending months of speculation about the formation of a single metro in the region.
Mofokeng said parties had approached the High Court on the basis of a Settlement that was reached between all parties. The Settlement that was reached was facilitated by the Honourable Minister of GoGTA, Minister Pravin Gordhan on 09 June 2015. “This will allow the residents of Sedibeng an opportunity to participate in the 2016 Local Government Elections,” he said.
The Settlement reached does not represent a political victory, or defeat, for any party as the move to a Metro is not cancelled, but only postponed until after 2016.
The following key aspects underpinned the Settlement that was reached in the meeting facilitated by the Minister:
- The legal challenge by Midvaal, which was also enjoined by the Democratic Alliance, created uncertainty about the outcome.
- By the end of 2014 and in early 2015, a transitional process started unfolding with was compromised due to time constraints under under-funding.
- On-going delays in the legal process meant that by June 2015 it was clear that time was running out for a legal outcome and a smooth transition. In the greater interest of the people of Sedibeng a decision was needed.
- The prospect of a 2016 elections, with the exclusion of the people of the Vaal due to matters being tied up in court was looking a distinct possibility. This would have presented a negative image of the Vaal to South Africa and the world.
- The risks associated with the on-going legal action in relation to preparation and readiness for the 2016 Local Government Elections was the central theme of the discussions facilitated by the Minister of CoGTA.
- Parties mutually agreed to postpone the redetermination to after the 2016 Local Government Elections.
- Sedibeng District Municipality at its Council Meeting of 29 July 2015, withdrew its opposition to the Court Application which effectively implies that the process of transition to the Metro will take place after the 2016 Local Government Elections and a new Metro is expected in 2021.
This would have presented a negative image of the Vaal to South Africa and the world. The risks associated with on-going legal action in relation preparation and readiness for the 2016 local government elections was the central theme of the discussions facilitated by the Minister of CoGTA” Mofokeng said that the involved parties mutually agreed.
Acting Mayor: Cllr. Johnny Tsotetsi addressing the crowd.
Members of the community attended in masses.