Ward Delimitation for Local Elections
With local elections taking place in 2021, part of the process is to relook the demarcation of municipalities.
This process is currently underway, and involves public participation.
The country’s Constitution states that if the electoral system for local government includes ward representation, that delimitation of wards must be done by an independent authority.
This authority is appointed in terms of, and operating according to, procedures and criteria prescribed by national legislation - the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (MDA) and the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (MSA).
The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is the independent authority. It is a juristic person that performs its functions impartially, and without fear, favour or prejudice. The MSA prescribes the procedures and criteria for ward delimitation.
Delimitation and Consultation
Wards are delimited, or determined, by the MDB. This involves the division of the whole geographic area of a municipality into smaller geographic areas, called wards. The MDB has to comply with the procedures and criteria that is listed in Schedule 1 of the Structures Act provides. Among others, the MDB must ensure all wards in a municipality have approximately the same number of voters.
Consultations with planning and geographical information management officials from municipalities lets the MDB align draft wards by considering local inputs and addressing geographic barriers.
These consultations allow municipalities to show residents in their areas what the MDB is proposing when it comes to wards in their municipalities. If they do not agree with proposals, they need to work through alternatives, following the rules and guidelines provided.
The MDB provides municipalities with draft ward boundaries for consultation purposes. Members of the public will be given time to consider the draft wards.
- When a member of the public or municipality and/or its stakeholders agree with the proposed wards, submit form MDB1.
- When a member of the public or municipality and/or its stakeholders agree with the proposed wards, submit form MDB2.
All inputs will be considered before the MDB publishes ward boundaries in provincial Gazettes for objections. Objections must be submitted 14 days after publication of the proposed wards.
Final ward boundaries will be handed to the IEC, who then prepares for the local elections.