Name of new municipality in Mpumalanga announced

MBOMBELA – The single municipality to be formed from the merger of Mbombela and Umjindi, has been given a name. Known only as MP 326 until now, the municipality is to be known as the City of Mbombela.

This is according to MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), Ms Refilwe Mtsweni.

She met with Mbombela and Umjindi local municipalities on Thursday. A proposed organogram was drafted for the new municipality.

The City of Mbombela will come into existence during the first council meeting following the local government elections on August 3.

Mtsweni told the media afterwards that the decision on the name of the new municipality followed “robust engagement” and took into consideration the cost of changing names.

She added that political- and administrative-change management teams have been established to handle the somewhat complicated procedure of amalgamating. The organogram is to be finalised after consultation.

According to the MEC all permanent employees are to be retained.

Since both municipal managers have contracts extending beyond August, one will act as MM while the other would occupy a senior position until their contracts come to an end.

Each party contesting the election will nominate one candidate for mayor of the new municipality. This will be decided on August 3.

Since both entities will enter a new financial year on July 1, each will start on the new financial year separately, as the new municipality does not technically exist at this stage, and be audited as such. For merger purposes generic integrated development plans (IDP) and budgets are to being drawn up to ease the procedure later, according to Mtsweni.

Once the new council is sworn in after the elections, the City of Mbombela will begin to operate on one budget and one IDP.

There had been opposition to the amalgamation, especially in Barberton, where the municipal demarcation board (MBD) has reduced the number of wards from nine to five.

The merger is the only one of five proposed amalgamations in Mpumalanga which has been concluded, for improving the financial viability of small municipalities. The other four amalgamations proposed by Cogta have been postponed to 2019.

  • Read more: 

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District welcomes municipal amalgamation

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Mireille de Villiers
Journalist

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