Race against time on Merafong

Anna Majavu and Sapa

Anna Majavu and Sapa

Parliament is racing against time to ensure that the draft legislation that reincorporates Merafong municipality into Gauteng becomes law.

Yesterday, Parliament's select committees on security and constitutional affairs and local government and administration postponed their voting on the matter to tomorrow.

After that the National Council of Provinces will vote the Constitution's 16th Amendment Bill and the Cross-boundary Municipalities Laws Repeal and Related Matters Amendment Bill into law.

Merafong municipality - which previously fell under Gauteng - was incorporated into North West in 2004 by the Demarcation Board after a cross-boundary dispute.

The government then had argued that the decision was taken to ensure effective administration.

The move led to protests, which saw Merafong residents boycotting the 2004 elections. Schooling was also disrupted in the area. The residents argued that they would receive poor service delivery in the relatively underdeveloped North West.

Following the 2007 change of leadership in the ANC, the government agreed to re-incorporate the area back into Gauteng.

The Independent Electoral Commission yesterday said it had already prepared for Khutsong residents to vote in Gauteng in the April 22 elections.