Johannesburg – An ANC commission has adopted a proposal
that the number of provinces in the country be reviewed,
national executive member Nomaindia Mfeketo said on
"We made a concrete proposal at the policy conference –
which was adopted – that we review, reduce and strengthen
provinces, but what is more important in that
recommendation is that this cannot be done through a
thumb-suck," she told reporters at the ANC policy conference
"The president needs to appoint a commission… with
expertise to deliberate on how to demarcate the country
[and] what number of provinces do we need."
She said that with provinces, the country would always have
"issues about hanging on as a unitary state".
According to a report earlier on Friday, the ANC commission
at the conference agreed to reduce the number of provinces
from nine to six.
Mfeketo said she had read the report, but that a decision
would be made by a commission, which would be appointed
by the president to review the number of provinces.
She said the process should be completed between 2015 and
Mfeketo said the commission to be appointed would have to
take into consideration tribal boundaries when reviewing the
provinces, especially in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
"We are not going to be able to do away with tribal
boundaries, but hope to tamper with apartheid
boundaries… ," she said.
Commission member Lynn Brown said the issue of single
elections was discussed.
"Two commissions agreed that the current system of
separate elections will be retained," said Brown.
"But in the future, we will have a set [of] studies done on why
it should be left that way."
She acknowledged that holding elections was expensive, but
said that could not be the only reason to revert to a single
election, instead of the currently separate local government
and national government elections.
Mfeketo said the commission had also discussed the role of
"A district council can only exist where weak municipalities
will never be financially viable," she said.
Commission member Yunus Carrim said national and
provincial government had to get more involved in
"This creates a more integrated state," he said.
"It’s not ideological, it’s practical."
Carrim said a more integrated state would accelerate service