South Africa: Municipal Demarcation Board

Updated July 2016

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) is established by the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act 1998 to determine municipal Boundaries independently and is accountable to Parliament (Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 2, 39).


The MDB is composed of between seven and fifteen members (as determined by the Minister of Local Government) appointed by the president from a list of candidates supplied by an independent selection panel of judges, two experts one appointee of the Gender Commission and the Chairperson of the Select Committee of the National Council of Provinces responsible for local government matters (Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 5, 8).

The MDB must be broadly representative of the South African society, reflect regional diversity and collectively represent a pool of knowledge relevant to municipal demarcation (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 5(3)).

The President appoints the Chair and Deputy Chair from amongst the MDB members (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 5(10)).

Members of the MDB may be removed from office for misconduct, incapacity or incompetence by the President based on a finding to that effect by an investigating tribunal appointed by the President (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 5(13)).

Term of Office

Members of the MDB serve an unlimited number of five year terms (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 5(9)).

Manager of the Board

The MDB must appoint a Manager of the Board, with a renewable term of up to five years, who is the chief executive officer and accounting officer of the Board (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 32, 33).


The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) has the following functions (Constitution 1996; Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 4,; Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 1998, Schedule 1)

  • It determines and re-determines municipal boundaries;
  • delimits wards for local elections;
  • assesses of the capacity of district and local municipalities to perform their functions; and
  • declares and withdraws the declaration of district management areas.

In addition Cabinet approved a leading role for the MDB in assisting Government Departments in aligning their functional service delivery boundaries to municipal boundaries (MDB 2016a).

MDB members

The following are members of the MDB (MDB 2016a):

  • Jane Thupana (Chair)
  • Ashraf Adam (Deputy Chair)
  • Lebina Daniel Tsotetsi
  • Prof Isobel Konyn
  • Mpumi Mpofu
  • Simphiwe Dzengwa
  • Shivon Wiggins
  • Maruping Michael Wildebees
  • Mmatsie Mooki


The Board is entitled to money appropriated annually by Parliament to enable it to perform its functions effectively; the MDB annually submits estimates of the Board's income and expenditure for each financial year to the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Finance; and must refund money appropriated that has not been used at the end of a financial year (Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 36).


The MDB must submit annual financial reports with audited financial statements to both Houses of Parliament and to each provincial legislature (Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act 1998, 39). For these reports see MDB 2016 "Annual Reports", [www]


See also:

Web site

MDB: [www] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).


CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SA 1996, [www] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION ACT No 27 of 1998, [www] [PDF document] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: MUNICIPAL STRUCTURES ACT 117 of 1998, [www] [PDF document] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).

MDB 2016a "Mandate", [www] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).

MDB 2016b "Board members" - on dropdown menu, [www] (accessed 16 Jul 2016).