ISSUED BY CEDRIC FROLICK, MP
tax base of the Western District Council in the Eastern Cape has shrunk from R
140 million to R 15 million. This is a result of the new local government
demarcation, which moved the Council tax base within the boundaries of the
Nelson Mandela Metropole.
This raises the question of whether government adequately considered the effect
of the new local government demarcation on especially rural areas. It is
uncertain at this stage how many other district councils face a similar fate.
The current system seems to entrench the divide between urban and rural areas,
despite government's much-vaunted Rural Development Strategy. If service
delivery in rural areas through district councils is undermined, it will merely
add to the rate of urbanisation and the degradation of rural areas. In the
process social development, poverty relief and health services in rural areas
collapse, whilst unemployment rises. A vicious cycle develops to the detriment
of the most marginalised and poor people in our country.
Cedric Frolick, MP
02 October 2001