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GP residents could live under new cities

About 500,000 Gauteng residents could find themselves living under a different municipality.

About 500,000 Gauteng residents could find themselves living under a different municipality.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng's Housing and Local Government Department has downplayed concerns over dozens of proposals which could significantly reshape the province's municipal boundaries.

The Municipal Demarcation Board is currently considering about 50 proposals, which, if approved, could affect Gauteng's largest metropoles, including the City of Jo'burg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

One of the proposals would see large sections of Johannesburg move to a new mega West Rand metropole, which includes Mogale City.

About 500,000 Gauteng residents could be affected should these proposals go ahead.

One of the proposals suggest moving Lanseria Airport from the City of Jo'burg to the West Rand metropole.

Exact reasons for the suggested boundary changes are unclear, but Gauteng's Local Government and Housing Department chief Bongani More said it was not unusual.

"We've been looking at various options that would make municipalities much more efficient and functional."

When municipalities are made larger, they get a bigger slice of the provincial budget and officials are paid more.

Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Denis Hunt said this was concerning.

"I think it's self-seeking, self-sustaining, and it really doesn't take the interest of the people who actually live in that part of the world."

Hunt said with the City of Jo'burg still struggling to fix its billing crisis, it would be an administrative nightmare to move thousands of residents to another municipality.

The first round of public consultations on the matter has already taken place and another round is due to be held later this year.