The view that the GCR agenda requires a ‘province of metros’ is based on the the perception that the two-tier system of districts and locals is not effective or efficient, and that the demands facing the region mean that metropolitan government everywhere is therefore essential. Since this inevitably involves amalgamation of existing municipalities, some believe that the ‘province of metros’ ideal is itself a way-station en route to the ultimate goal of integrated provincial and local government – a single city-region government covering the whole of Gauteng.
The process of re-demarcating Gauteng municipalities is a very complex and contested one at the moment. In 2010 the Municipal Demarcation Board accepted a proposal to re-demarcate the Metsweding District Municipality and its two locals, Nokeng tsa Taemane and Kungwini into the Tshwane metro (with a small slice going to Ekurhuleni). A new enlarged Tshwane Metro was elected in 2011. This election also saw the elimination of the West Rand District Management Area, with the area taken over by Mogale City.
Since then various further proposals have emerged:
- A proposal from the West Rand municipalities (West Rand District Municipality, Mogale City, Randfontein, Westonaria and Merafong) to merge into a new West Rand metro;
- An alternative proposal from the Demarcation Board to merge just Westonaria and Randfontein;
- A proposal to amalgamate Emfuleni and Midvaal into a new ‘Metropolitan River City’. This merger implies that Lesedi, which is currently the other local municipality in the Sedibeng District, will need to be amalgamated into Ekurhuleni.
At the time of writing these proposals were being evaluated by the Demarcation Board.