The Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 27 of 1998 established new
municipal areas according to, amongst other, geographical parameters such as
interdependence of communities, grouped and connected logistical capacity, existing
magisterial boundaries, land use patterns (e.g. topocadastral farm boundaries),
political reasons (e.g. location of voters), and the topographical, environmental and
physical characteristics of an area.
Unfortunately, the geographical jurisdiction of the municipalities for the
purpose of improving integrated municipal management (e.g. planning, organising
and control) neither acknowledges nor utilises the Department of Water and
Sanitation (DWS)’s identifi ed and demarcated surface water (rivers) catchment
boundaries. This could lead to ineffective, inefficient and uneconomical municipal
environmental services, and water and sanitation management.
By determining the status of the geographical, geo-hydrological and macroorganisational
arrangements of the municipal service providers and public managers
in various municipal areas through an extensive literature review and archival research
since 2010, the author found the aforementioned prevalent in all the researched
municipal areas. It was concluded that the use of surface water catchments in
regional public planning and organising is essential to facilitate, amongst other,
effective integrated water resources management and co-operative governance in
the local sphere of government in a developing South Africa.