Back to Page Authors: Zaakirah Jeeva

Keywords: muncipalities, demarcation, catergorisation, spatial reform

Abstract: Settlements that sprawl beyond urban growth boundaries are a global phenomenon. In response to the administrative challenges pertaining to these sprawling settlements, many governments have opted to restructure their local administrative boundaries to be more accommodating to the unplanned growth. Without a clear administrative boundary, urban problems such as civil conflict, administrative duplication, political corruption, lack of service delivery and environmental degradation become more prevalent. This paper reflected on the factors behind the restructuring of local administrative boundaries from a theoretical stance, in order to provide more clarity on the rationale of local administrative boundaries within the contemporary spatial environment. The paper explored theories at alludes to how boundaries could be demarcated and reflected on the rationale behind such drawing on local administrative boundaries and the demarcation thereof either from various perspectives ranging from political to administrative where boundaries are used to separate and categorize areas based on historical, social, economic, and political pretexts of determining effective functioning of those areas. The paper found that from a theoretical stance, the method of demarcating administrative boundaries is not apparent, since they are open systems which are influenced by a variety of factors. From the investigations it was evident that the challenges of demarcating local administrative boundaries pertains to both administrative and policy implications. This research highlighted the factors that can influence boundary demarcation. It emphasized the complex nature of boundary demarcation, especially from a policy perspective and called for more research to be conducted to understand the rationale of local administrative boundaries.