Speaking during a consultative Kgotla meeting with the electoral Delimitation Commission on Monday, an overwhelming majority of speakers said the population increase in their area does not mean a single Member of Parliament (MP) would fail to represent them well.
The Delimitation Commission is currently touring the country to consult Batswana on the delimitation process against the backdrop of last year’s population census.
According to the Commission, the constituency’s population increased from about 32 811 since the 2002 delimitation to the current 62 211.
“We don’t wish to divide our constituency into two because if we do, some of our wards may fall outside Mogoditshane,” said one of the residents Kabelo Setlhake.
He shared the sentiments with another concerned resident, Sedirwa Kgoroba who said Mogoditshane no longer had vacant residential plots and the only land available was in neighbouring settlements such as Tsolamosese and Nkoyaphiri.
Kgoroba’s fears were that if the Constituency was divided, Mogoditshane was likely to lose such areas to a new constituency and it would be difficult for Mogoditshane to expand in terms of new infrastructural developments.
In fact many of the speakers expressed fears that dividing Mogoditshane constituency would bring more problems than good because of the township’s geographical location, which is just outside the capital city of the country and especially that it is already facing serious land shortage due to population influx from the city.
The area MP Patrick Masimolole concurred with the residents that a population of 62 000 can surely be represented by one MP as it is contained under a compact area.
“The constituency is relatively small such that if I want I can walk from one ward to another and cover the whole constituency in a single day just like that,” Masimolole contended.
He further explained that even if the people wished for the constituency to be divided, their wishes could not be automatically granted because as it stands, the National Assembly has not yet discussed whether the number of constituencies have to be increased or not.
Masimolole was making reference to the commission’s recommendation that a constituency must have a threshold of at most 36 000 people.
However there were some residents who felt the need for the constituency to be divided so that people can have more than one representative in Parliament.
Two Councillors, Phagenyane Phage of Mmopane and Banks Ndebele of Mogoditshane North said some of the North Western part of Mogoditshane could be grouped into two other different constituencies.
The contention was that the Kweneng South East constituency and Mogoditshane constituency could be split in order to create, Gabane and Mmopane constituencies given the population growth of 2011.