[OSGeo Africa] South Africa Magisterial Districts

Hanlie Pretorius hanlie.pretorius at gmail.com
Thu Nov 2 00:23:27 PDT 2017

Thanks for the information Ryk.

If it helps you, Victor Knoop from Justice told me that the Eastern
Cape is also in a process of rationalisation. Apparently it should be
finished by March 2018.

Looks like one has to be careful about using this data.


> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2017 13:49:08 +0200
> From: "Ryk Taljaard" <ryk at boundaryhunter.co.za>
> To: <africa at lists.osgeo.org>
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo Africa] South Africa Magisterial Districts
> Message-ID: <00e001d35307$6da8eca0$48fac5e0$@co.za>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="UTF-8"
> Hi Hanlie,
> all magisterial district boundaries for South Africa have been published in
> the Government Gazette since the late 1800's. These were included in the
> past on the national 1:250,000 topographical map series as thick purple
> lines. Obviously these printed boundaries became outdated as soon as any
> changes to magisterial district boundaries was gazetted, after print and
> before the next printed map updates appeared. An effort was also made by the
> Surveyor General (SG) to update these boundaries on the SG
> noting/compilation sheets, but sadly with no map legend included to clearly
> differentiate between different line styles on the compilation sheets.
> Since the inception of GIS technology, the South African magisterial
> district boundaries have never been properly/accurately captured. As was
> mentioned, there is indeed a 2011 version of a GIS data set for magisterial
> district boundaries available. This data set however is full of factual and
> topological errors. For some of the provinces the SG digital cadastral data
> sets indeed includes a magisterial districts data set, but also these are
> full of factual and topological errors.
> The reason we know this is that we have been busy, on a full-time basis for
> an extended period of time, under the banner of www.domicilium-trace.co.za ,
> with capturing the magisterial district boundaries from the point-to-point
> descriptions gazetted since the late 1800's, based as far as possible on the
> SG's 2016 version of its digital cadastral data sets. A very tedious task
> indeed which we will complete in the near future. The results we are still
> uncertain of when and how it will be made available.
> Take note that some of these gazetted Government Notices containing the
> point-to-point descriptions of magisterial district boundaries are not
> available, since no dated record thereof have been captured. In these cases
> all available resources such as historical paper maps, compilation sheets
> and SG magisterial district data sets are evaluated in order to reach the
> best recognised and informed results.
> So the data set being compiled will still not be factually 100% correct,
> because of some non-existent (point-to-point description) records, but at
> least for all the data discrepancies that might be pointed out in future, we
> will be able to motivate how/why we made that particular decision. The
> resulting data set will however be without topological errors.
> The above process focuses on all "historical" magisterial district
> boundaries nationwide, since (according to law) this still forms the basis
> of sheriff service areas, which is where our actual interest lies.
> However, since 2014 a process of rationalisation of magisterial district
> boundaries are being conducted by the Department of Justice. This is done in
> order to make access/distance to Dept. of Justice centres (courts) as easy
> as possible to the public. This has already been completed (and gazetted)
> for the four northern provinces (Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng & Northwest)
> and the data is available as shape files from either the Demarcation Board
> and/or the Department of Justice. As far as our information is concerned,
> KZN is currently in this rationalisation process, with other provinces to
> follow.
> Hope this at least sheds some light on the issue.
> Best regards
> Ryk
> Domicilium Trace
> Mobile: 082 895 2906  Fax2Email: 086 621 1336
> P.O. Box 7352  Noorder-Paarl  7623  SOUTH AFRICA
> Web:  www.domicilium-trace.co.za  Email: ryk at domicilium-trace.co.za

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