MDB Municipal Boundary Data

Theme: Governance Date Added: 2018-11-20

What is it?

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) publishes updated boundary data for administrative regions in South Africa at district, local and ward levels.

Key Points

  • 250+ municipality boundaries
  • 4000+ ward boundaries
  • Published in SHP and KML formats
  • Updated in 2016

Why is it Important?

The demarcation of municipal boundaries determines which electoral ward you live in when you are voting for a councillor, and also defines the boundaries of responsibility for the municipality when they deliver services.

How can it be accessed and used?

Accessing MDB data

The municipal boundary data is published by the MDB as Shapefiles (SHP) or KML files depending on which part of the MDB website you are on. You can also access repackaged versions of the data on SA Maps or through the MapIt tool.

How to use MDB boundary data

Administrative boundaries for provinces, municipalities and wards are a useful base layer when mapping out other interesting data, such as school or clinic locations, to see which municipality or province these facilities fall under. There are many online tools that make it easier to work with KML and SHP files so we suggest trying the following:

  1. Convert the KML or SHP file to a more open format, such as GeoJSON, using one of the many online tools like mapshaper. A SHP file is actually not a single file so you will normally need to download or zip up a directory of connected files and convert the zip as a package.
  2. Upload the GeoJSON file to a tool like Mapbox, QGIS or
  3. The mapping tool will generate a map with the municipal boundaries. You can then add new data layers to the map such as school or clinic locations.

As an example, Wazimap shows election, Census and Community Survey data on top of municipal boundaries.

Local municipality boundaries 2016

Location: South Africa
Format: SHP
Year: 2016Last Checked:None
Online: Access URL
File Names:
  • MUNICNAME: Municipality name
  • CAT2: Municipality type (e.g. Metropolitan Municipality)
  • PROVINCE: Province municipality falls under
  • election
  • municipality

Resource contact name:Municipal Demarcation Board

Creation or start date:2018-11-20

Resource contact updated at:2018-12-14

Spatial coverage  South Africa

Where else has the resource been used?

Year Project Name::
2018 Voting Station Finder
2016 WikiProject South Africa/Municipalities task force
2016 Choropleth Mapping of Cervical Cancer Screening in South Africa Using Healthcare Facility-level Data from the National Laboratory Network