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In South Africa, a district municipality or Category C municipality is a municipality which executes some of the functions of local government for a district. The district municipality will in turn comprise several local municipalities, with which it shares the functions of local government. District municipalities are seen as successors to former Regional Services Councils (RSC).
The Constitution, section 155.1.a, defines "Category C" municipalities. The Municipal Structures Act states that areas not eligible to have a metropolitan municipality must have a district municipality.
District municipalities have a municipality code that consists of the letters "DC" followed by a number from 1 to 48. The "DC" reflects the fact that they were originally named "District Councils".
Currently all district municipalities are completely divided into local municipalities. However, before the alteration of municipal boundaries which occurred at the 2011 elections, some areas of the country did not fall within any local municipality. This usually occurred in areas with a very low population density, for example national parks and nature reserves. In these areas, which were known as District Management Areas, all local government services were provided by the district municipality.