Spatial Description

Spatial description of Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality

Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality is situated in the Free State province of South Africa. It was established in terms of the provincial Gazette No. 14 of 28 February 2000 issued in terms of Section 21 of the Local Government Notice and Municipal Demarcation Act No.27 of 1998. Maluti-a-Phofung is a local municipality [FS194] and was established on the 5 December 2001. It is a Category B Municipality.

Maluti-a-Phofung is made up of four former TLC Local Authorities which are Qwaqwa Rural, Phuthaditjhaba, Harrismith and Kestell.  The municipality comprises of 35 wards and covers approximately 4 421 km2 in extent. Phuthaditjhaba is the urban centre of Qwaqwa and serves as the administrative head office of Maluti-a-Phofung municipality. Surrounding Phuthaditjhaba are rural villages of Qwaqwa established on tribal land administered by Department of Land Affairs.

Harrismith is a service center for the surrounding rural areas and a trading belt serving the passing N3 which links the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Harrismith is surrounded by Tshiame located 12 km to the west and Intabazwe, which is located 1, 5 km to the north. The town is an economic hub for people living in Tshiame, Intabazwe and Qwaqwa. Kestell is a service center for the surrounding agricultural oriented rural area with Tlholong as the township. Kestell is situated along the N5 road that links Harrismith with Bethlehem.

The rural areas of Maluti-a-Phofung comprise commercial farms and major nature conservation centres such as the Qwaqwa National Park, Platberg, Sterkfontein Dam and Maluti Mountain Range. The area is not only a tourist attraction destination, but also makes a big contribution in generating gross agricultural income for the whole of the Province and is also highly regarded for its beef production. In comparison with the demographic composition of the rest of the Thabo Mofutsanyana District, MAP municipality has the highest population density with the 3rd highest population density in the Free State.