Municipality: Frances Baard District Municipality

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Address

Kimberley
51 Drakensburg Avenue, Carters Glen
8300 Kimberley , Northern Cape
South Africa
Phone: 053-838-0911
Fax: 053-861-1538
Northern Cape ZA

Description

Francis Baard District Municipality is the smallest district in the Northern Cape Province. It covers an area of 13,518 sq km, which accounts for 3.4% of the total area of the province. Apart from the district management area, the district municipality includes the Dikgatlong, Magareng, Phokwane and Sol Plaatje municipalities. The city of Kimberley, located in Sol Plaatje Municipality, is the seat of the district municipality and the Northern Cape legislature.

The Vaal, Harts and Orange rivers run through the district. Phokwane Municipality is situated at the heart of the Vaalhearts Water Scheme, the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Most of the agricultural activities in the district consist of the cultivation of various irrigated crops and stock and game farming.

Although agriculture and mining (most notably the famous diamond mines in and around Kimberley) appear to be the main economic activities in the district, they contribute relatively little to its annual income. Most of the district's earnings come from community services followed by finance, transport and trade. About 75% of the economic activities of the district are located in Sol Plaatje Municipality, rendering it the economic hub of the district municipality. 

Sol Plaatje Municipality generates over 61% of the employment opportunties in the district; a testimony to the strength of its economic base within the district.

The district municipality has a total population of 358,355 people. Unlike other districts in the province, Frances Baard is dominated by Africans rather than coloureds. 

Critical infrastructure

The housing in the district is, in general, very good with over 80% of households living in formal housing. About 78% of households use electricity as their main source of energy. About 75% of households receive weekly refuse collection services. The number of households receiving the RDP water service level for the district is over 97%. The number of households receiving the RDP sanitation service level is over 70%.

 

Strengths

Less than a tenth of the district is transformed by urbanisation, mining or cultivation; more than 80% is available for wildlife-related activities, tourism or livestock farming. Possible projects are nature-related tourism (Dikgatlong); conservation and related industry (DMA); agricultural-related tourism (Phokwane); small-scale farming and water-related tourism (Magareng); and heritage and mining industries (Sol Plaatje). 

The tourism sites in and around Sol Plaatje Municipality are the best documented. 

Weaknesses

The district suffers from low levels of education. It is estimated that about 42.5% of those aged 20 years and above have had no schooling or have only completed pimary school and only 25.4% have Grade 10 or above. This poor education standard has given rise to high levels or unskilled labour. As a result the district suffers from high levels of unemployment - 41% - and low levels of wages for those who are employed. It is estimated that about 81% of those who are employed earn less than R3,200 per month.