Municipality: Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality


Greater Tzaneen Municipality is situated in th eastern quadrant of Limpopo Province. The area encompasses the towns of Tzaneen, Nkowankowa, Lenyenye, Letsitele and Haenertsburg and includes 125 rural villages, concentrated mainly in the south-east and north-west. Almost 80% of households reside in the rural villages.

The municipality stretches from Haenertsburg in the west to Rubbervale in the east and from Trichardtsdal in the south to just south of Modjadjiskloof in the north. Almost two thirds of land is privately owned and used mainly for commercial farming; one third is under the custodianship of tribal authorities and a negligible amount is municipal coomonage, a situation that complicates development planning. 

While the municipality with its wealth of natural beauty and resources (rivers and streams, dams, indigenous forests, citrus plantations and tourist attractions) has tremendous potential for development, the preformance of the trade sector (wholesale, retail, catering and accommodation) has tended to show slow growth rates. There are indications that the tourism sector has grown considerably but tourism demand is still well below what could be expected from an area with such outstanding natural potential. The municipality is currently engaged in developing the tourism sector and has established a tourism centre to provide information about tourism attractions. Further feasibility studies are necessary regarding hotspots identified for development as tourist attractions.

Greater Tzaneen Economic Development Agency

In March 2007, the Greater Municipality with support from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) founded the Greater Tzaneen Economic Development Agency (GTEDA) in order to advance and leverage the development and job creation potential inherent within Greater Tzaneen Municipal area. The GTEDA is a 100% public agency owned by Greater Tzaneen Municipality. 

Critical infrastructure

The Great Letaba River traverses the municipality from west to east and is joined by many tributaries. There are six significant dams within the municipal area from which primary water is sourced via water schemes and which also provide water for irrigation to farmers: Ebenezer Dam, Tzaneen Dam, Tours Dam, Thabina Dam, Magoebaskloof Dam and Thapane Dam.

Provincial and district link roads are generally in good condition. Some access gravel roads to villages and internal streets within villages are problematic. Storm water management is closely linked to the condition of roads and is influenced by settlements that developed in topographically steep areas.

There are 42 health facilities rendering comprehensive primary care. They are supplemented by six mobile clinic teams servicing 318 points.


Siuated close to the scenic splendour of Magoebaskloof, Tzaneen is the second largest town in Limpopo Province. Within easy reach are fascinating archaeological sites, mighty baobab trees, wildlife and nature reserves as well as suberb range of tourism facilities.

The region is characterised by widespread, varied and intensive farming activities (commercial timber, cash crops, tropical fruit and citrus fruit production). It has mountainous, inaccessible terrain in the west and south and gentle slopes to the north and east. The municipality also contains areas of exceptional natural beauty with considerable untapped tourism potential. 

The agricultural and forestry sector is the biggest employer, followed by community, social and personal services and then wholesale and retail services.

The local economy is reasonably well diversified. Apart from the services sector (26% of GGO), and agriculture (21% of GGP), manufacturing (20%), trade and catering (14%) form the backbone of the economy.  


A large number of residents are unemployed; about 28% of households have no income at all and the majority of those in employment perform low-paying, unskilled work. Educational levels are low, which impacts on skills levels. More than 70% of households have an income below the minimum living level.

A lack of potable water supply in 12 rural locations affects 32,615 households. Schools in rural areas also experience a lack of potable water and sanitation facilities. There are 135 primary schools, 74 secondary schools, 2 special schools, and 3 tertiary institutions in the municipal area. There is a backlog of 70 primary schools and 22 secondary schools.

Parks and recreational facilities are well developed and maintained in the urban areas, whereas rural areas have little development.