Municipality: Makhado Local Municipality


Makhado Municipality
83 Krogh Street
0920 Loius Trichardt , Limpopo
South Africa
Phone: 015 519 3000
Fax: 015 516 1195
Limpopo ZA


Makhado has the second biggest economy in Vhembe District. The sector, which contributed the most to the GVA in Makhado Municipality, is the Community Services (33%) followed by the Finance Sector (26%) and Trade Sector (15%). This shows the same trend as in the Limpopo Province where Mining is by far the largest contributor to the GVA. The contribution of Agriculture to the GVA has grown more on Provincial and District level than on National level. The mining sector has grown on National level as well as on District level while the manufacturing sector has grown slightly less on regional level.
Community service and trade sectors are the predominant employers within the study area, responsible for just over 27% and 19% of the active work force respectively. Agriculture is the third largest employer absorbing around 17% followed by the construction sector (8%), finance (5%), transport (5%), manufacturing (5%), and mining (1%).

Agriculture is one of the most important economic sectors in Makhado, and it has a location quotient of 1.75.The area is one of the major producers of Macadamia Nuts in Limpopo Province, with a planted area of 5661.07 hectares. The nut is either exported out of the Municipality in its raw state or sold for further processing into oils. Makhado is also a major producer of avocados with a total planted area of 3005.65 hectares. Other subtropical fruit including mangoes, avocadoes and bananas are also grown in the area. In fact 12% of the total land area in Levubu is under the production of bananas. These sub-tropical fruits are also either sold to outside markets or used for further processing such as juices, achaar, dried fruit and pulp.

Mining sector in the area is currently dominated by medium and small-scale mining companies such as WG Wearne and Crystal Salt. These companies currently produce sand and salt respectively. There exist plenty opportunities for small-scale and large scale mining of minerals that can be found in the Schiel Complex and the Bandelier Complex. These minerals include Phosphate, Vermiculite, Gold, Magnetite, Mica, Limestone, Marble, Manganese, Graphite, Coal, Corundum, Copper, etc. Furthermore there are planed coal projects in the Mudimeli area (Makhado Colliery), Chapudi Coal Project. There is also a gas project to be constructed at the envisaged Makhado Colliery. All these projects are being developed by Coal of Africa.

The Tourism Sector has become increasingly important in the Municipality. The rich cultural heritage of the area, natural beauty, proximity to the N1, large dams (such as Albasini), waterfalls, breathing stone and the climate gives it competitive advantage in tourism. Various tourism routes exist in the area, such as the Ivory route, Ribolla Open Africa Route, Greater Mapubungwe Route, and the Soutpansberg Birding Route. Major tourism products in the area include Dzata Ruins and Schoemansdal Museum.
The manufacturing sector is mostly focussed on the processing of products from the agricultural sector. Agro-processing creates opportunities for skills developments and also supplies a market for small-scale farmers who currently do not have access to the market. There processing of timber is also being undertaken in the Municipality although there are more opportunities in this subsector.

Source: Makhado LED Strategy 2013

Critical infrastructure

Makhado Municipality has inadequate and fragmented water service provision and this inadequacy in water provision implies that less water will be available for agriculture, which is one of the pillars of the economy. The main water users in the area are agriculture, domestic, industrial and afforestation.

The existing electricity infrastructure is not sufficient to support the envisaged growth in the manufacturing and mining sector. As such upgrading is required and needs to be done by Eskom and the Municipality.

Road transport is the most used mode of transport in Makhado. The major freight transport roads in the Makhado Municipality are the following:

  • N1 National Road from Polokwane to Beitbridge;
  • R522 from Vivo to Makhado;
  • R523 from Vivo via Waterpoort to Musekwa;
  • R521 from Vivo to Pont drift Border; and
  • R524 from the Makhado central business district to Punda Maria.

Within the Municipality the railway stations exists in the following areas, namely, Bandelierkop, Makhado town, Mara and Waterpoort. Only two private sidings serving grain mills at the Makhado station are currently in use, while those in the southern industrial area, including liquid fuel depots, are all out of use but still intact.

The railway network from Pretoria-Pienaarsrivier-Polokwane-Musina-Beitridge which is 579km long passes through the Municipality and it transport lime, liquid petroleum products, cement, coal and various grains.

Source: Makhado LED Strategy 2013


Various opportunities exist for economic development in the Municipalities. These opportunities were identified through a SWOT Analysis which was conducted during the analysis phase. Some of the identified opportunities are agro-processing, transportation of forestry products, milling, beneficiation, harvesting and siviculture activities; small scale mining and beneficiation of minerals such as clay, stone aggregate; untapped minerals for large scale mining; business linkages between existing and planned mines with local businesses through the supply of mining inputs such as spares and machinery; and joint venture between emerging contractors when tendering for high value construction projects.

Source: Makhado LED Strategy 2013


There are various constraints that are hampering development in the Municipality and this include inter alia skills level of the population, poverty, aging infrastructure, lack of industrial infrastructure in the rural areas, problems with the supply of water, etc. These constraints need to be addressed to ensure sustainable economic growth and development in Makhado.

Source: Makhado LED Strategy 2013