Locals described the Maruleng economy as a “service town” evolving around Hoedspruit and the surrounding farms. In reality the municipal economy is now more complex, with significant contributions from the provincial and national government (including to the local airforce and army base), a multi-faceted secondary and tertiary sector, a burgeoning informal sector and a rapidly growing tourism sector that support the long standing agricultural activity. Agriculture remains important for the employment and export revenue that it generates, but as a sector contributes less to Maruleng’s GDP than community services, transport, finance and trade (which includes tourism).
Significantly the three leading sectors are not classic growth sectors, and are not labour
intensive. Each of them imposes costs on the economy and economic activity at the same
time as contributing to growth.
The Maruleng economy is constrained by the lack of a clear identity as a result of its former status as part of Bohlabela District, its former designation as a “Plaaslikeraad”
and its inclusion of a former homeland and people from very different socio-economic
Source: Maruleng LED Strategy 2009