Municipality: Matzikama Local Municipality

Address

Municipal Offices
37 Church Street P.O. Box 98
8160 Vredendal , Western Cape
South Africa
Phone: 027 - 2013300
Fax: 027 - 2133238
Western Cape ZA

Description

With a population of over 56,000, Matzikama is the northernmost of the local municipalities within the West Coast District Municipality. The Municipality has recently been selected by the National Government as a pilot project for economic development.

Matzikama Municipality is characterized by an arid environment, served by a lifegiving arterial namely the Olifants River. The river, with its associated canal systems, supports a flourishing agricultural sector that is mainly built on viniculture (the cultivation of grapes for wine production). The majority of the population of Matzikama is concentrated along the river with only the villages of Vanrhynsdorp, Doring Bay, Strandfontein and all of the villages in ward 8 not concentrated along the river. Doring Bay and Strandfontein are coastal towns, Doring Bay largely dependent on fishing (lobster) and Strandfontein a holiday destination respectively. All of the other villages in ward 8 are largely dependent on live stock farming. Vredendal, by far the largest town in the area, is centrally located and also serves as the
administrative centre for the municipal area. Vanrhynsdorp, Klawer and Lutzville are secondary towns with established business districts. Smaller villages include Ebenaeser, Koekenaap, Papendorp and Lutzville-West.

Agriculture and tourism (mainly in the Namaqualand) are the main sectors in terms of GDP and employment.

Source: Matzikama IDP 2012-17

Critical infrastructure

The N7 as the main corridor from Cape Town to the Northern Cape and Namibia crosses Matzikama.

Strengths

With a good water supply and fertile soil, the agricultural industry is healthy, diversified and strong, including the cultivation of vegetables, citrus fruit and vineyards. The growth in the agriculture sector, as well as that in the mining sector, is likely attributable to the supporting infrastructure that has been developed, which has then in turn accounted for corresponding growth in secondary industries such as trade, services and light industry.

Interesting diversification activities of the economy have been initiated around aquaculture and essential oil production.

Weaknesses

The agriculture sector is by far the largest with viniculture or grape farming being the dominant crop. Almost 70 percent of the agricultural economy of the Matzikama municipal area is exposed to grape farming (wine, table grapes and raisins) which pose certain threats should anything happened to the wine or raisins markets worldwide especially in the Europe Zone. This requires urgent actions by all role players to look at ways of how to diversify the economy.

Overall, unemployment is a major problem in the municipality. Only 52% of the population is employed on a full time basis. Sixteen percent is employed part time, 3% are self employed and 29% are unemployed. One of the main reasons for the low levels of self employment can be attributed to the low skills base in the municipality especially skills related to entrepreneurship.

 

Source: Matzikama IDP 2012-17