Municipality: Ngqushwa Local Municipality

Description

Ngqushwa Local Municipality is a Category B municipality and is one of the eight municipalities that falls within the jurisdiction of the Amathole District Municipality, situated within the Eastern Cape province. It is bordered by the Great Fish River to the west and the Keiskamma River to the east. The southern boundary comprises part of the coastline of the Indian Ocean. Its geographical area accounts for 10% of the district. It is predominantly rural in nature.

Source: Local Government Handbook 2012

 

Critical infrastructure

Outdated, inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure is an impediment to cost effective enterprise. This issue is a very high priority because of the distance of the district from markets and the lack of raw materials locally. Ngqushwa Municipality is in the process developing a Regenerating/Master plan and part of this process is the analysis of the existing infrastructure and its capacity to absorb investment opportunities and develop means and projects to increase these in order to deal with these barriers indicated.

Source: Ngqushwa Local Municipality IDP 2013/14

Strengths

Ngqushwa Local Municipality is primarily a subsistence farming agricultural area with some commercial beef, pineapple and vegetable farming projects. The municipality has land that is highly suited to the production of pineapples and citrus – a high value cash crop.

Furthermore, Emthonjeni Arts, a world class artist residency in Hamburg seeks to promote arts & culture as well as attracting investment opportunities for the economic benefit of local community.

Emthonjeni Arts, source: Ngqushwa Local Municipality website

Weaknesses

Just a small portion (8.6%) of the Ngqushwa population is formally employed with 91.4% of the population unemployed or not economically active.  The official figure of unemployment in the municipality stands at 77%.  This tallies to some extent with the population distribution and indicates that most of those who are employed live either in Peddie or Hamburg.  The employment levels are way below the national average and the unemployment levels are 24% above the Provincial unemployment figures.  The number of people living in poverty in the municipality has risen from 64.19% in 1996 to 80.29% in 2005.  Consequently, there is a high dependence on social grants with seventy-two point five percent 72.5% of households receiving grants.

Furthermore, this also means that the rates base for the local municipality is almost non-existent.  As a result, the municipality is almost completely dependent on provincial and national government for funding to support the provision of basic services.  There is a desperate need for local economic development in the municipal area that will create permanent jobs for the local population.

Source: Ngqushwa Local Municipality IDP 2013/14