Municipality: OR Tambo District Municipality


OR Tambo House
Nelson Mandela Drive
5099 Mthatha , Eastern Cape
South Africa
Phone: 047-501-7000
Fax: 047-532-6518
Eastern Cape ZA


OR Tambo District Municipality lies in the east of Eastern Cape and consists of seven local municipalities:

  • Ingquza Hill LM,
  • King Sabata Dalindyebo LM,
  • Mbizana LM,
  • Mhlontlo LM,
  • Ntabankulu LM,
  • Nyandeni LM,
  • Port St. Johns LM.

OR Tambo is characterised by rolling hills, broken by rivers, stretching from the mountains in the north to the coast in he south. The Wild Coast is notable its marine bio-diversity and has been recognised as one of the WWF's global eco-regions.

The OR Tambo district is predominantly rural, with most of the population concentrated in the west, around Mthatha, the main town and administrative centre. Homesteads are dispersed along ridges and in the valleys on flat land. Migration has contributed to the growth of Mthatha and the main service centres of Bizana, Lusikisiki and Port St. Johns.   

Most indusrial and commercial activity is located in Mthatha in Vulindlela and Zamukulungisa. Agrilcultural activity is predominantly subsistence farming on communal land. There is some sand mining and quarrying. 

The largest contributer to the local economy, and the biggest employer, is government and the provision of community services. Trade, finance and agriculture also make significant contributions. Transport, mining and construction have been showing some growth, while manufacturing is stagnating. Only the agriculture and forestry sector has shown a sustained growth in employment. More people are finding employment in the informal sector.  

LED Activities

Key Investment Opportunities:

  • Cooperatives development – OR Tambo Massive Poultry Egg Production Co-operatives Public Private partnership (CPPP)
  • Grain production and maize milling in Mqanduli
  • Forestry development – Langeni Timber Cluster; SMME Incubation – Transido SMME Hub in Mthatha; Mlengane Eco-Tourism Venture in Libode
  • Nduli Nature Reserve - regional conference facility and accommodation
  • Magwa Falls in Lusikisiki
  • Mbotyi Campsite in Lusikisiki

Critical infrastructure

The N2 runs through the district from Mthatha to Cape Town and Durban. The R61 runs parallel to the coast, providing access to Buffalo City and Kokstad. Generally, the road network is in a poor condition. The rail link between Mthatha and East London is to be upgraded and extended to Langeni to facilitate the export of timber from the region.  

The Walter Sisulu University is situated at Mthatha, and there is also a FET College. 


Tourism has been identified as a growth sector. The unspoilt natural beauty along the Wild Coast, as well as the cultural and historical heritage can all be exploited. The district is committed to addressing bottlenecks to tourism development such as branding, infrastructure and institutional capacity. 

The Wild Coast also presents opportunities for the local people in marine and aquaculture. However, it is neccessary to ensure that marine harvesting is carried out at sustainable levels. 


Unemployment is high, as are dependency ratios; and many households are dependent on state pensions. Men leave the district in search of work, resulting in female headed households. Almost half the population is younger than 15, which creates a need for educational facilities and skills development. However, educational levels are low, with a high level of illiteracy. 

Although the rivers carry fresh water down to the sea, over half of the population do not have access to potable water. Most of the existing water and sanitation infrastructure is not functioning properly and refurbishment and maintenance is a priority. 

The agricultural potential of the district remains largely untapped. Subsistence farming practices are inefficient. There is potential for commercial-scale, irrigated agricultural projects. The system of communal tenure presents management challenges.