The Prince Albert Municipality is one of the four municipalities in the Central Karoo District. It includes the scenic town of Prince Albert as well as the settlements of Leeu-Gamka and Klaarstroom and the surrounding rural area. Prince Albert town is renowned for its historic architecture and agricultural products. It is known as the oasis of the Karoo desert and attracts local and foreign tourists throughout the year. It is also historically an agricultural services hub which still provides its people and satellite towns with essential services. Prince Albert has the potential for becoming the tourism hub to drive the growth of tourism within the Central Karoo region.
Prince Albert Municipal area covers a total of 8,800km², a vast part of this being in the rural areas where about 958,000 hectares are under Agricultural production, mainly fruit and sheep farming. The Prince Albert municipal is one the smallest municipalities in the Western Cape. The municipality had a population of 10512 in 2001, this figure grew to 12 106 in 2008. This represents a moderate population growth rate of about 2% per annum.
Prince Albert is known for its architecture and agriculture and is also a tourist centre. The chief farming activities in this area are deciduous fruit for the export market, olives vineyards, vegetable seed production, Lucerne and ostrich. The average rainfall for the area is about 41mm per year. Farming is much more diversified in this region with small stock farming forming an important part into the farming community.
The small stock farmers with sheep, Angora goats and game farming are well established. Karoo Lamb, olives, olive oils and cheese are local delicacies. Prince Albert is well situated for overnight stops from Gauteng, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The economy is concentrated in mainly three sectors, namely Finance and business services (46.2%), wholesale and retail trade (16.5%) and transport and communication (11.3%) Prince Albert contributed 30.9% of GDP of the District’s R871.5million in 2007 with an estimated average annual growth of 8.9% between 1995 and 2007.
Source: PAM IDP 2011/12