Sol Plaatje Local Municipality (named after the famous writer) not only incorporates the city of Kimberley but also the small town of Ritchie and large tracts of rural farmland. Ritchie, situated on the banks of the Modder River, consists of three dispersed developed areas, namely Ritchie, Rietvale and Motswedimosa. Kimberley is the main contributor to the economy of the municipality and provides services to the rest of the region.
The municipal population of 246,566 is 46.2% African. A large part of the population (39.5%) is between 0-19 years of age. Education and literacy levels are higher than in other areas in the district, although at least 10% of people over the age of 15 have received no formal schooling; 27.9% of residents have Grade 12 certificates and 3.5% have earned a tertiary education.
The rural areas are characterised by a high level of poverty; 57.1% of blacks and 28.5% of cloureds are living in poverty, with 32% of households earning less than R2,400 per month.
Sol Plaatje's economy was built on the foundation of a thriving diamond industry, and lots of deposits are still being mined today.
Agricultural land within Sol Plaatje Municipality is mostly used for game farming, grazing purposes and cash crop lucerne, grapes, cotton and soybeans. Other activities include sheep and cattle farming. Game farming is especially popular in this part of the province and is a well-known tourist attraction.