Municipality: Sol Plaatje Local Municipality


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Jan Smuts Boulevard Private Bag X5030
8300 Kimberley , Northern Cape
South Africa
Phone: 053-830-6100
Fax: 053-833-1005
Northern Cape ZA


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. 

Critical infrastructure

More than 89% of households have electricity, 99% are supplied with piped water, a high proportion has access to flush sanitation and more than 90% are served by municipal refuse disposal arrangements. 

The housing backlog is estimated at approximately 13,772. This figure includes people residing in informal areas as well as 'backyard dwellers'. The backlog in housing occurs within the income bracket of R1,500 per month and less. Almost no backlogs and a very low demand exist for the middle- to high-income brackets.



Kimberley receives a significant 3,472 hours of sunshine per annum; this is a major resource and its potential as a form of electricity generation/heating should be exploited. Projects have already been initiated as part of the municipality's innovative eco-village housing developments. However, the enormous potential of solar power generation as resource and job-creation initiative still remains unexploited.