Municipality: Sunday's River Valley Local Municipality

Address

Somerset East
P.O. Box 197
5850 Summerset East , Eastern Cape
South Africa
Phone: 042 243 0095/7
Fax: 042 243 0095/7
Eastern Cape ZA

Description

The Sundays River Valley Municipality (SRVM) is one of the developing local municipalities within the Cacadu District Municipality (Western Region). It is located in the Eastern Cape approximately 80km north and east of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

The municipality has established an LED Forum and a Local Economic Development Organization to assist with the coordination and implementation of both LED Plan and the Tourism Plan. Considering the limited amount of resources available to fuel LED interventions and the vast arena of possibilities, an additional layer of prioritization is required to avoid an unsustainable sprinkling effect. The initiative that is undertaken to review the LED Strategy will take the above aspect. Furthermore, all funded projects (regardless of sectors) should be explored for the possibility to include economic development elements. LED is nnevertheless a cross-cutting issue.

Councillor Inauguration

Of particular importance to the Municipality is the partnership with the Department of Agriculture regarding the poverty alleviation projects of agriculture coupled with the high agricultural potential in the area. The municipality is mobilising communities around food gardens as one of the strategy for implementing Community Based Planning projects. It is noted that the agricultural industry counts for  31.2% of the GGP and 47.7% of employment.

Source: Sunday's River Valley LM IDP 2011-2016

LED Activities
Key Projects:

  • Paterson Micro Craft Market
  • Kirkwood Hawkers Facility
  • Research on sustainable and diversified livelihood options,
  •  Kirkwood Wildlife Festival

 

Critical infrastructure

The municipality is served by an extensive road network that comprises the main access road through the Valley, the N2 national road and various secondary roads that serve the agricultural industry. The N2 national road is in a fairly good state of repair. However, the main access road through the Valley has been identified by the farming community as a major priority for upgrading. Most of the produce from the Valley is transported on this route and the road quality affects the export quality of fruit.

Internal roads in urban areas and settlements generally need upgrading and ongoing maintenance. Roads in low-income, high-density residential areas are mostly gravel with limited storm water management. The Municipality has implemented an ongoing process for road maintenance.

The Cacadu Spatial Development Framework (2005) indicates that there is 536.9km of gravel roads in the Municipality with a surface length of 204.9km. The document concurs that most of these roads are in desperate need of upgrading and maintenance. Considering the economic drivers of the area, namely agriculture and tourism, the Municipality needs to ensure that these conditions do not place additional pressure on the existing economic activities. 

The state of roads is a hazard to road safety in general. Poor road conditions impact on a household level – communities are affected in their mobility in terms of public transport. Poor road conditions also influence access to social services and economic opportunities. The functioning of emergency services is also influenced by road conditions, which courses accidents and damage to property/vehicles. Within this context, communities have prioritized the tarring of roads in most wards.

Strengths

The municipality boasts with its eco-tourism and agricultural potential. The Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) and citrus production are two important economic drivers in the SRVM. The AENP has given rise to a number of booming B & Bs and private lodges. Our close proximity to the Coega Industrial Development Zone has led to our Addo Tourism Development corridor and the Enon-Bersheba’s 10 000 ha pristine communal land being increasingly sought after for tourism enterprise development and conservation opportunities. The municipality recognises and supports the creation of wealth in local communities through private enterprises, community works programme and productive Public-Private Partnerships.

Agriculture

The agricultural industry centres mainly on citrus fruit farming in the Sunday’s River Valley and dairy and chicory farming towards the Alexandria area in the east. Again, eco-tourism and reserves further place an important role in the mountainous and areas surrounding the Sundays River Valley and Alexandria farming region.

Approximately 25% of South Africa’s navel oranges and 50% of the country’s lemons are produced in the Sunday’s River Valley with the Sunday’s River exporting more than 13 million cartons of navels per year, earning more than R1 billion in foreign exchange for the country. Other agricultural products include vegetables, potatoes, maize, wheat, chicory, flowers and kukuyi-rye grass.

Weaknesses

The “Situational Analysis for LED in the SRV Municipality” suggests an unemployment rate of 44.1% that reflects an increase when compared to the Census 1996. The District average is 36% and the Provincial average 56%. The Spatial Development Framework (2005) of the Cacadu District Municipality reports an unemployment rate of 20%.

Regardless of the exact rate of unemployment, the income-related data supports the premise that a large number of households are struggling to survive within the current economic conditions, even though the LED Situation Analysis indicates an economic growth of 4.8%. It is important to understand how the Municipality could harness the growth for the betterment of poor communities.