Municipality: Umzimvubu Local Municipality


Municipal Offices
813 Main Street
South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)39 255 8500 /166
Fax: +27 (0) 39 255 0167
30° 53' 0.1284" S, 28° 59' 54.2868" E


The Umzimvubu Local Municipality is situated within the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the North-Western part of the Eastern Cape.  Umzimvubu Local Municipality adjoins Matatiele to the west, KwaZulu-Natal to the north, and the O.R. Tambo District Municipality to the east and south.
The Municipality consists of Mount Ayliff & Mount Frere.

Umzimvubu Local Municipality is one of the four municipalities within Alfred Nzo District Municipality, and has fifty-four(54) councillors, eleven (11) traditional leaders and twenty-seven (27) wards.  The municipality has a total population of 198 550 residents, of which only 4% live in urban areas while the rest of the population is rural.

The Umzimvubu Local Municipality is characterized by low levels of employment and a high percentage of people who are not economically active. This in turn accounts for the high poverty levels and low income levels. High unemployment rates impact negatively on municipalities as they are accompanied by low affordability levels which generally result in a poor payment rate for services. Umzimvubu Local Municipality’s unemployment rate is estimated to be 78.2% which is higher than the estimated District unemployment level of 76.4%.

Umzimvubu has adopted a LED strategy to guide local economic development in the Municipal area. Local economic development t and h as also b e effectively institutionalise and a number of programmes implemented including;

  • Support Systems
  • SMME Development
  • Second Economy
  • Decentralisation of Services
  • Planning Development
  • Forward planning

Critical infrastructure

The Umzimvubu municipal area is transverse by the N2 National Road (primary route) which provides strong linkages between the economic centers that are found around the province of the Eastern Cape and that of KwaZulu-Natal. Other major road within the Municipality is the road R405 (secondary route) linking the municipality with Matatiele municipality and the rural villages along the way. There is generally poor road infrastructure in the rural hinterland of the municipality and this impact negatively to availability and access to socio-economic amenities in these areas. The N2 through Mount Frere town centre poses a major challenge of traffic congestion as slow-moving vehicles pass through the CBD.


The area has potential for the development of cooperatives and SMME’s which afford the rural poor an opportunity to participate in economic activities. Access to micro-credit remains a bigchallenge to cooperatives and SMMEs, but there are also a number of agenciesthat offer support to new and established SMME’s


Umzimvubu is currently characterised by acute backlogs in infrastructure and services provision especially electricity, water, sanitation, housing, road infrastructure, as well as Local Economic Development initiatives. The main challenges affecting the municipality are the poor condition of roads due to the fact that Umzimvubu is a rural area and there is less focus on road design;

  • Heavy rains also contribute of the deterioration of roads
  • Poorly designed bridges are also a challenge