The area that the West Coast District Municipality (WCDM) serves stretches from the border of Cape Town Metropole to the border of the Northern Cape. The region covers a total area of 31 099 km². Statistics South Africa (2001) estimated the population of the entire West Coast region at 282 671.
The West Coast District in 2009 reportedly had 78489 households with a household density of 2.52sq.km and an average size (number of people) of 3.74; in comparison to the national household density which stood at 10.59 per sq.km and average household size of 3.81.
The purpose of WCDM and the five affiliates (local municipalities), is to share the responsibility for local government in their areas, and to ensure that all communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, have equal access to resources and services. WCDM assist local municipalities, who don't have the capacity in finances, facilities, staff or knowledge to provide them with services to enhance their communities.
The five municipalities falling under the West Coast District Municipality, these are:
- Swartland Municipality with Malmesbury as administrative centre;
- Bergrivier Municipality with Piketberg as administrative centre;
- Matzikama Municipality with Vredendal as administrative centre;
- Cederberg Municipality with Clanwilliam as administrative centre; and
- Saldanha Bay Municipality with Vredenburg as administrative centre.