Engcobo Local Municipality (EC137)

Geography, History and Economy

Engcobo Local Municipality is part of .

MDB code: EC137

Description: The Engcobo Local Municipality is a Category B municipality situated in the Chris Hani District in the Eastern Cape Province. It is one of six municipalities in the district.
 The municipality claims the most youthful population, as well as the highest rates of poverty and unemployment, in the district, coupled with a high dependency ratio. The economy is underperforming and currently fails to create needed jobs and revenues. A dedicated LED strategy has been developed in order to guide interventions in turning this situation around. The municipality’s low productivity score points to the low GDP per worker (formal and informal), a relative shortage of skills available to the economy, and low growth.
 On a broad scale, the Engcobo Municipality has some striking features: it is a peripheral area in terms of the national economy, is underdeveloped, has a fragmented settlement pattern, has a low-density rural settlement environment, and its resource base is under pressure.
 On the scale of urban development, Engcobo Town is classified as a Sub-District Development Node by CHDM (i.e. it is among a group of towns deemed to be on a second tier below the dominant district node of Queenstown). This means that Engcobo is understood to have an influence (reach or catchment population) beyond simply its local area and that it draws people to the town to access goods and services from a broader area (i.e. in some cases even from neighbouring municipalities).
 However, Engcobo may also currently be described as a low-density urban environment. In spite of its low density and intensity of development, Engcobo’s business centre is thriving, though it does not function optimally due to overcrowding and a lack of facilities serving both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Business in the town is reliant on commuters (rural consumers) and there is no mass of resident consumers. This limits the range of commercial and social facilities that the private sector provides in town and inhibits the development of a more vibrant urban character.

Area: 2 484km²

Cities/Towns: Engcobo

Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture, forestry, trade, tourism

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