Beaufort West Local Municipality (WC053)

Geography, History & Economy

Beaufort West Local Municipality is part of Central Karoo District Municipality.

MDB code: WC053

Description: The Beaufort West Local Municipality is a Category B municipality located within the Central Karoo District in the Western Cape Province. It is bordered by the Northern Cape to the north and west, Prince Albert to the south, and the Eastern Cape to the east. It is the largest municipality of three in the district, making up more than half its geographical area.
 Beaufort West is the oldest municipality in South Africa. The new district was proclaimed on 27 November 1818. The then governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, named the town and district ‘Beaufort' in honour of his father, the 5th Duke of Beaufort. To avoid confusion with Fort Beaufort and Port Beaufort, the name ‘Beaufort' was changed to Beaufort West in the 1860s.
 In December 1994, the former black township Kwa-Mandlenkosi was amalgamated with Beaufort West Municipality. In December 2000, the rural towns of Merweville and Nelspoort were also incorporated as part of the Beaufort West Municipality.

Area: 21 917km²

Cities/Towns: Beaufort West, Merweville, Murraysburg, Nelspoort

Main Economic Sectors: Transport and communication (25.3%), wholesale and retail trade (16.8%), general government services (14.4%), manufacturing (10.9%), agriculture (7.7%)

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