Matatiele Local Municipality (EC441)

Geography, History & Economy

Matatiele Local Municipality is part of Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

MDB code: EC441

Description: The Matatiele Local Municipality is a Category B municipality located within the Alfred Nzo District in the northern part of the Eastern Cape Province. It adjoins Lesotho to the north, Elundini to the south-west, and Greater Kokstad to the east. It is the largest of four municipalities in the district, making up almost half of its geographical area.
 The Matatiele municipal area is composed of the commercial farmlands surrounding the service centre of Matatiele, the town of Cedarville and the R293 township of Maluti. The municipality is predominantly rural in nature. Matatiele Town serves as a service centre and/or the main economic hub for Matatiele Municipality and beyond, and is identified in the District Municipality SDF as a primary node. The settlement pattern is characterised by dispersed rural settlements surrounded by subsistence farmlands in the former Transkei region.
 The R56 road is a major arterial and trade route running through the municipality in an east-west direction, linking Matatiele with Kokstad to the east and Mount Fletcher to the west. It links the municipality with KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape located south of Matatiele Municipality. The western parts of the area (commercial agricultural farms) form part of the high production potential land stretching from Matatiele and Kokstad in the south through the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to the north-western parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
 The area is located at the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. It adjoins the World Heritage Site along its western boundary and was included in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project (MDTP). The latter was a collaborative initiative between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho to protect the exceptional biodiversity of the Drakensberg and Maloti Mountains through conservation, sustainable resource use, and land-use and development planning.

Area: 4 352km²

Cities/Towns: Cedarville, Matatiele

Main Economic Sectors: Community services (66.4%), trade (8.9%), finance, agriculture

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